Thursday, February 04, 2010


Mind Skills for Lasting Weight Loss

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Knowing what to do to lose weight and applying that knowledge to daily life are two very different things.

For many years, weight-loss programs have expanded education to include several techniques from the field of behavioural psychology. Examples include self-monitoring food intake, exercise and body weight; altering the environment to avoid problem foods, and goal setting.

CBT Techniques
More recently, behaviour modification methods have expanded to include techniques from the field of cognitive therapy. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, or CBT, involves the identification and modification of thinking patterns and negative mood states that can undermine lasting weight loss.1

It is widely recognised that the development of behavioural and cognitive skills learned during weight loss is critical to successful maintenance. Indeed, lacking coping and problem-solving skills appear to be important factors in weight regain after a loss.2 Black-and-white thinking, a cognitive style characterised by viewing actions as being good or bad and as right or wrong, is also a significant predictor of weight regain.3

People who have never been overweight as well as those who have successfully achieved a lasting weight loss share the characteristics of confronting problems directly (95% and 60%, respectively) and using personally developed strategies to help themselves. Those who have lost weight only to regain it are much more likely to eat unconsciously in response to emotions (70%) and not confront problems directly (10%).4

Role of Coping Skills
Successful weight-loss maintainers are less likely to be emotional eaters (using food to regulate their mood).5 They have developed coping skills to deal with stress as well as the skill of flexible restraint,6 which refers to a moderate level of control on eating. The development of coping skills is particularly helpful in dealing with food temptations and preventing the abandonment of weight-management efforts.7 Mental simulation, a cognitive skill that involves creating the process for reaching a goal or dealing with a stressful situation, has also been shown to produce positive results.8

view footnotes

The Weight Watchers Approach:

Behaviour modification is one of the pillars of the Weight Watchers approach and includes traditional behaviour strategies like self-monitoring as well as a unique CBT approach called Weight Watchers Tools for Living.


Other Science Library Topics:

1Liao KL. Cognitive-behavioural approaches and weight management: an overview. J R Soc Health. 2000 Mar;120(1):27-30.

2Byrne SM. Psychological aspects of weight maintenance and relapse in obesity. J Psychosom Res. 2002 Nov;53(5):1029-36.

3Byrne SM, Cooper Z, Fairburn CG. Psychological predictors of weight regain in obesity. Behav Res Ther. 2004 Nov;42(11):1341-56.

4Kayman S, Bruvold W, Stern JS. Maintenance and relapse after weight loss in women: behavioural aspects. Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Nov;52(5):800-7.

5Byrne S, Cooper Z, Fairburn C. Weight maintenance and relapse in obesity: a qualitative study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Aug;27(8):955-62.

6Westenhoefer J, von Falck B, Stellfeldt A, Fintelmann S. Behavioural correlates of successful weight reduction over 3 y. Results from the Lean Habits Study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Feb;28(2):334-5.

7Carels RA, Douglass OM, Cacciapaglia HM, O'Brien WH. An ecological momentary assessment of relapse crises in dieting. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2004 Apr;72(2):341-8.

8Taylor SE, Pham LB, Rivkin ID, Armor DA. Harnessing the imagination. Mental simulation, self-regulation, and coping. Am Psychol. 1998 Apr;53(4):429-39.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

WW Meetings Matter....

Meetings Matter
Elizabeth after
Elizabeth before
Was192 lbs
Lost35.4 lbs*
Weight156.6 lbs
As of28/07/2009

*Results Not Typical

A funny thing happened when I decide to go back to meetings; the weight started coming off again!

A hiatus from meetings made Elizabeth painfully aware that they are the key to her success.

I work as an administrative assistant for a vascular surgeon. My sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition had contributed to some weight gain through the years. Because I am around doctors all day, I became concerned when I noticed that my feet and ankles were swelling. I had gone from a size 10 shoe to a 12 in no time. I asked one of the doctors in the office to take a quick look and was shocked when the doctor informed me that I had developed edema, a swelling caused by fluid in your body's tissues. The main cause of edema is eating a poor diet high in salt and carbohydrates.

Nutrition knowledge
The diagnosis was the wake-up call that I needed, and I started to change my eating habits, tackling weight loss on my own. I had a small amount of success, but became frustrated and decided I needed some additional support. I joined Weight Watchers meetings and started following the POINTS® Weight-Loss System. I immediately fell in love with the plan and all that I was learning. I quickly realised that I simply had lacked knowledge of proper nutrition. Suddenly I had resources and information about how to feed my body to keep it healthy.

As time went on, I decided that I would stop attending meetings and could continue on my own with the plan. Within a few weeks I realised that without the accountability and support of the meeting I was putting the weight back on. I got scared. I saw myself going right back to where I had started. As difficult as it was, I took myself back to meetings and the support and accountability I enjoyed there.

Return and lose
A funny thing happened when I decide to go back; the weight started coming off again! As I sat there the second time through, I realised something. During every meeting I received not only the tips and education I needed to lose the weight, but got well needed support from people who were going through exactly what I was. This isn’t a simple process and being around others who struggle along with you is inspiring.

I love the new me. I can finally buy clothing that I like in stores and have energy and confidence that I thought was gone for good. In meetings I learned skills that have helped me tackle cultural, emotional and physical challenges. I am active and healthy and there is no looking back for me now!

Elizabeth’s tips
  • Think about your goals.
  • Attend meetings.
  • Learn how to read nutrition labels.
  • Exercise.
  • Only you have the power to take charge of what goes in your body. Have the will power to say no.
  • Dance while cleaning and when out at parties! It's good to keep yourself moving and music always helps!
  • Remember you are never a failure. If mess up one day, the next day is a new beginning.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

WW week 3

Week 3 - Weight Watchers.. going strong... lost another 10 pounds!

so 20 pounds in two weeks... if you are not a member of Weight Watchers ... what's stopping you?

It works!

nice that I hit this milestone again!