February is here. This is the most dangerous month of the year when all New Year’s Resolutions are thrown away. We embarked on an unsustainable diet and crazy exercising regimen in January. But we haven’t really changed. Our Thoughts and Behaviors are still the same. They are sabotaging our efforts to lose weight for good.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is one of the most important pillars of our CogniDiet® Weight Loss Program besides stress reduction techniques and healthy nutrition education. We had over 60 new registrations to our Newsletter in January, so we feel it is important for both our Alumni and newcomers to get refreshed/educated about how we apply CBT to help our participants lose up to 30 pounds in our 12 week program.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT?
“CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel and act better even if the situation does not change.” This is the National Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists (NACBT) definition.
CBT has been widely studied in thousands of clinical trials and is used to promote behavioral changes in people with many types of issues such as depression, ADHD, anxiety, anger, stress, weight loss, eating disorders, and more.
How can CBT help people identify their sabotaging thoughts?
The first step in applying CBT to any challenge is to identify some of the “automatic thought” processes that control your responses.
Unfortunately, you probably have a large number of Sabotaging Automatic Thoughts – we will call them SAT’s – that have been ingrained in your brain for years based on your education, core beliefs and life experiences.
Once these SAT’s are established, they constantly strengthen and reinforce themselves, until they’ve changed your nimble lines of brain communication into thick, stiffened ropes that are challenging to get rid of. Therefore the patterns of unbreakable behaviors.
These SAT’s can cover many aspects of your life – your career, social life, self-esteem, health, or even smaller day-to-day tasks like finding a parking spot. For example, maybe you habitually tell yourself:
I will never succeed in getting a new job, a promotion…
I never can keep a boy/girlfriend, they all leave me
I have no luck, I’ll never find a parking spot
I can never keep the weight off. I am a yo-yo dieter.
Because your brain operates largely on auto-pilot, you may not be aware of how much these SAT’s control your behaviors. What’s worse is that when you are under stress, fatigued or emotionally vulnerable, your overburdened brain is less likely to respond creatively to whatever situation you’re in, and you rely even more on these per-programed SAT’s to guide you. Therefore the overeating when stressed pattern.
If these are the negative thoughts you think about yourself, what are your chances of success with weight loss? Or anything else for that matter?
So let’s imagine you are at a party/restaurant where there is a dangerously appealing buffet. Familiar situation, isn’t it? What are your SAT’s?
I will look awkward if I do not eat like everybody else
I will exercise tomorrow (yeah right!…)
I will be better tomorrow, next week…It is just one event
I am bored, I know nobody, I am eating to look busy
I cannot say no to the food, I may as well enjoy myself and besides, it is free
Who cares, I always fail at dieting (and more SAT’s…)
But then, the next day, instead of doing a better job of controlling temptations, there is a new challenge. And then another one after that and before you know it you look down at the scale and you’ve gained 4 pounds in two days.
With The CogniDiet® Weight Loss Programs you will learn to develop new positive thoughts. You will write them, you will read them, you will visualize them every day. And these new thoughts will lead you to new behaviors when making nutritional choices. more soon on how to develop these thoughts!