NYC Weight Loss
New York City does not make weight loss easy. Great food and restaurants everywhere makes gaining weight easy. Entertaining for work, alcohol, competitive work environments, and stress all compound to whittle away at your willpower—making dieting tough.
You have probably lost weight in the past. Losing weight, while challenging, isn’t the toughest part. The hardest part is keeping it off. Maintaining weight loss is the real goal for most people. There are plenty of strategies and maybe even some products that can get you rapid weight loss. But unless you just need weight loss for a photo shoot or a wedding, you will likely gain those pounds back or even more, and be left feeling worse than you did before.
You are not alone. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight. There is no question that it is a common problem. What that tells us is that there are many factors working against us. We need to determine what factors can work for us. Most likely what has worked in the past to lose the weight isn’t right or isn’t enough if you have regained weight.
Contact Page: https://jryanfuller.com/contact/
Weight Gain Causes
What causes us to gain weight? The simple answer is taking in more calories than we burn—that is obvious. But what factors put us at risk for that:
• Tempting foods we see and smell
• How we were raised around food
• Using food to medicate ourselves or manage stress or emotions
• Our genetics
• Underestimating calories in foods
• Overestimating calories burned by exercise
Weight Loss Treatment
Weight loss options in New York City are limitless. You can find everything from shakes delivered to your door to magnets put on your ears as weight loss treatments.
What you want to be sure to ask anyone who is offering the service is for the evidence that their weight loss treatment works. Because unfortunately, science tells us that maintaining weight loss is not very easy or common. You want to be sure whoever you are working with is someone you can trust, and knows how to help you lose weight and keep it off.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for Weight Loss
Believe it or not, for most people I have treated, successfully losing weight is not the problem.
Most people I have seen are not only able to lose weight, they do so pretty quickly working with me, and have done it many times in the past. But, that points to the problem. Losing weight, often times, but not always can be done when motivation is high, we are significantly above our realistic goal weight, and we are coping relatively well with the stressors in our lives.
But how long does that last for most of us? For years I worked in a weight loss center with an interdiscplinary team. There was a dietitian and an exercise physiologist. Our clients received state of the art information on nutrition and exercise. They were able to lose weight. The challenge came from being able to maintain the weight loss. That is what all of the scientific evidence suggests, i.e., losing weight can be done by the vast majority of people working to lose weight. Unfortunately, a very small minority are able to keep the weight off.
There are likely a number of reasons this is the case. Motivation, inability to manage stress and emotions, unworkable long-term strategies, and even poor communication and relationship skills are likely the culprits.
One of the most important factors in losing weight and keeping it off is motivation. For many of us, motivation is high when we start a diet. Maybe we have to squeeze into a dress, or an outfit for an upcoming wedding, party, reunion, or a swimsuit as summer approaches. Perhaps our physician has just warned us about our risk for a heart attack or stroke if we don’t take some inches off of our waistline. Or maybe we have just become inspired after reading someone’s successful weight loss or health reboot story, or book. Whatever the reason, motivation can be key to behavior change, and is critical in weight loss.
And motivation has a tendency to wane over time. There are scientifically supported techniques that a skilled Cognitive Behavior Therapist can use to help you monitor and bolster your motivation when necessary. This is one aspect of weight loss therapy that needs to be regularly assessed. We may know exactly what to eat and how much to exercise, but without enough motivation, it is tough to stick to that diet and exercise plan over the long-run.
Emotional Eating and Exercise Exhaustion
The reason the weight loss program in which I worked, added the behavioral component, is that it was clear they had the best nutritional advice and exercise instruction anyone could receive, but clients were still struggling to follow that guidance. They could be given the best nutrition plan, exercise plan, and personal guidance, but it wasn’t enough. They couldn’t all eat on plan and keep up with the exercise routine.
Stress, emotions, and aversive thoughts were getting in the way. Knowing what to do can be enough when situations are easy. But how many times and for how long are our lives easy, i.e., stress free? It’s never the case.
We are bombarded with stressors in life. Our emotions come and go, both positive and negative. These emotions can be intense. And interestingly, for those of us trying to lose weight, intense positive emotions can put us at risk for overeating just like the negative ones. Who among us hasn’t gone overboard at a celebration with too much alcohol, extra appetizers, huge entree portions, or more than one (or two, or three) desserts? It isn’t just anxiety, anger, depression, shame, and boredom that put us at risk, but excitement, confidence, and plenty of other positives out there that can knock us off of our weight loss plan.
And we haven’t even touched on how our thoughts can wreak havoc on our weight loss goals. Have you ever had a thought like:
“I’ll start tomorrow.”
“This will never work.”
“I’m worthless anyway.”
“What the hell, I’ve already broken my diet, I might as well enjoy myself.”
“It shouldn’t be this hard.”
“It isn’t fair, everyone else gets to eat what they want.”
To continue to be able to eat on plan and lace up our gym shoes day after day, we have to learn how to handle rationalizations and irrational beliefs. This is where effective Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for weight loss can come in. I help clients learn to identify these thinking patterns, and learn new ways to behave on plan instead of taking the implicit advice these thoughts are providing.
Bad habits are tough to break. The good news is that good habits, are habits too. As a behaviorist, I help clients methodically analyze their behavior so we can determine what is maintaining the bad habits that are interfering with their weight loss goals. Once we identify those variables, we can intervene in ways to dismantle the current system and build different behavioral patterns.
