Weight problems can be a struggle either you want to lose or gain some. According to statistics, 33% of adults living in the U.S. are overweight while the other 36% are obese. Moreover, one in every six children in US is obese as well. Many people gain some weight for several reasons. Such instances occur like when some recover from accidents or other health related issues. When we talk about losing weight, many people tries to eat less and do activities or exercises appropriate for themselves. However, one important thing in controlling your weight is to simply understand and manage your behaviors and thoughts toward positive output as well as identify barriers that can hinder losing weight.
Seeing a psychologist about weight control
Psychologists are individuals who are expert in helping people who wants to make changes regarding their lifestyle and behaviors to thoroughly assist them in accomplishing their desired goals. Often psychologists work individually as a private practitioner or as a part of healthcare providers team together with patients and families independently where medical services and mental health. Usually, a psychologist attends to patients referred by dietitians, doctors or some other healthcare professionals. People who ask for help or advice varies among age groups. Some are seeking help on how to efficiently manage their weight while others ask for advice on health problems such as those individuals with diabetes or chronic heart conditions or people who suffer from eating disorders and depression.
What happens during visits with a psychologist?
During the first visit, the psychologist would ask for pertinent information that could help in your case. These information would include your health history and other concerns like target goals in weight management, past efforts done to ensure weight loss, stress levels or anxiety, medical background, social support and your current life condition. For the psychologist to effectively help you, he/she may ask about your attitude and habits towards food, eating, and body image and weight loss issues that can hinder in your health aims. Some unhealthy beliefs many patients raised are the act of having to clean the plate, eating desserts after meal and feeling down whenever weight loss efforts are unsuccessful. Common behaviors include: binge eating after workout or when depressed, stressed, or bored; as well as being unable to stop eating even when not hungry. Such beliefs and behaviors become barriers in losing weight. A psychologist task is to assess the condition of the patient for symptoms of anxiety, eating problems and depression. Binge eating for instance leads to weight issues.
Developing a treatment plan
At the end of the first visit the psychologist already has an overview of the patient’s status. They then tackle which things the patient should continue and which things to improve. They also distinguish the areas which the patient finds difficult to change in weight management. After which, follow up checkups are scheduled and a plan for treatment is made. Treatment plans are concise and unique for every individual. It includes plans to change old behaviors and beliefs, self- monitoring, and teaching patients about coping skills. Psychologists help patients to identify barriers on weight management, give ideas on how to change bad habits and develop positive attitude.
Progressing and improving
After several visits, patients then report positive results and changes. Like for instance, a patient starts to change old beliefs and behaviors pertaining to food. Patients may also practice the new beliefs in order to attain their goals. Both the psychologist and the patient should work together hand in hand so that treatments will be successful. However only the patient can determine how long the treatments last. On patients suffering from severe depression, anxiety, or having eating problems, their treatments take longer and frequent sessions are needed.
Changing your eating habits
There are steps that are helpful especially in changing unhealthy thoughts and eating behaviors. Try to check on your behavior. Track down your daily consumption to effectively control your weight. List down all your feelings, thoughts and other pertinent information about your surroundings to better identify barriers on your eating attitude and find the areas to improve or change.
Monitor your activity status. This is one of the essential things to consider when self- monitoring. Use a pedometer in recording the steps you take every day. Eat meals regularly.
Do not skip breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day. Skipping breakfast can do you only harm because it only tries to slow down your metabolism making you more prone to binge eating. This can only give negative effects on an individual’s health and lead to more problems later.
Be aware of what you eat. Pay attention on what you take in your body.