By Tracy Stevens, LPCA | Mindsight Behavioral Group
Most of us have been in a place in our lives where we want to lose weight or become healthier. It could have been a New Year’s resolution, a special event or even a health scare to motivate us. No matter the reasoning or the methods of becoming healthier, the journey to a healthier lifestyle can be a long and difficult one, especially if you go it alone.
According to the CDC, in 2014 about 71% of adults in the United States over the age of 20 are overweight, of that about 38% are considered obese. Research on dieting alone is not much more promising. Studies show that less than 20% of obese participants were able to lose 5% of their body weight and keep it off for 5 years.
What is the reasoning diets alone don’t work? There are many reasons and factors that play into weight loss, but many professionals believe that the most effective weight loss programs are effective because they combine diet, exercise and mental health support.
To change how we act, sometimes we have to change how we think. Look at us as a society, we use food as a positive reward, as treats and as a means of celebration.
On Valentines day we show those we love just how important they are with candy, on Easter we fill baskets of goodies to make kids happy and on Halloween candy is a staple of trick or treating fun. We use cake and ice cream to celebrate our birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. Anything of importance we tend to celebrate with delicious food. Food is a staple of survival not just a means of celebration. I’m not saying we have to do away with everything delicious, but when it comes to wanting change, sometimes we have to change the way we look at things.
Diets and the types of food eaten have both been linked to various negative side effects such as depression, anxiety, irritability, binge-eating and obsessive thoughts about food. These are all issues that can be addressed with a trusted counselor. Many therapists and counselors are able to help identify these side effects and help develop coping skills to work through these changes and thoughts. Counselors are also able to help identify the reasoning behind emotional or comfort eating and help you develop skills to avoid it in the future.
The weight loss journey should not be a lonely one. Finding an experienced support group can make the journey more successful and satisfying. Weight loss professionals such as Physicians, Nutritionist and Mental Health providers can work together and work with you to provide the needed support to help you become successful in meeting your goals.
If you're interested in joining a support group or are considering counseling to assist you in your weight loss journey, we can help! You can call our office anytime at 606-401-2966 or check us out on facebook.