Cognitive Therapy for Weight Loss
It is also important to keep in mind that the factors maintaining excess weight are different for different people, which is why there can never be a “magic bullet” weight loss cure that works for everybody, despite advertiser’s claims. A study conducted in Spain and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests that the hormonal biomarkers leptin and ghrelin were able to identify obese people more likely to regain weight after dieting. It is as if their brains were more resistant to hormonal signals of fullness. Other studies have shown that people prone to emotional eating, that is eating in response to depression or anxiety, are also more likely to regain weight. There is a research base suggesting a link between abuse and attachment problems and obesity. Environmental factors such as poverty, lack of access to healthy food and exercise facilities, lack of time, and cultural practices also play a part in the weight loss and fitness picture.
As clinical psychologists and counselors working with overweight or obese patients, it is important to know about the research regarding weight loss and maintenance so we can individualize treatment to our clients’ lifestyles, biological makeup, and emotional and environmental factors, use approaches that have research support. We should also keep in mind the importance of working collaboratively with other professionals, such as exercise trainers, dieticians, and doctors, to most effectively help the patient. The rewards of this work are that you can teach people new healthy lifestyles that should help to prolong their lives.