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Why would someone need to see a psychologist to deal weight loss issues?

Different from traditional psychotherapy, psychological services can be helpful in the process of losing weight.

Most people who seek counseling for weight-loss issues have been unsuccessful in various attempts at losing weight, including diet, exercise and maintenance.

Several aspects of an individual’s life can influence food habits, and therefore, their weight. Our moods, our support systems, even our finances can have an effect on what we chose to eat and why.


How will counseling benefit me in my weight loss efforts?

Traditionally, everyone knows how to lose some weight. Weight loss maintenance is much more difficult. Typically, in an effort to lose weight, more extreme changes are made that allows a person to lose weight quickly. However, most people are unrealistic as to the difficulty in maintaining the extreme changes that resulted in their initial weight loss. As a result, people tend to revert to old eating patterns which reverses their weight loss.

Two major factors to losing weight and keeping it off include:

  1. Not feeling deprived with the changes you have made.
  2. Making those changes lasting and permanent.

A key predictor to success with weight loss maintenance is making life long changes in what you eat and how you eat without suffering emotionally.


How do I achieve success in weight loss?

Learning to rethink choices, and the development of new reward systems is one place to start. The creation of a realistic exercise plan will also help contribute to your long-term goals. With counseling in these areas, you will become more confident in your ability to maintain these changes and succed in your long-term weight loss goals.

Weight loss counseling is critical in helping to eliminate cravings which too often lead to unhealthy food choices. Reshaping one's thoughts can go a long way towards reducing a major pitfall which is re-engaging in bad food habits.


What is the next step?

Developing a plan to improve your chances of success with losing and keeping off the weight is different for everyone. An initial appointment will go over your history and circumstances and the habits which may be interfering with your success so far. A plan for reaching your goals will be discussed which will take all factors in your life into consideration.

Everyone is different. Not all people struggling with weight are “emotional eaters”- your strategies, and your plan will depend on what seems to be getting in the way for you and the outcomes you want to achieve.


I see a lot of commercials for weight loss surgery. I looked into it and the surgeon’s office says I need to see a psychologist before I can be approved, why?

Surgery is a tool. There are many factors involved in determining whether you are an appropriate candidate for weight loss surgery. For extreme weight loss of mordibly obese individuals, bariatric surgery is an inceasingly popular option and has been found to be a very effective tool in long-term weight loss.

Many surgeons now recognize that individuals have better post-operative results when they are evaluated by a psychologist before bariatric surgery.

Pre-surgical psychological clearance helps to identify risk factors related to making and maintaining lifestyle and dietary changes nessesary to maximize post-operative goals.