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 Coping and Support Overview


Lt Col Reynolds
As most of us know, losing weight can be tough to do, especially when we’re doing it alone. Learning how to cope with obesity and finding support from others can be some of the most effective ways to not only lose weight, but to keep it off. Dr. Patel, would you tell us more about these methods?

Dr. Patel
Sure, Dr. Reynolds. If an obese patient hasn’t already done so, it’s wise to first consult with a doctor or therapist about which coping skills may be the best fit. In most cases, learning to use some of the following skills can be helpful:

Being obese and being involved in a weight loss program can cause a variety of emotions such as pain, anger, fear, or despair. Writing one’s honest thoughts can help a person understand the causes of their emotions, as well as possible solutions to keep their feelings from overwhelming their goals.

Keeping a food diary can also help people keep better track of what they’re eating. Recording the foods that are eaten makes it easier to identify areas where changes need to be made.

Allowing oneself to become isolated can make weight loss even more difficult than it already is. Getting involved in regular activities with others, as well as simply gathering with friends and family can be helpful in losing weight.

There are also a number of support groups that provide a connection with others who understand what it means to face the same challenges. Ask your provider about support groups in your area.

As with any worthwhile goal, many distractions compete for our attention. Writing out a realistic plan and revisiting that plan can help a patient remain focused on the objective.

Stress Management
One of the common triggers for unhealthy eating habits is stress. Developing relaxation skills and learning how to anticipate stressful situations can help to control any habits that may be contributing to excessive eating.