Emotion & Weightloss – APA Poll

An APA poll of psychologists has cited emotions as the top obstacle to weight loss.

The survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, asked more than 1,300 licensed psychologists how they dealt with clients’ weight and weight loss challenges.

The strategies that were essential to losing weight and keeping it off, according to psychologists, was an ability of “understanding and managing the behaviors and emotions related to weight management”.  This played a crucial role in addressing weight loss with their clients (44%).

Survey respondents also cited the obvious “emotional eating” as a barrier to weight loss, and included “maintaining a regular exercise schedule” and “making proper food choices in general” as keys to shedding pounds. In general, gaining self-control over behaviors and emotions related to eating were both key, indicating that the two go together.

92% of the 306 respondents who provide weight loss treatment reported helping a client “address underlying emotional issues related to weight gain.”

More than 70 percent identified cognitive therapy, problem-solving and mindfulness as “excellent” or “good” weight loss strategies.  In addition, motivational strategies, keeping behavioral records and goal-setting were also important in helping clients to lose weight and keep it off, according to survey results. 

Anyone who has ever tried to lose a few pounds and keep them off knows that doing so isn’t easy. The good news is that research and clinical experience have shown that, in addition to behavioral approaches, cognitive behavioral therapy that targets emotional barriers helps people lose weight,” said Norman B. Anderson, PhD, chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association.

To read more on this survey read the entire article.

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