WEIGHT LOSS AND BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY
If, during a weight-loss programme, one arrives home from a stressful day at work and heads immediately for the cupboard for two comforting chocolate biscuits, basic dietary and nutritional advice might be 'don't eat those chocolate biscuits'; behavioural therapy would suggest ways how not to eat the chocolate biscuits, in other words how to avoid them. The answer could be very simple; 'don't buy any chocolate biscuits' or more complex: 'avoid the stressful situation that triggered the desire for the chocolate biscuit', which might mean changing jobs or walking home instead of getting a crowded bus. Other suggestions might include not putting the biscuits where they are easy to reach and have readily accessible healthy snacks, such as fruit, to hand. Alternatively, there might be other ways to unwind: having a bath or swearing at the cat.
'Behavioural therapy' is the collective name for the various methods and strategies used to bring about changes in lifestyle. Behavioural techniques should always be combined with traditional dietary and activity advice to maximize the benefits and improve compliance with lifestyle change. More structured programmes of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) lasting for 4 or 5 months have been developed.