Tag Archives: Programs

Weight Loss Secrets of Success

 

thanks-weight-scale

Those familiar with The Anderson Method know that it’s a program of training in behavioral methods to “install” the habits that make people lose weight “on automatic” by employing behavioral reprogramming techniques. What are the habits we want to install?

The National Weight Control Registry

When I first set out to create my program, I studied the work of researchers at Brown University who were becoming known as experts in weight loss research. They were studying people who were successful at losing weight and keeping it off and they developed a huge body of knowledge about how they did it. This was immensely valuable because rather than being someone’s idea of what they thought should work, this was a collection of information about what actually did work. I structured my training to model the behaviors of success, added techniques from behavioral psychology and was successful at solving my own weight problem. I then went on to become one of their study subjects and then to start helping others. The result was The Anderson Method.

The researchers at Brown went on to become the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) now the largest and oldest longitudinal study of weight loss success in the world. It now has 10,000 study subjects and has been in existence almost as long as I’ve maintained my weight loss success, 30 years. I and many of my clients and readers (it’s all voluntary) are among those they study!

Here’s some interesting info about people who have been successful at permanent weight loss, regardless of the methods they used.

From the NWCR:

“There is variety in how NWCR members keep the weight off. Most report continuing to maintain a low calorie, low fat diet and doing high levels of activity.

78% eat breakfast every day.
75% weigh themselves at least once a week.
62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.

We have also started to learn about how the weight loss was accomplished: 45% of registry participants lost the weight on their own and the other 55% lost weight with the help of some type of program. 98% of Registry participants report that they modified their food intake in some way to lose weight. 94% increased their physical activity, with the most frequently reported form of activity being walking.”

My program has evolved in to a comprehensive training program where the client takes a small step at a time, starting with a phone call to set up a consultation. One thing leads to another in a format designed to teach, train and coach without overwhelming.

My book explains what clients learn and has helped many to succeed, even without the one-on-one training.

Explore all the pages and articles on this website and I encourage you to get my book or call one of my therapists if you want to get going on solving your weight problem.

Bill Anderson

How to Know When Weight Loss Surgery Is The Right Thing to Do

Bariatric surgery
When I was twelve, after countless days of torment over my weight and inability to control it, I would have given anything to have the surgery that would solve the problem for me. I’m glad it didn’t happen. I went on to discover how to lose weight permanently while enjoying eating more than ever, lost over 100 pounds after years of dieting failure, and went on to teach others how, and to write the book about it, The AndersonMethod.

Some think of me as the weight loss counselor’s counselor who is against bariatric surgery, so people are surprised to learn that I’ve recommended bariatric surgery to a number of clients.

In fact, I’ve worked hard to convince some people that weight loss surgery was something they needed to be open to and look into. At times, I’ve told them I think it must be done ASAP. And while my weight loss method is a behavioral approach, teaching people how to form the habits and unconscious behavior to achieve permanent weight loss, I work with many people who have had the surgery. That’s because, even with the surgery, you still need to change your eating habits and change them for life. More on that later.

A few years ago, bariatric surgery started becoming a big business with magazine ads and billboards advertising the different competing hospitals’ surgical weight loss programs. Smiling doctors and attractive stories enticed people. Free seminars offered all your answers. Before and after pictures and stories excited anyone who has dreamed of solving their weight problem. It really bothered me because I knew that lots of people would be drawn to this and choose it, thinking it would relieve them of the need to change their eating habits. They thought that the surgery would be easier than counseling in behavioral therapy, a way to solve the problem for many without the surgery, not to mention being a small fraction of the cost. Many would ignore the risks and downsides of the surgery. They would choose not to consider that they would need to learn how to change their habits anyway and that many people who lost weight with the surgery had not kept it off. I know that weight loss surgery is not the right thing for most of these overweight people.

So, if I’m so sure it’s the wrong thing in many cases, what makes me think it’s the right thing sometimes? The main factor that leads me to advise people to have the surgery is emergency.

Sometimes, the threat from their obesity is so dangerous that life is at stake and there is no certain way to restore hope and eliminate the risk other than the surgery. Simply said, we’ve run out of time. There is no more time to depend on methods that are not absolutely guaranteed to produce immediate dramatic weight loss to prevent further deterioration we may not recover from.

The cases where I’ve prescribed surgery all involve clients who have made sincere heroic efforts, but have been unable to overcome the forces that prevent them from losing weight. They have all reached the point where they have given up hope that they will ever be able to lose weight. Now, let me be clear, it’s normal to become hopeless, even regularly, for people who try to lose weight, but in these high-risk cases, the hopelessness spirals them downward to a deterioration they might not recover from. With most of us, after a while, we are able to see things differently, learn more, and resume the work to get control of the weight and eventually succeed.

