What we tend to ignore, when we think of weight loss, is how we are approaching and managing the process of change. As important as it is to focus on what you eat to lose weight and keep it off, it is equally crucial to consider physical activity and maintaining lifestyle changes over time.
How to make behavioral changes, what strategies we use to adhere to new ways of eating and increasing physical activity cannot be ignored.
The problem is that making changes to your lifestyle is hard. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic in this country, nor would estimated health care costs for physical inactivity have been $76.6 billion in 2000 (admittedly an older statistic, but unlikely to have improved significantly in recent years).
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on changing how you think about yourself, how you act, and circumstances that surround how you act, is an effective treatment for a wide range of problems, including weight loss. The key is to focus on making changes and then sticking to them.
So, what psychological strategies help people to lose weight and change lifestyle behavior?