Have you had difficulty shedding those excess pounds ?  Perhaps you have lost weight in the past only to put the weight back on?  You start a diet with good intentions but always seem to sabotage it after a few weeks or months  then  label yourself  ‘weak’, ‘unmotivated’, or even ‘stupid’. If this sounds like you, then you are not alone.

When most people think of losing weight, they only tend to think about what they eat.

Questions revolve around how much fat, protein and carbs to eat. Some  may even try  unhealthy  fad diets.  While nutritional information  is very important, it’s not the whole answer. What many tend to ignore is how they approach and manage the process of change. In other words many people just don’t  know how to diet.


It is crucial to consider changes in behaviour and strategies that encourage a new relationship towards the food that we eat. An increase in physical activity is also important.

How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy  can help with  weight loss

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (C.B.T) addresses your thoughts and beliefs and how they affect your behaviors. The goal of this therapy is to  teach you  how to make permanent changes in your thinking, so that you can  make permanent changes in your eating. A  cognitive behavioral therapist can help you to identify self defeating behaviors which block you from achieving your weight loss goals.

These will often include emotional eating, disappointment, discouragement and even rebellion. People who struggle  to lose weight can have very negative views about their body image. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help  to change a person’s view of their body image and its importance to them. While body image is  important in our society, it should not define a person. Therapy  can be used to change a person’s obsession with their  body image and  show them that there is more to being human than how they appear.


Hypnotherapy can also help

Hypnotherapy can help individuals stick to their eating plan by providing effective   techniques to help them modify their current behaviors and attitudes. If one has a goal of losing weight, has an ideal weight in mind and can visualize achieving that goal then hypnosis can  motivate a person  to maximize their motivation. Hypnosis is a wonderful way of dealing with anxiety and stress and can enhance the  mental and physical relaxation that neutralizes the way stress affects eating behaviour and metabolism.

Cognitive Behavioural Strategies that work

What follows is a sample of some self help strategies that can help people  lose weight and change lifestyle behavior.

1. Setting goals

If you want to meet your weight loss goals, then consider the following  simple ideas.

1.1 Set specific goals. If your goals are specific then you are far more likely to achieve them.

1.2 Set attainable achievable goals.

Your goals don’t have to be big ones. You may find it helpful to break your goals down into small steps.

Support and constructive feedback about  your progress enhances a positive outcome. 

Help and  encouragement from another person can increase your chances of success. A therapist, coach or diet buddy  can encourage by reminding you that your efforts are worthwhile.

2. You can learn how to tolerate those frustrating cravings

If you have failed to stick to a diet, then low frustration tolerance may be at the root of your broken goal. This arises when you experience a frustrating situation or feeling and blow it way out of proportion.You may believe that it’s just too difficult to follow a diet and that you cannot stand the unpleasant feelings associated with abstaining from chocolate and cream cakes. Perhaps you experience the day from hell  and believe you can’t stand feeling upset.You tell yourself ‘This should not be happening to me’ and get angry. Instead of dealing with your feelings, you medicate the emotions by overeating.

Have you ever heard yourself saying ….

‘I must eat now’

‘It’s terrible to wait till dinnertime’

‘I must have my daily fix of chocolate right NOW’

When working towards a goal such as weight loss there will almost inevitably be some hassles such as emotional discomfort and cravings. The good news is that you can challenge the notion that you ‘should not have to experience food cravings’. Food cravings can be uncomfortable but they are tolerable, especially when compared to  significant  pain such as a broken arm or leg.

Food cravings always leave providing you make the firm decision that you are not going to give into the craving and instead focus on something else. You may need to engage in up to 5 activities or tasks before the craving goes away or just watch your craving rise and peak and then subside without doing anything about them. Once you realize that you can take control of your cravings instead of being at there beck and call you will feel liberated. Once a craving subsides, give yourself enormous credit. you deserve it.

Use rational coping statements

Rational coping statements are assertions that you make to yourself to help you cope with food cravings and tackle difficult situations.

You can write coping statements down on a card and carry them around with you to use in challenging situations or at the first sign of a craving. You can use or modify the following  coping statements or create your own.

Cravings may be unpleasant but they are temporary and tolerable.

I can always plan to eat a food I crave tomorrow.

I  feel badly if I give into a craving but terrific when I don’t.

I can still accept myself even when I make a mistake like eating the wrong food.

It’s sometimes hard to stick to a diet but it’s even harder when I don’t.

If I slip up on my diet that only proves I am a fallible but still acceptable human being.

Exercise creates positive feelings

Do you stop yourself  from taking regular exercise? Perhaps you think that in order to start exercising  you have to feel  in the mood . But that’s like putting the cart before the horse.  Instead, tell yourself that the hardest part is getting started. Get in touch with the positive good feelings that come once you have exercised and focus on that feeling. Remind yourself that your reluctance will evaporate once you get started.

WatchFit Experts change lives!

And they can do the same for you.


Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans