CONCI prides itself in keeping up-to-date with the latest research in obesity management in order to provide the best possible patient care. East Office dietitian Tricia Lamantia recently attended a weight management conference with the intent of bringing back to CONCI new information and ideas to help our patients with their weight loss challenges. A presentation about cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT, caught our dietitian’s attention.
Cognitive behavioral therapy acknowledges that eating is NOT automatic like the beating of a heart. The goal of CBT is to recognize the pattern that leads to eating and overeating. In most eating circumstances there is a situation/trigger, an automatic thought, and then a behavioral reaction. There are many triggers that lead to eating (environmental, biological, social, mental, and emotional). The goal of CBT is to change the automatic thought brought on by the trigger from a sabotaging thought to a positive, reinforcing thought. Once aware of the automatic thought, a helpful technique is to make a “response card” to remind the individual how he/she truly wants to respond to a certain trigger. Reading the response card daily helps reinforce the desired behavior.
A response card for a patient who struggles with emotional eating may read, “This food may bring comfort to me now, but it won’t bring me comfort when I am feeling sick from overeating and mad at myself for going off of my plan.”
A response card for a patient who struggles with frequent cravings may read, “When I have a craving, I know it goes away once I get distracted. Things to do: 1. Take a walk, 2. Play a game on my phone, 3. Call a friend.”
If CBT appeals to you, more information can be found in The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person by Judith S. Beck, PhD.