Nutritionists are often unimpressed by studies showing that a given diet works for weight loss. After all, if you stick to a diet that restricts calories, you're going to drop pounds in the short term. The hard part is keeping it off, and that's where diets fail.
Judith Beck, director of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research, says that's not surprising, given that so many people haven't been taught the mental skills necessary to sustain changes in their eating and exercise habits. In The Complete Beck Diet for Life, she applies the tenets of cognitive therapy to weight loss. (She also offers an eating plan for the initial stages of the program because reader feedback after her previous book indicated that people need help in figuring out what they should be eating.)
Cognitive therapy focuses on solving the problem in the here and now rather than delving into the past to understand its roots. The premise is that people have incorrect thoughts and beliefs that need to be altered in order to eliminate the problem—be it depression, addiction, or in this case, overeating. Two smallish Swedish studies have suggested that cognitive therapy can help people lose weight and keep it off for at least a year and a half, Beck says. Taken from her book and from my conversation with Beck, here are the seven attitudes that may be impeding your weight loss: