Susan returned last night from her 10 day business trip and after weighing in today, was so pleased to see that she lost weight. After a week and a half of eating out for two meals each day and having very little control over her food choices, Susan could very easily have gained several pounds, so the fact that she actually lost is a real triumph.
Susan says that the most important thing she learned during her trip was that it’s ok to feel hungry (discussed on Day 12 of The Beck Diet Solution). Dieters often think that they should never be hungry, and that feeling hungry is somehow bad or wrong. Many dieters doubt their ability to tolerate hunger and so do things to avoid it, such as overeat at meals to ensure they don’t feel hungry before the next one, eat too many times throughout the day, or bulk up on food that are considered “free” on their diets. Susan herself used to do many of these things; in particular, she would snack throughout the day, thinking she would be unbearably hungry if she didn’t.
However, while she was on the trip, Susan found herself in meetings all day long. For most of the time, she either wasn’t given snacks, or when they were provided they were foods not on her plan so she couldn’t eat them. Susan often felt hungry between meals and for the first time gave herself no choice but to put up with it. This was a very important experience for her to have because she now realizes that it’s ok to feel hungry sometimes and that she most certainly can tolerate it. If Susan had given in to her hunger between meals, she would have eaten whatever snack they provided and most likely would have ended up gaining weight this week. She is happy that she lost weight and more importantly that she learned not to fear hunger. It’s a skill that will help her continue to lose weight and keep it off permanently.