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Counseling and Behavioral Therapy

Consider counseling or behavioral therapy if you feel that stress or emotions play a role in your eating habits. Obesity is often associated with unhelpful thought patterns related to your social image and frustration with attempts to lose weight. Often these thoughts can be a barrier to success. By working with a therapist, you can learn to understand:

  • When you tend to overeat
  • Why you tend to overeat
  • How to combat overeating tendencies

Therapy may help improve adult short-term weight loss. Therapy can also be beneficial for children and teens who are obese. Children who are trying to lose weight may get the most benefit from group therapy that focuses on diet and behavior changes.

Counseling can also help you manage stress and cope with any negative feeling you may have.

Weight Loss Programs

Weight loss programs are available in a number of different formats. Some provide only group support. Others provide one-on-one counseling along with meal replacements. Programs are also available online, where you can join a chat room or add your comments to a message board. No matter which format, many people find that getting support is helpful.

Support

Seek help or encouragement from your friends, family, and health care provider.

Consider joining a support group.

References:

Obesity. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/nutritional-disorders/obesity-and-the-metabolic-syndrome/obesity. Update December 2016. Accessed February 23, 2017.

Obesity in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115009/Obesity-in-adults. Updated November 20, 2016. Accessed February 23, 2017.

Obesity in children and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115153/Obesity-in-children-and-adolescents. Updated January 30, 2017. Accessed February 23, 2017.

Treatment. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/treatment. Updated February 23, 2017. Accessed February 23, 2017.

9/25/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115153/Obesity-in-children-and-adolescents: Garipağaoğlu M, Sahip Y, Darendeliler F, Akdikmen O, Kopuz S, Sut N. Family-based group treatment versus individual treatment in the management of childhood obesity: randomized, prospective clinical trial. Eur J Pediatr. 2009;168(9):1091-1099.



Last reviewed February 2017 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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