Many people often experience failed attempts at weight loss due to repeated use of fad diets, instead of looking at weight loss from a lifestyle change perspective.
The therapy approach I most commonly use with clients seeking to lose weight, is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Behaviour Modification (follow the link for more information on ACT).
ACT helps to establish your values; provide strategies for taking committed action to change; as well as coping strategies, including learning to:
- Set realistic goals, to avoid setting yourself up for failure (starting with small, immediate goals);
- Focus less on the scales, and more on healthy choices and establishing a routine;
- Cope with the challenges of achieving those goals, and the uncomfortable feelings and thoughts that often arise;
- Deal with setbacks;
- Eat more mindfully and really enjoy your food;
- Deal with negative thoughts and feelings that pop up when you have that internal battle of not wanting to exercise, or trying to stop yourself from eating that piece of chocolate;
- Not be consumed by guilt if you do have that piece of chocolate;
- Schedule treats and find a balance between healthy eating and rewarding yourself;
- Stop comparing yourself to others and be the best version of yourself (overcoming the façade often portrayed by others through social media).
It is also important to explore why comfort eating occurs (eg trauma) as this will often help deal with triggers to unhealthy lifestyle choices, and alleviate the desire to do it. For example, sometimes people eat to avoid feeling emotional pain (to distract themselves). Learning the above strategies can reduce the desire to use food to numb pain, and actually effectively deal with the pain itself.
People often forget to consider and treat the psychological barriers that contribute to weight gain; and jump quickly into weight reduction techniques. Not addressing the causes to weight gain often leads to minimal or no weight loss and increased hopelessness, disappointment and shame.
If this sounds similar to the cycle you are in, please contact me for more information on how to begin a lifestyle change approach to weight loss.
Leia is an endorsed Clinical Psychologist, with training and experience in a variety of evidence based treatment approaches. She is particularly passionate about the benefits of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, finding it effective in helping individuals achieve their weight loss goals.
To make an appointment with Clinical Psychologist Leia Redman try Online Booking – Loganholme or call M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129.