How can CBT help you lose weight for the last time?
Losing weight, keeping it off and improving your fitness is a physical as well as a psychological process.
The reason why various diet and exercise programmes do not show positive long-term results in weight loss is, they do not address those underlying psychological issues of why you overeat and how your mind is key to changing your relationship with food.
In order to address those underlying issues, CBT has been identified to be a key component to help people achieve weight loss in a sustainable and successful manner.
So what is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and how can it help you lose weight?
Losing weight and maintaining it, requires learning new mental skills and identifying thinking patterns, and behaviours that have hindered your weight loss in the past. Learning those new mental skills and behaviours will rewire your brain and it will make you change from the inside out.
This is how it works:
The CBT model is defined as “What you think, influences what you do and how you feel”. Your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are linked and cannot exist in isolation.
Most people believe that a particular situation is causing them to eat something they hadn’t planned. However, it is not the situation, it is the thoughts that make you behave a certain way.
For example, you may feel stressed or tired at the end of the week and believe that stress and tiredness cause you to order a takeaway/drink a bottle of wine etc. The fact is, it is never the situation that makes you behave a certain way, It is actually your thinking about the situation/trigger which leads to overeating.
Those thoughts are something like “I had a stressful week, I deserve….” or I am too tired I will have some chocolate to keep me going”, or ” eating something is the only thing to help me calm down”.
Those are sabotaging thoughts, and happen once you are in a trigger situation. CBT will help you identify your trigger situations and your sabotaging thoughts. Once you have identified what sabotaging thoughts you might have in the future (or had in the past) that will cause you to go back to old unhealthy habits, you can learn to respond with more helpful thinking and change the outcome.
Neuroscience has demonstrated that this process rewires your brain and your automatic sabotaging thoughts are replaced with helpful thoughts that will help you:
- overcome emotional eating
- identify sabotaging thoughts and behaviours
- motivate yourself and stay motivated
- understand neuroplasticity and how the brain can be rewired to think in a different way
- become more tuned into your eating habits through mindfulness
- understand the difference between hunger and cravings and how to overcome cravings
- learn how to stay on track