Doctors can impact weight loss with motivational talk

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When it comes to weight loss, the physician’s role is just as important as the patient’s.

Struggled with weight loss? You’re not alone.

Psychotherapist Karen Koenig has a new approach suggesting success lies on the physician as much as the patient. And it starts with motivational interviewing.

“Why has it been hard for you to keep weight off? What would motivate you, what are your values, how can I be of help, what support do you need?” asked Koenig, a psychotherapist and author who specializes in the field of compulsive, emotional, and restrictive eating.

She says collaborative care may avoid the five reasons patients rebel against their doctor.

“Fear and hopelessness, they’ve been there done that, depression and anxiety, a lack of life skills – if you’re not gonna use food for these things you need to have skills to manage life without food – mixed feelings, and the fifth is rebellion which sounds really strange,” said Koenig.

We often resent being told what to do and feel as if we’re being controlled, so it‘s human nature to rebel against the doctor and ourselves.

Koenig says the solution is compassion and steering away from the term diet.

“Helping patients have positive self-talk and acceptance of who they are, asking motivational questions rather than the lecturing of nutritional information. People don’t like to feel deprived. The body metabolism slows down, they’re thinking about food all the time,” said Koenig.

Working with patients to reach their goals in a healthy way and switch them from using diets to learning intuitive eating. 

© 2017 NBCNEWS.COM

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Doctors can impact weight loss with motivational talk

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