Is Losing Weight Really Worth It?

03/16/2015 04:30 pm ET | Updated May 16, 2015
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Losing weight can be difficult, especially when dieters are besieged by a sabotaging thought such as "It's just not worth it to stay on my diet." Here's what you need to remind yourself to keep on going.

Having this thought is normal. Every dieter we counsel has this thought from time to time. But as cognitive behavior therapy teaches us, just because we think something doesn't necessarily mean it's true.

You probably only have this thought when you're off track. When you're solidly on track, you know for sure that it's worthwhile. You feel rewarded when you get on the scale; you're so pleased when you fit into old clothes; you get motivated by compliments from other people.

You can learn to respond to this sabotaging thought. You can label it as your "off track" idea and disregard it. You can review your written list of all the reasons you want to lose weight and rate how important each one is to you. You can remind yourself that difficult times are normal but temporary.

Predict how you'll feel if you stay off track. Think about all the previous times you went off your diet. How glad were you that you made this decision? How did you end up feeling about yourself?

Remember how it feels to be out of control. Do you feel weak? Disempowered? Even ashamed?

Face the consequences of abandoning your diet. Think about seeing the number on the scale go up. Imagine the clothes that now fit becoming too tight to wear. Consider losing all the benefits of weight loss.

Predict how you'll feel if you stick with it. Will you feel proud? Good about yourself? Imagine having achieved the benefits of weight loss.

Remember how good it feels to stay in control. How do you feel when you go to bed at night? How do you feel the next morning? How do you feel when you step on the scale?

Remind yourself of the consequences of staying on your diet. Think not only about the practical rewards (improving your health, moving around better, getting to wear clothes you feel good in) but also the psychological rewards (feeling attractive, confident, empowered).

Are you convinced? Losing weight is worth it!

Find more information in our new book The Diet Trap Solution. For more by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D., click here.