Did you know that psychology can help you lose weight? Diets and physical exercises are the first practices indicated for those looking to start the process of food reeducation and weight loss, but what few know is how psychology can collaborate in the challenge of losing weight and present good results against binge eating problems, responsible for obesity and its various health risks.
“Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a line of psychology that is based on the analysis and modification of dysfunctional behaviors. Through it we can discover the triggers that lead the patient to an inadequate diet ”, explains psychologist Lauren Archilla, from SPA Sorocaba. The professional explains that the reasons for these behaviors can vary between simple matters, such as the restructuring of the daily routine, and deeper ones, such as, for example, an abusive relationship that had not yet been identified as such.
According to Archilla, CBT has no contraindications and is used, mainly, in cases where it is necessary to have a quick attack on a certain behavior, be it related to compulsions, anxiety, insomnia, among others. The professional also explains that therapeutic treatment can be indicated at more than one moment in life. “We often notice a certain behavior, but it comes back after a while, triggered by another circumstance. Therefore, it is not contraindicated to return to therapy after a first discharge, quite the opposite ”, he concludes.
Recognized by the Brazilian Association for the Study of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome (ABESO) as one of the main tools for maintaining long-term dietary reeducation, CBT is usually performed between 12 and 40 sessions, and you can see the first results from the fifth session. In some cases, it may be necessary to use medications in parallel to therapy.
Weight loss and automated behavior
Another line of psychology that acts on weight loss is enthusiast physical educator Bruno Cabreira, Specialist in Biochemistry, Physiology, Nutrition and Physical Performance by the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), member of the Brazilian Society of Personal Trainers, Co-Founder of the Order of Personal Trainers of Brazil (OPTB) and creator of the Emagreça Sem Dieta program.
For Cabrera, who follows international research on the topic, habitual and automated behaviors are totally connected with obesity or the difficulty of maintaining long-term weight loss.
According to the surveys, among people looking for conventional methods, such as diets or physical exercises, 40% recover the weight lost in up to one year and the vast majority of the rest of this group regains weight in up to three years.
Our daily routine is nothing more than a sequence of decisions, however, what studies show is that approximately 45% of them are made on “autopilot”. Among these decisions, 200 of them are food options.
The opposite of “automated behavior” is what studies classify as “flexible behavior”. The breaking of unwanted habits creating new responses to the individual’s environment is what builds flexible behavior.
The solution to breaking a bad habit is to insert new tasks into the routine, creating a condition for the brain to get used to the changes and assimilate them more easily and rationally. In the case of good habits, we use this brain’s ability to memorize our routine actions in our favor.
“For those people who specifically aim to control obesity.
If they are not able to break the bad habits that led them to be overweight, there is no diet that will make them lose weight in a healthy and continuous way. And this is the cause of the dreaded accordion effect ”, says Cabrera.
By Antonio Montano