Behavioral Therapy

Set The Right Goals

  • Don't just focus on weight loss alone as your goal, but on the lifestyle changes that will lead to it. Select two or three goals that are specific, attainable and forgiving. Don't just plan to "exercise more," but plan to "walk for 30 minutes 5 or six times a week." Your success with this goal is easily monitored.

Step By Step

  • Behavioral therapists suggests something called "shaping." This means selecting a series of gradual goals that bring you closer and closer to the long term goal. Hence, don't cut your fat calories to 30% right away, but first to 40%, and then to 35%. These consecutive goals (together with their consecutive rewards) will keep you committed.

Self Monitoring

  • Monitoring your own behavior and keeping a record can be a powerful incentive for you to keep it up. For example, if your exercise records show that your sessions are becoming longer and more frequent, this can prove a great encouragement to you. Monitoring your weight is best done with a chart or graph, rather than with numbers. Day to day individual weights mean relatively little, but the overall pattern revealed by a chart will be much more instructive.

Avoid Eating Cues

  • Monitoring your own behavior may reveal what cues often lead you to unplanned and unwanted eating. If your diary shows that you often eat empty calories while watching television, don't keep food out and visible around your entertainment area.

Let Yourself Feel "Full"

  • Changing the way you go about eating can make it easier to eat less without feeling deprived. It takes 15 or more minutes for your brain to get the message you've been fed. Slowing the rate of eating can allow fullness signals to begin to develop meal's end. Eating lots of vegetables can also make you feel fuller. Setting an eating schedule can be helpful if you tend to skip meals and overeat later.
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