It’s a familiar pattern. Start a diet, stick to it really well, lose pounds, or even a stone or two and feel great. Then the old eating habits return, weight starts to go back on and sure enough, you’re back to your old pre-diet weight.
It is estimated that in the last year, 65% of women and 44% of men dieted, and 1 in 4 adults reported that they were on a diet most of the time.
So, something isn’t working. This is where cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help.
CBT can help with keeping to a healthy eating regime or help you to stick to a diet you are following, because it isn’t just about what you eat (your behaviour).
Instead, it is important to consider your thoughts -what you think about food, what you think about what you eat, what you think about what you don’t eat, what you think about you.
CBT also considers your emotions – how you feel when you eat, how you feel when you don’t eat, what you feel about food, what you feel about yourself.
Everyone knows what they should be eating but what gets in the way of maintaining healthy eating behaviour is our head! What we think and then how we feel.
CBT will help you make changes in the way you think and feel about food so that you can make the changes and maintain healthy behaviour.
With the tools of CBT, you will learn how to:
- resist cravings and cope with feeling hungry
- be honest with yourself about how much you eat
- reward or soothe yourself without using food
- cope with feeling helpless or hopeless when you gain weight
- plan what you eat each day
- manage those unhelpful thoughts that lead to you overeating, feeling demoralised and giving up.
So if you are fed up with constantly dieting with no success, maybe it is time to look beyond what you are eating and instead look at your thoughts and feelings around food.