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If your own efforts to lose weight have failed and/or co-existing medical conditions make it crucial for you to lose weight, we may choose to develop a treatment that doesn't include surgery. Medication can help address obesity-related health problems, while changing certain behaviors can play an important part of any weight loss regimen. We can help you develop a plan to incorporate behavioral strategies that will help change dietary habits and increase your activity level. Eating disorders require treatment by one of our therapists, and may also require medication.
Over the long term, most obese adults who lose weight return to their baseline weight if they don't incorporate ongoing behavioral changes. There are techniques for initiating and maintaining changes in your lifestyle that can help you keep the weight off once you lose it.
Some behavioral strategies include:
Keeping a food journal of what you eat, when and where you ate, when you got hungry, and the feelings you had while eating. In many cases, simply being more aware of your eating habits can help you reduce your calorie intake.
Keeping an activity journal. This will give you a better sense of your activity level and may encourage you to incorporate more activity in your day-to-day schedule.
These techniques are also useful for analyzing eating and activity behaviors, identifying behaviors that need to be modified, and developing strategies for changing those behaviors.
One of our counselors may be able to provide you with helpful cognitive techniques for things like changing how you think about body image, and how to incorporate behavioral changes. For instance, you may be able to work with a non-food-related reward system to help keep you on track toward your weight loss goals. Additional behaviors you can incorporate can include serving food from the stove rather than family style, and not watching television, reading or doing another activity while eating.
Always consult your Stanford physician for more information.