What is this deterioration that I say is so dangerous? In some cases, it is mobility. They are just not able to move around without great pain and difficulty, reducing their movement while destroying their spirit. With some, it is a profound hopelessness where nothing but misery and an early death is imaginable, driving them further down a black hole that is dangerous in itself. Some are so medically compromised with dangerous heart conditions and diabetes that they are a ticking time bomb and time is running out. Nothing has worked and they are getting worse.

In all these cases, as soon as the decision to go ahead with the surgery is made, hope is restored. They are able to believe, without doubt, that they will be able to lose weight, because it is the new physical condition, the alteration of their gut, that will cause them to lose weight. They don’t have to depend solely on their own efforts.

Another characteristic that may be present in those I’ll recommend for bariatric surgery is an unusually powerful eating drive that I am certain is biologically based. It is a drive so strong, like that associated with the worst addictive drugs, that we are unable to overcome it, even with the best behavioral interventions we employ. With most people, we are able to answer the cravings in a way that overpowers them, and also employ methods that will reduce or eliminate them. In these worst-case scenarios, the people are unrelentingly tormented by these drives that cannot be overcome. The surgery acts as an additional tool in their toolbox that strengthens their ability to manage their eating, physically limits what they can process and absorb, and may have an important impact on the production of hormone, as we know it does related to diabetes, that influences eating drive and behavior.

How has it worked? I’m happy to say that I am hearing “I’m doing great! I have my life back, better than ever” more often than ever, more often than when I only offered behavioral therapy in my weight loss counseling work. My clients who were spiraling down are getting better, having hope. They are able to apply the behavioral techniques with increased effectiveness. Like my other successful clients, they are mobile again, with less pain and discomfort, ridding themselves of the diabetes and high blood pressure and the medicines they needed to treat them. They are happier with themselves and their lives.

If you have been chronically overweight and unable to achieve the weight loss you want, rest assured that it can be done. Your habits will have to change for life, but that does not have to be by sheer force of will alone. There is a whole body of behavioral technique that I teach, that can be learned, that makes behavior change possible.

But, if you have done all that, learned all you can from me and tried your best, and things are getting worse and you are running out of time, weight loss surgery might be right for you. So says the weight loss counselor’s counselor who people think is totally against bariatric surgery.

William Anderson is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in weight loss, eating disorders and addictions. He is the creator of “Therapeutic Psychogenics”, which helped him lose 140 pounds permanently thirty years ago after years of obesity and dieting failure. He has written a book about it, The Anderson Method, and he is teaching these techniques to individuals and therapists all over the country.

The TGIF! Diet — Why It Works

Group of friends having lunch with glasses of wine at table, smiling

No, we’re not talking about the restaurant. We’re talking about how I lost 140 pounds 30 years ago and kept it off with what has been called the TGIF diet. I wrote the book about it! The Anderson Method

I teach a lifestyle where five days a week we are quite austere, like people on a diet, and then, for two days, we are more relaxed, eating more normally on the weekend. I had tried and failed to lose my excess weight for 25 years until I discovered how to succeed with this method. So can you. We win every day, every week and every weekend, work hard M-F and then it’s “Thank God It’s Friday!” It’s a great way to live.

On the weekends we are able to do the things people normally can’t do if they are trying to lose weight. On the weekends we go out to dinner without denying ourselves, have drinks and deserts without guilt, and we go to parties while not denying ourselves a good time. Then, Monday, it’s back to work, nose to the grindstone. And when Friday comes, it’s TGIF! I lost all my excess weight doing this, 140 pounds in 18 months, and I’ve kept it off for three decades.

I’m not talking about bingeing on the weekend or having a free-for-all on weekends where anything goes, and then feeling lousy about it afterwards. They are not “cheat” days. They are carefully formed habits of eating everything I like and want in ways that prevent me from being overweight. It’s a matter of training and reprogramming, like becoming addicted to healthy eating instead of overeating. Also, I am enjoying the food more than ever before, guilt free! All of the eating habits I’ve developed have been carefully created so that I’ve learned how to eat all the foods I like and want in ways that have allowed me to lose all the weight I wanted to lose, and keep it off.

In order for this to work, you need to learn about the metabolic rate you’ll have at your goal weight (there is no mystery to this) and then learn about the caloric values in all the foods that you like to eat. Instead of learning how to diet and lose weight (only to gain it back when we go back to “normal”), we learn how to eat what we like in a way to become and stay at our desired weight for the rest of our life. We actually train and reprogram ourselves to eat what we like in the quantities that will fit into our caloric budget (low on weekdays, then up to our burn rate, but not over, on weekends) and we practice this until it becomes habit. I’ve found there is almost nothing I need to cut out of my life to succeed. Everything I like can fit into the plan somewhere.

