I’m willing to bet that you’re here reading this because you are, or have at some time, tried to lose weight. I’m also willing to bet that you’re well aware of information about which foods are “healthy”, that you should probably exercise more, and that you may need to eat less. Weight loss, diets, and information on how to be “healthy” are all around us, but with so much information out there, what are we to believe? We have all of this information flooding our computer screens and cell phones constantly, so why can’t we lose weight? According to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), the answer to this question lies in our behaviour as well as the way that we think about food and our emotions.
Dr. JoAnne Dahl, Ph.D., hosts an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) podcast, ACT: Taking Hurt to Hope, in which she delves into many different topics and difficulties that individuals face in their lives, and talks about how we can understand these difficulties from an ACT perspective. In particular, Dr. Dahl explores the mechanisms underlying why we do what we do, and attempts to help us understand how we can alter our behaviour and our thinking in order to change that.
Dr. Dahl has four podcast episodes that cover the topic of eating behaviour and weight loss:
- Hope for weight strugglers: In this episode, Dr. Dahl speaks with Dr. Jason Lillis, a psychologist at Brown University, about the role of self-compassion in your journey to lose weight.
- Struggling with Emotional Eating: Feeding [or starving] your Feelings: Dahl teams up with Dr. Emmett Bishop from an eating disorder clinic in Colorado to discuss the mechanisms behind why we eat ‘junk’ food even when we know it will cause us to gain weight, and why people who suffer from eating disorders have such a difficult time changing their behaviour.
- Struggling with Choices: Eating Problems: Dahl, along with Dr. Joseph Ciarrochi of the University of Western Sydney in Australia, discuss the effects of unhealthy weight control behaviours, advertising, and more on the obesity rates of today’s children.
- New ACT book The Diet Trap: Dahl speaks about her book, The Diet Trap, and why this book is different from most books related to dieting and weight loss. The Diet Trap focuses on the emotional aspects of eating and why we turn to food for comfort, as well as how to change this.
To listen to any of the above episodes, simply click on the episode title and listen for FREE. I would also strongly recommend listening to other episodes of the podcast, as the concepts in ACT that are introduced in the context of eating and weight issues can also be applied to other aspects of our lives. Click here to access the main page and browse Dr. Dahl’s many podcast episodes.