Bangkok Hypnosis

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Weight Loss

Posted by Sun on May 15, 2012

The problem with many weight loss programs is that they teach people to change their behaviours (e.g., over-eating or not exercising), but they don’t address the causes of these behaviours – people’s thoughts and feelings.

Unless you are able to recognise and change those internal causes of behaviour, you are setting yourself up for failure. Trying to change your behaviour alone is hard work, because you’re always just keeping a lid on what you “really” want to do. It’s like learning to control anger by biting your tongue. It might work for the short term, but you really want to let go & lose your temper. Before long, invariably, you will – and you’re back at square one. It’s the same with eating or weight problems. Although you might “know” that you should go for a walk, you don’t really want to do it. So you stay home – and before long, you’re back at square one.

CBT for weight loss helps you to identify the unhelpful patterns of thinking, and feeling which are maintaining your current weight problems. Thinking patterns tend to be over learned and occur “automatically” – they just pop into your head without you noticing. This is because they are so familiar that you don’t even recognise they are there – it’s like you’ve tuned out the ‘background noise’ of your thoughts. The first step in CBT is teaching you how to ‘tune in’ and recognise your patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving in relation to weight.

The patterns may be related to how you think and feel about your body. There may be a specific pattern relating to how you think and feel about food or exercise, or you may have a pattern about how confident you think and feel in your ability to lose and maintain weight loss. Such patterns are unique to each individual – no-one is exactly the same as the next person. This is why an individual approach is needed, to help you to see what your unique pattern is.

After you learn to identify your patterns, you will be taught simple and effective strategies to interrupt and change them. This is where individualised CBT really stands out. As everyone’s pattern is different, everyone’s way of combating the pattern will also be different. Your psychologist will help you to design specific strategies suited to you. As you change, you will design different, helpful, and realistic patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving with regards to your weight issues. CBT is not about “positive thinking” – we believe that overly positive thinking is just as damaging as overly negative thinking. Rather, CBT is aimed at establishing realistic, helpful thinking patterns.

CBT is a very powerful tool with which you can learn to change a variety of unhelpful patterns. An example of the types of problems which may be addressed is presented below:

  • Improved body image
  • Elimination of binge eating
  • Improved mood
  • Improved ability to cope with stress
  • Eliminate “emotional eating”
  • Improve self confidence in your ability to attain goals
  • Skills to become your own therapist
  • Deal with mishaps without throwing in the towel

CBT also focuses very much on how to maintain the changes you have made. After the initial weight loss, you’ll be taught effective techniques to prevent relapse into old patterns.

Our CBT psychologists work closely with local dieticians, who can help you to learn how to eat properly and healthily for sustained weight loss.

If you are interested to hear more about how CBT can help you to lose and maintain weight loss, why not give us a call, or send us an email?



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