Behavioral Approaches


Lt Col Reynolds
Behavioral approaches and strategies tie physical activity and diet together in a comprehensive plan for weight loss. Behavioral strategies help people modify eating habits, activities, and related thinking patterns that contribute to excess weight. Some of these strategies include:

  • Setting weight loss diet goals
  • Setting weight loss physical activity goals
  • Addressing barriers to change
  • Self-monitoring
  • Strategizing how to maintain lifestyle changes
  • Stimulus control
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Stress management
  • Problem solving, and
  • Cognitive restructuring activities

Lt Col Phillips
Different people will find different behavioral strategies more helpful than others. However, combining several strategies often works better than choosing just one.

Many people find it easier to implement behavioral strategies when they join a group program. Being around others with similar goals can make weight loss feel less daunting, and a group can provide encouragement, positive reinforcement, and accountability.

Many primary care clinics offer group programs and other weight loss programs to help people use behavioral strategies effectively. Ask your healthcare provider if your clinic offers one of these programs.