072: Secrets of Weight Loss — Making Good on Your New Year’s Resolutions!

Why you DON’T really want to lose weight!

In today’s podcast, David and Fabrice address two terrific questions submitted by listeners:

  • Greg: What’s the difference between Outcome and Process Resistance for dieting and weight loss?
  • Gary: How do you deal with motivation and resistance when dealing with habits and addictions, such as overeating, in TEAM-CBT?

David explains that in his workshops, he often asks his audiences, “how many of you would like to lose some weight?” And he asks you that same question now.

In his workshops, 65% of the hands go up. Did your hand go up too?

Then he say, “all of you who raised your hands just made a mistake! You definitely do NOT want to lose weight. You probably DO want to be thin and attractive, and in great physical condition, but you DON’T want to lose weight. Do you know why? There are only two things that you can do to lose weight–diet and exercise. And they both suck!”

David describes two new, powerful techniques he has created for resolving this dilemma–the Double Paradox and Devil’s Advocate Technique. David and Fabrice bring these techniques to life for you. If you are interested in losing weight, make sure you do the two exercises on paper while listening to this podcast. In fact, take a moment, but the podcast on pause, and get a piece of paper and a pen or pencil right now.

Here’s how they work:

  • Double Paradox: First, you draw a line down the middle of a blank sheet of paper, from top to bottom. Label the left-hand column “Advantages” (or ADV) and the right-hand column “Disadvantages” (or DIS). Now, in the left-hand column, list all the Advantages of eating as much as want of whatever you want, whenever you want.  As you will see when listening, there are many! Then, in the right-hand column, list all the disadvantages of diet and exercise. As you will see, there are also many!

David asks, “given all of the tremendous benefits of eating as much as you want whenever you want, and all the overwhelming disadvantages and hassles of dieting and exercising, why in the world would you want to change?”

He explains why this paradoxical strategy can be so powerful and helpful. In essence, the therapist becomes the voice of the patient’s subconscious resistance instead of trying to “help” or persuade the patient to change.

Research and clinical experience confirms that trying to “help” people lose weight is usually doomed to failure. In fact, if you review the world literature on the treatment of habits and addictions, you will discover that practically ALL diets and weight loss programs have limited success AT BEST.

  • Devil’s Advocate: This is a powerful and fun role-playing technique. First, you list all the positive thoughts that tempt you to give in when you are tempted and craving your favorite food–such as pasta, chocolate, ice cream, donuts, or whatever your weakness is. Then you ask a friend or therapist to play the role of the tempting devil who will try to tempt and seduce you into giving in.Your job is to fight back and defeat the devil. You can record the interactions on your cell phone. if you defeat the devil, you can listen to the recording whenever you are tempted!

David also describes a third, time-honored technique that can be important in dieting (or in overcoming any negative habit or addiction):

  • Stimulus Control: Instead of constantly struggling with temptations, you simply avoid them.

David and Fabrice discuss paradoxical vs. straightforward treatment strategies for habits and addictions, and also raise the question of whether there is some “superior” type of diet or exercise, or whether most, if not all, of the action is in the motivation.

David and Fabrice also discuss strategies for maintenance of weight loss once you have achieved your initial goal.

David and Fabrice love your questions so keep them coming!

Fabrice and I hope you enjoy our Podcasts, and also hope you can leave some positive comments for us and some five star ratings if you like what we’re doing!


At least one listener has had problems leaving an iTunes review from his i-phone, so Fabrice has created some simple to follow instructions if you need help.


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