Behavioral Therapy Explained As A Weight Loss Method

Any individual who’s ever attempted to lose weight knows that the process can be a struggle, even for the most motivated person. But in recent years, behavioral therapy, also known as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has become a trending option for individuals interested in understanding the why behind eating habits or why previous weight loss attempts didn’t work. But when would a physician recommend CBT to support weight loss goals instead of a traditional plan that focuses solely on food consumption and exercise?

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When your weight poses a health risk

One of the leading reasons why healthcare professionals turn to CBT for weight management is when a patient’s weight increases the potential for other health issues to arise. While many factors can cause chronic diseases to develop, being obese is often a driving factor that can make chronic or debilitating diseases worse. Obesity in adults is d a BMI of 30 or higher. For example, sleep apnea, certain cancers, diabetes, arthritis, and multiple cardiovascular diseases can all manifest as more dangerous for obese individuals.

Understanding the why behind eating habits

One of the biggest benefits of CBT is that the method focuses on determining why people choose foods, eat certain portions, or opt to engage or not in exercise. Once an individual is made aware of why some foods are preferred over other options or why a person has a habit of cleaning a plate even when full, the process of making healthier choices can begin. In some cases, patients will be encouraged to keep a food diary. But honesty is essential for real progress to begin. CBT emphasizes accountability and to actively work to make better food and habit choices.

No weight loss tricks or gimmicks

Unlike many fad diets or drastic weight loss plans, CBT-based weight management focuses on incremental changes. Psychology has proven that a slow, measured approach to weight loss tends to reap better results that last as opposed to drastic weight loss tactics that prioritize quick solutions. For example, a patient who previously only drank soda may be encouraged to swap one soda at a meal for either water or a sugar-free drink. While the one sugar-free drink doesn’t erase the other drink choices, the small goal is attainable and boosts confidence to stick with a CBT weight loss method.

Realistic steps to lose weight and boost health

The prevalence of obesity for American adults between 2017 to 2018 was 42.4%, an increase of just over 12% from the previous year’s data. Research continues to show how being obese can increase an individual’s risk of more harmful side effects from serious disease and has also been linked with other conditions such as depression. While CBT weight management may not be a solution for everyone, an emphasis on small but impactful behavioral changes towards a person’s relationship with food is proven to be effective with long-term benefits. People considering CBT weight loss management should speak with a physician.