A Cognitive Behavioral Approach to Weight Loss and Maintenance
A growing body of research demonstrates that cognitive behavioral techniques are an important part of a weight loss and maintenance program, in addition to exercise and changes in eating (see, for example, Stahre & Hallstrom, 2005; Shaw et al, 2005; Werrij et al, 2009; Spahn et al, 2010; Cooper et al, 2010; Ariane et al, 2018). An important element that is often underemphasized in weight loss programs is the role of dysfunctional cognitions. While most people can change their eating behavior in the short-run, they generally revert to old eating habits–unless they make lasting changes in their thinking. This interactive workshop presents a step-by-step approach to teach dieters specific skills and help them respond to negative thoughts that interfere with implementing these skills every day. Participants will learn how to engage the client and how to solve common practical problems. They will learn how to teach clients to develop realistic expectations, motivate themselves daily, reduce their fear of (and accept) hunger, manage cravings, use alternate strategies to cope with negative emotion, and get back on track immediately when they make a mistake.
Techniques will be presented to help dieters respond to dysfunctional beliefs related to deprivation, unfairness, discouragement, and disappointment, and continually rehearse responses to key automatic thoughts that undermine their motivation and sense of self-efficacy. Acceptance techniques will also be emphasized as dieters come to grips with the necessity of making permanent changes and maintaining a realistic, not an “ideal” weight that they can sustain for their lifetime.