How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help You Lose Weight
While it might be easy to blame your shortcomings as a lack of willpower, recent research and studies show that your weight loss struggles may be due to your brain is wired.
Researchers have identified the main parts of the brain influence factors like self-control and motivation, both being major contributors to your weight loss and exercise success. They identified these areas by detecting activity in the brain using an MRI scan.
As part of the study, they had folks workout and watch motivational videos while connected to the MRI machine. Through this they determined which parts of the brain were related to physical exercise, weight loss, and motivation. Another key aspect in this research highlighted the purpose and effects of two major hormones responsible for hunger and food motivation: ghrelin and leptin. These hormones were found to be the major influencers, making people to be more likely to eat more whenever they started dropping weight.
At it’s most basic, this is probably linked to an evolutionary response that would help us keep and maintain our body weight, ensuring we always had enough stored energy to sustain us through the lean times like Winter, when food became more sparse.
The results of this research have helped scientists identify potential causes in the brain that result in an inability to lose weight, but also pointed out some potential solutions. Namely, cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) was shown to have great promise considering the findings of the research.
CBT and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) provide a set of tools to work through the problems you experience that may be influencing your excessive eating habits. These tools can help you rewire your brain.
Many of us are stress eaters, meaning we eat excessively to cope with anything in our lives that cause us stress. Generally, this habit of behavior includes eating a lot of comfort food in response to emotions, which can lead to a rapid increase in weight.
CBT/REBT can help you lose weight by increasing your motivation, as well as your self-control, which are things that that many of us struggle with. By ensuring you have the proper tools to cope, CBT/REBT enables you to have more control over your eating habits, and thus making you less likely to snack or cheat on your plan.