Weight Control

There are three reasons that people want to lose weight:

for better health, for enhanced personal appearance and to feel better physically and psychologically. In spite of these important motivational factors, intelligent people who are successful in most areas of their life may be unsuccessful in losing weight. A psychologist can offer help.

How I can help you lose weight:

In my private practice as a psychologist, I use a combination of hypnosis, or hypnotherapy and behavior modification to help my patients establish good control over their pattern of eating to help them lose weight.   First I will be collecting information about your pattern of eating and the psychological factors affecting how you eat. These factors are different for each person and need to be clearly identified. Based on that information I will make concrete recommendations about how you structure the place and manner of eating in your life. A psychologist can identify certain basic behavior patterns that can increase or decrease your ability to lose weight. I will work on clearly identifying the the motivational factors that constitute the most important reasons you want to lose weight. The significant motivational factors for weight  loss vary with the individual, sometimes centering on health issues, sometimes upon physical appearance or other personal or social issues. It is essential to identify clearly the specific motivational factors which are of dominating significance for each individual to establish a sound basis for weight control.  I use this information to teach you a method of behavior modification to establish favorable changes in your eating habits.

I will also design a hypnotherapy procedure specifically to address the behavioral changes and the motivation that is required for you. While doing the hypnosis in the office, I make a recording of the procedure and will instruct you about how to use the recorded hypnotic procedure at home for reinforcement. This is important  because the effects of hypnosis are reinforced by repetition. It is my goal to help you establish a new pattern of handling food that becomes habitual and rewarding rather than continuing to vacillate between repetitious periods of over-eating, dieting, weight gain and weight loss. These steps are usually completed in four visits.  Then I will give you instructions about how to make use of the behavior modification techniques, along with use of the recorded hypnotherapy procedures at home. 

More information about weight loss problems: 

Some people have struggled with weight problems from childhood on; for others the problem did not arise until their teen years or adulthood. Most people who have consulted me for weight loss have made many efforts to lose weight on their own, or by getting into some kind of diet program.  Usually they have tried many different kinds of diets and have participated in many different diet programs.  They usually start each program with great enthusiasm and have some initial success in losing weight.  Eventually they go off the diet and gain back all the weight they lost plus a few extra pounds. They wind up with nothing to show for their money and efforts except the unhealthy effects of cyclical weight change and a greater sense of personal failure.

This cycle of weight loss and weight gain is common for three reasons: 

(1) Some rapid weight loss diet programs put your body into a starvation mode which causes it to become more efficient at storing fat when you stop dieting.  (2) Most diets create a psychological rebound effect because you feel deprived of certain tastes and favorite foods while on the diet and this feeling of deprivation leads to a burst of uncontrollable overindulgence when you go off the diet.  (3) Diet programs do not take into account individual differences between people.  They have everyone follow a certain “program” without addressing  the different eating patterns, personalities, and motivational factors for each individual.  

Most people who have weight problems are very knowledgeable about calories and dietary matters. The problem is not a lack of information, nor is it a lack of character strength. The failure of conventional diet programs is due to the fact that diets tend to create a time-limited, temporary change in behavior.  The person learns to follow a particular diet successfully for a limited period of time, but eventually falls back into old faulty eating habits. Assuming that your weight gain is not due to a thyroid deficiency or other health problem, being overweight is a psychological, motivational and behavioral problem, involving deeply entrenched habit patterns and impulse control problems. 

The published results of recent long term studies of weight control 

at Stanford University’s Prevention Research Center, the Harvard School of Public Health and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center of Louisiana State University are consistent with the approach I have developed based on the study of the results of previous research as well as my experience with patients in my own practice. These findings are summarized briefly in a February 26, 2009 Los Angeles Times front page article entitled “Weight Loss Boils Down to Calories.” It refers to an online publication of the New England Journal of Medicine. 

The findings indicate that conventional diets are not very successful in the long term. They result in an average weight loss of 13 pounds after 6 months, but a disappointing average loss of only 9 pounds after two years of dieting. The use of popular programs that recommend different, and contradictory proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrate in the diet was found to result in no advantage for any one of these programs. (“The winner is…not low carb, not low fat, not high protein…”) The only significant finding was that people lost weight when they reduced their total caloric intake. The conclusion is that the prospect for  permanent weight loss depends upon the effective establishment of long term changes in eating habits that succeed in reducing total caloric intake on a regular, on-going basis.

If you are not a local resident, but wish to consult me for weight control,  I can arrange my schedule to complete the procedure in two double sessions, requiring only an overnight stay locally. These visits will be preceded by an initial telephone consultation to get you started on collecting information I will need to expedite the process.   

How can you decide who is the right professional person to help you with this kind of problem? You may get information about me at Marvin S. Beitner, Ph.D.  You may get information about how to evaluate the credentials of any  psychologist at Check Qualifications.