It is also important though that the new systems are sustainable. Too often, I’ve seen people adopt new “good habits,” that are too extreme and can’t be maintained. We want new, healthy, adaptive behaviors. But these behaviors have to be ones that can be incorporated into that client’s lifestyle for the long-term.
There are exceptions where I can clinically justify more rapid weight loss with techniques that are not intended to last, e.g., their anesthesiologist is concerned without a significant weight loss before the surgery the client’s life is at risk, or at times I’m willing to help a client if their career requires it, e.g., upcoming shoot for television/film. But typically I would require an understanding of what that means in terms of their health and how to return to a lifestyle change after that discrete time period.
Overall, I work with clients to make lifestyle changes by carefully reducing or eliminating bad habits and building new sustainable behavioral patterns.
Relationships and Communication
And finally, another element that affects many of us when it comes to eating behaviors are our relationships. For some of us, overbearing, enmeshed, tense, or hostile relationships lead us to eat as an escape or way to cope. For others, we are lonely, sad, disappointed, angry, or depressed about our lack of relationships or the distant, cold relationships we have, and may eat to fill a void or numb the pain.
And then there are those times that we are anxious as we are trying to date, or even make a new friend, and rejection or the fear we’ll never get the relationship we want keeps us on edge. And the right kind and right amount of food just seems like the answer. Many times we may not even realize that food is serving to address any of these relationship issues.
Another kind of relationship issue that can be problematic is the case of what I call the saboteur or pusher. These can be well meaning, or sometimes insecure, or envious people around us who are bothered by our new relationship with food. Watching us appear disciplined throws them off guard- it changes the dynamic.
In these cases, they may be pushing, guilting or tempting us to eat off plan to make themselves feel better because our new success makes them feel confused, alone, insecure, angry, envious, etc. It’s also possible that many of them express their love and care by feeding us, and suddenly we are not only saying no to calories, but also to them (this may be unconscious- we are rejecting them and their love). Cognitive Behavior Therapy needs to address these kinds of issues too.
Once again carefully understanding the relationship dynamics is critical to knowing how to intervene. I take a very customized approach by carefully assessing the history of the relationship and the consequences that have recently occurred after the changes in eating.
Then clients can learn how to communicate in ways:
to change enmeshed, tense, hostile relationships by establishing boundaries
assertively address distant relationships and change and/or learn to cope with them better
effectively initiate and maintain romanitc relationships and friendships
and let our family and friends know that we love them, know they love us, and need to find a way other than food to express that.
CBT Efficacy for Weight Loss
CBT can effectively help people lose and maintain that weight loss. To be clear, even CBT is no guarantee the weight will stay off. But if you have difficulty maintaining motivation, establishing realistic goals, coping with emotions and stress, eliminating bad habits and establishing healthy lifestyle habits, and difficulty with communication and relationships, working with a Cognitive Behavior Therapist with a specialty in weight loss may be something worth considering.
Since there are many risks associated with excessive weight and there are even dangers associated with losing too much weight too fast, it could be important to work closely with your physician, while working with a CBT therapist that you trust.
Before starting weight loss treatment, be sure to determine if this is the right time. Since 90% of people who lose weight regain it within one year, you want to be sure this is the right time. Unfortunately, if you lose 20 pounds and then regain 20 pounds, you don’t go back to the exact same body. Your weight will be the same, but your metabolism won’t.
When you lose weight and regain weight, you lose and regain percentages of muscle and fat. And these ratios are not typically the same when we lose and regain. So, you may return to the same weight, but you will now have more fat and less muscle on your body. And that means your metabolism is now lower than it was before your successful weight loss.
The impact—if you eat the same amount of food you did before, you will now gain weight instead of staying at the same weight. You would have been better off never having lost weight in the first place.
Contact Page: https://jryanfuller.com/contact/
Weight Loss Therapy
Understanding what you can do to change the ratios of muscle loss when losing weight is just one factor you and a CBT therapist or other professional need to consider. Recognizing the role that habits, emotions, thinking, and other people play in triggering overeating or mindless eating is also critical.
If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment, please call my office.
Weight loss is a common goal for all Americans. It is even something that many people have done successfully- for a time. But the data indicate that most people who lose weight regain it, and some times even additional weight.
Many people have an extensive knowledge of nutrition and are very experienced with physical exercise. While those two domains are critical to weight loss and maintenance, most of us have discovered that knowledge in these areas are not adequate to successfully maintain a significant weight loss. There are numerous reasons for this, depending on each individual’s unique circumstances.
It is unlikely that the primary cause is not knowing what wonder supplement or new exercise trend to embrace. Typically there are emotional and psychological mechanisms that prevent people from maintaining long-term motivation and compliance with their nutritional and physical activity targets. That is where an effective, experienced clinician may be able to help. Through careful analysis of the emotional, relationship, cognitive, and behavioral domains we identify the mechanisms responsible for the behaviors that lead to weight gain. We work to eliminate the suffering caused from self-blame and establish lifestyle changes that promote health and greater life satisfaction. Maintaining a significant weight loss is possible. Perhaps more important, many clients become more accepting and satisfied with themselves and their lives, not because of the weight loss, but through the therapy process.