The reason you signed up for a 20 day program was likely because food addiction may have cost you pain.
List all the costs of food addiction for you ________________________________________________________________________________________________
What is your motivation for stopping your addiction now?
Have you tried to lose weight before? ________
Why did that attempt fail? ___________________________________________________
Strive to learn from people who have had success. We will follow several people to see how they did it – Ty, Sue, Tom, Joy and TJ Sue is rebel. TJ has hit rock bottom. Tom gets bored easily.
Sue is struggling to believe what her new friends at weightwatchers are telling her about the destruction overdoing it brings. But she is still paying off another doctor bill. So she said to herself twice today: sugar and doughnuts have caused me destruction, they have in the past and they will in the future (unless I quit).
Tom gets bored easily (which leads him right to food) so he wrote down what he planned to do today (instead of hitting Taco Bell).
TJ hit rock bottom so hard that he will do anything to avoid falling back. He printed out the following strategy:
Cravings come in waves. They feel like they’ll last forever but if you can endure for 20 minutes or so, they always dissipate into nothingness.
And fortunately, the more often you resist those cravings, the weaker they get and the less frequently they bother you.
If you can hold on for just a few minutes, you can almost always overcome your cravings. To help you with this, here’s an easy-to-remember coping strategy (The Four Ds) to get you safely past the 20 minute danger zone.
The Four Ds
This is a classic relapse prevention technique. The Ds stand for:
So the next time you feel a craving, remember The Four Ds and avoid a permanent mistake caused by a temporary urge.
Here are 20 solid distraction ideas that will keep you occupied just long enough. Try any or all that make sense to you, or better yet, come up with a list of your own.
You may want to write down a few go-to distraction tasks and keep them on your person (see the example chart at the end of this article). This way you won’t be left scrambling for distraction ideas when already struggling with cravings – you’ll have your ideas planned out and ready to go.
20 Distraction Ideas for Cravings
10.Do a progressive muscle relaxation exercise or write in a journal
11.Catch up on work for a few minutes
12.Prepare a low cal snack, and then enjoy it
13.Do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle
14.If you’re tempted to eat at home, then get out of the house and go for a drive.
15.Play a challenging video game
16.Do bicycle maintenance
17.Cut the grass
18.Walk out and get a coffee
19.Fix that thing that needs fixing – replace burnt-out light bulbs or dead batteries, etc.
20.Water all the plants or groom your pet
The next time you feel a craving coming on, take a moment to feel it in your body, and then tell yourself that it’s going to pass if you can just wait it out – and then use one of the 20 methods listed above (or any others you can think of) to distract yourself while you wait for that urge to disappear.
And since the more tools you have at your disposal the better your odds of success, learn how to urge surf as well – it’s a fantastic mindfulness technique that lets you glide with attention right over the peak of a craving.
Make a Relapse Prevention Card to Take with You
OK, you’ve read this far, and if you think the 4 Ds make sense, take 5 minutes to write a relapse prevention card to carry around with you. Do it right now (before you get distracted 🙂 and you maximize your odds of having it ready when you need it.
Fold a paper into four squares:
Negative Expectations – When you’re about to give in you tend to focus on positive expectations and gloss-over negative expectations.
By writing down accurate negative expectation statements you provide a counter-balance for the positive expectation statements your addicted mind manufactures all on its own.
An Example Relapse Prevention Card
The Four Ds
By the end of the 20 days you will be more focused on the negative aspects of food addiction and you will be much less impressed with the positives.
Every day increase self-control. I Eat raw broccoli instead of candy. Why? Because it develops self-control and delays pleasure. Every day repeat an exercise that increases your self-control. Play a musical instrument, go for a walk, do something healthy. Broccoli tastes crappy but you feel way better an hour later. Living healthy for a week is like eating broccoli. 17 days from now you will feel way better.
Thomas Vilord said “If you have goals and procrastination you have nothing. If you have goals and take action you can have anything that you want.”
I will give you new things to think about and focus on. I will help you develop a dynamic organized system which will give you the weapons you need to fight your addiction.
Never forget the #1 rule for quitting food addiction: Never give up.