Ironically, counseling may be the key to dealing with the stress of weight loss!
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has been released examining the success rates of various diets and subsequent weight loss and permanent habit change. Interestingly, while the four diets used for the study varied amongst one another, all subjects (regardless of type of diet) experienced significant weight loss. It was noted that all subjects who participated in the study also followed an exercise program, which also likely contributed to the weight loss.How people lose weight varies dramatically, hence the reason for undertaking a study that looks at what specific diet works the best (and with the fewest problems and side effects). Most experts will agree that one simple rule to follow when losing weight is to a) eat less food, and b) exercise more. Since all the subjects who participated in this study did just that, it should be no surprise that they also experienced a healthy amount of weight loss over the course of the 2-year study.The interesting, and potentially overlooked variable in this study, however, may be the individual counseling each subject received while participating in the weight loss program. It was reported that all subjects received individual counseling every 8 weeks throughout the 2-year study, prompting the question of how important is individual counseling as it applies to healthy, long-term weight loss? Learning how to cope with the stress of weight loss is ultimately what leads to habit change and weight loss success.People who have tried to lose weight, be it through low-fat, no-fat, low calorie, or any other approach to modified eating, almost always hit mental roadblocks and walls in their pursuit of reaching their weight-loss goal. In these moments, people without accountability or support leave themselves very at-risk for easy cheating (and sabotaging their weight loss program). If nothing else, professional counseling can provide solutions to those concerns.It seems to me, and the NEJOM study backs this up, that just about any approach to dieting will work, but that individual/group counseling may be the most important variable in the equation.While this variable was barely mentioned in the news story, it may actually be the most important piece to successful weight loss. When examining any type of behavior modification (i.e. weight loss), goal setting, goal attainment measurement, stress and anxiety relief, and general support and encouragement are all incredibly important components that help people successfully reach their end-goal state. Professional counseling offers all of this, and the integration of regular counseling could just be the “missing link” of you are someone who has done the weight loss-gain yo-yo over the years.Check out “Changing Habits for Life Success” audio program for more help with losing weight!www.drstankovich.com