In this way, we avoid the experience of losing weight while we punish ourselves, only to become worse overeaters when the diet is over. In the typical diet approach, people do something strange for a while, lose a bit of weight, get sick of the dieting and then go back to the habits that made then overweight, only worse. They regain more than ever, returning to unstructured, unconscious eating of incredibly caloric foods without knowing it and without realizing what they are doing. Immediately after losing weight, most people begin literally training and programming themselves to become chronically overweight and addicted to overeating.

Needless to say, there is more work involved than having a shake or prepared meal that some company sells, or simply starving yourself for a while. We have to actually learn about the food we really eat, and train like a musician or athlete to act habitually in ways that keep us fit. We develop a kind of “muscle memory” of the mind with our eating habits. And like people who become skilled in sports, it’s a mental game, where the mental techniques to master will, motivation and execution are the most important aspect of the sport. But oh, the glory and pleasure of the victory.

Here’s the link to the article as published on The Huffington Post:      

                          The TGIF! Diet — Why It Works

 

 

Bill Anderson on The Suncoast View!

 

Bill Anderson, LMHC, teaching about permanent weight loss on The Suncoast View.

Bill Anderson, LMHC, teaching about permanent weight loss on The Suncoast View.

I visited with Linda Carson and the rest of the ABC7 Suncoast View today to help Linda Carson with a refresher course in The Anderson Method. Linda had lost 73 pounds 10 years ago with my method and kept it off “easily” for years. Then life threw her some challenges that knocked her off course, and, as happens with some who have used my methods, she literally forgot what she did to be successful and gained some back. “What happened?” she said. So, we “rebooted” the Key Behaviors and she is feeling good again, losing weight and learning the value of the techniques she had lost touch with. Sometimes, we learn more from a relapse and recovery than we learned from the initial success.

 

How to Know When Weight Loss Surgery Is The Right Thing to Do

Bariatric surgery

When I was twelve, after countless days of torment over my weight and inability to control it, I would have given anything to have the surgery that would solve the problem for me. I’m glad it didn’t happen. I went on to discover how to lose weight permanently while enjoying eating more than ever, lost over 100 pounds after years of dieting failure, and went on to teach others how, and to write the book about it, The AndersonMethod.

Some think of me as the weight loss counselor’s counselor who is against bariatric surgery, so people are surprised to learn that I’ve recommended bariatric surgery to a number of clients.

In fact, I’ve worked hard to convince some people that weight loss surgery was something they needed to be open to and look into. At times, I’ve told them I think it must be done ASAP. And while my weight loss method is a behavioral approach, teaching people how to form the habits and unconscious behavior to achieve permanent weight loss, I work with many people who have had the surgery. That’s because, even with the surgery, you still need to change your eating habits and change them for life. More on that later.

A few years ago, bariatric surgery started becoming a big business with magazine ads and billboards advertising the different competing hospitals’ surgical weight loss programs. Smiling doctors and attractive stories enticed people. Free seminars offered all your answers. Before and after pictures and stories excited anyone who has dreamed of solving their weight problem. It really bothered me because I knew that lots of people would be drawn to this and choose it, thinking it would relieve them of the need to change their eating habits. They thought that the surgery would be easier than counseling in behavioral therapy, a way to solve the problem for many without the surgery, not to mention being a small fraction of the cost. Many would ignore the risks and downsides of the surgery. They would choose not to consider that they would need to learn how to change their habits anyway and that many people who lost weight with the surgery had not kept it off. I know that weight loss surgery is not the right thing for most of these overweight people.

So, if I’m so sure it’s the wrong thing in many cases, what makes me think it’s the right thing sometimes? The main factor that leads me to advise people to have the surgery is emergency.

Sometimes, the threat from their obesity is so dangerous that life is at stake and there is no certain way to restore hope and eliminate the risk other than the surgery. Simply said, we’ve run out of time. There is no more time to depend on methods that are not absolutely guaranteed to produce immediate dramatic weight loss to prevent further deterioration we may not recover from.

The cases where I’ve prescribed surgery all involve clients who have made sincere heroic efforts, but have been unable to overcome the forces that prevent them from losing weight. They have all reached the point where they have given up hope that they will ever be able to lose weight. Now, let me be clear, it’s normal to become hopeless, even regularly, for people who try to lose weight, but in these high-risk cases, the hopelessness spirals them downward to a deterioration they might not recover from. With most of us, after a while, we are able to see things differently, learn more, and resume the work to get control of the weight and eventually succeed.

What is this deterioration that I say is so dangerous? In some cases, it is mobility. They are just not able to move around without great pain and difficulty, reducing their movement while destroying their spirit. With some, it is a profound hopelessness where nothing but misery and an early death is imaginable, driving them further down a black hole that is dangerous in itself. Some are so medically compromised with dangerous heart conditions and diabetes that they are a ticking time bomb and time is running out. