One Year of Daily Diet Tips

Our Diet Program Coordinator, Deborah Beck Busis, has posted a Daily Diet Solution each weekday for over a year now!  Check out our Daily Diet Solutions page to see all of our diet tips.

CBT for Diet

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Weight Loss in Family Members

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for weight loss produces healthier eating habits and motivation for physical activity in adults and their adult family members. In the current study, CBT treatment positively influenced weight, food choices, and physical activity among participants and family members (mainly spouses). The significant correlation between participants and their spouses, in terms of weight loss and positive lifestyle habits, suggests that family support may be an important mechanism contributing to favorable outcomes of treatment.

Rossini R., et al., (2011). Effects of cognitive-behavioral treatment for weight loss in family members. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 111, 1712-9.

Workshop on Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Weight Loss and Maintenance

This weekend Dr. Judith Beck and I (Deborah Beck Busis, Diet Program Coordinator) presented a workshop at the Beck Institute on Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Weight Loss and Maintenance.  We had a great time teaching dieters and maintainers, diet coaches, and health and mental health professionals how we apply CBT principles and techniques to the difficult problem of overweight and obesity. We used lecture, role play, and lots of Q and A.   

Some of the topics we covered were:

  • Overview of the Beck Diet Solution Program
  • Sabotaging Thinking
  • Assessment Initiating Treatment, and Structuring Sessions
  • Pre-Dieting Skills
  • Eating Habits
  • Hunger, Craving, and Emotional Eating
  • Dealing with deprivation, discouragement, and disappointment
  • The Long Haul and Maintenance
  • Reluctant Dieters and Real Life Compromises

On their evaluation forms, participants indicated that the workshop was very helpful and we hope they will use this knowledge to enrich their work with dieters and/or themselves.  As of now, our next diet workshop at the Beck Institute is scheduled for June 2, 2012.  Check back in with us and our website, though, because we add new workshops periodically. Below is a video of me discussing the importance of staying on track and getting back on track when mistakes happen:

A Cognitive Behavioral Approach to Emotional Eating

judith-beck_1024w.jpgA therapist on a listserv I subscribe to asked for a book recommendation for her patient who struggles with emotional eating. I wrote the following reply: 

If your patient doesn’t have an eating disorder, she might try the skills in one of the CBT books I’ve written for consumers on dieting and maintenance ( People need the same skill set for resisting eating when it’s not a scheduled time to eat—regardless of whether the desire or impulse to eat has an emotional, physiological, environmental, social, or mental trigger.

For example, they need to learn how to continually motivate themselves to stick to a specific or general plan, how to label and monitor their experience without intervening with food, how to distract themselves (initially), how to accept the discomfort of not eating, how to give themselves credit to build their sense of self-efficacy, etc. Emotional eaters also need to respond to their beliefs about emotional eating. Two typical beliefs are “If I’m upset, I deserve to comfort myself with food,” and “If I’m upset, the only way I can calm down is by eating.”

I’ve found that my clients are often a bit stymied when I ask them how other people cope with distress without eating.  Of course, it’s also helpful to use a standard CBT approach—having patients respond to cognitions associated with their initial distress, do problem-solving, etc. Learning all these skills takes concentrated effort—and therapists have to decide when in treatment to focus on emotional eating, particularly if the patient has a psychiatric or psychological problem