I completed my master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition in 2006, ready to help people achieve better health through diet and find a long lasting solution to weight loss.
Though I was armed with extensive nutritional knowledge, there was a big ingredient missing in my coaching methodology. People needed dietary information and guidance, to be sure, but even when you know how to eat better, it’s not easy to change lifelong habits. So in 2013 I attended The Beck Institute For Cognitive Behavior Therapy, took a special course led by Judith Beck, PhD, and read multiple books about CBT.
Why is that? Why was it so hard for my clients to stick to a healthy diet? Why don’t people always act in their own best interest?
Psychologists have studied this issue extensively. Fortunately, I discovered the area of clinical psychology that is one of the best-proven to help people make life changes: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Beginning in the 1960’s, Aaron Beck, MD, whom I met personally in 2013 at The Beck Institute in Philadelphia, and other pioneers wanted to offer patients a therapeutic intervention that worked quickly and led to measurable results. The method they developed – cognitive behavioral therapy – is among the best-researched and published methods in psychology.
Cognitive behavioral methods have been proven to be effective in a wide range of behavioral and functional conditions, including:
Cognitive behavioral therapy is also used to help you change eating behavior and promote weight loss. Judith Beck, PhD has written many books about it.
Taking a cognitive behavioral approach to weight loss means understanding the habits of thought that control your behaviors. Before you reach for that cookie, there has been a thought in your brain, What is it. Our curriculum helps participants find out what their sabotaging thoughts are, and how to replace them with positive thinking that will help them change their eating habits.
There are three steps to follow:
1. Identify a thought that you may not be aware of that nonetheless guides your actions. Perhaps, for example, you might think to yourself: I don’t want to diet because then I’ll be burdened with thinking about food and diet all the time.
2. Exchange the thought for a more effective one, or a positive one as we call them. For example, you could remind yourself that you’re already burdened by constantly feeling bad about your weight. You’d be better off acknowledging your situation, then find positive actions to get to be thinner, healthier, and feel better about yourself.
3. Practice. Continue to identify the negative thoughts that drive you and replace them with more positive ones. With practice, the process becomes easier and more automatic. Practice in your head, practice with journaling, practice with meditation, practice with art – drawing, painting, making a collage of a new you.
Many weight loss programs can help you to lose weight. The true measure of success is the lasting results after six months, one year, three years, and, in fact, the rest of your life.
My experience with cognitive behavioral therapy has convinced me that it holds the key to this type of long-term success. CBT is not the only ingredient I use. We also apply neuroplasticity principles, stress relief and mindfulness techniques. But CBT is at the core of our curriculum.
Join the hundreds of successful graduates of the CogniDiet Program and learn the effective methods to regain and maintain a healthy weight in your busy, stressful life. You can do it, if you put your mind to it. We have achieved a 95% success rate.
What I also learned after two years leading this weight loss program is that other changes can occur. Some of our participants, as they lost weight and transformed their life style, also started to initiate other changes in their lives. To name a few: finance management, relationships or careers. Their successful weight loss, after so many failed attempts, taught them they could change anything in their lives, if they put their mind to it. So if they could lose weight, they could also start a new job and succeed at that too!
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And as somebody said once: if you discipline your mind, your body will follow.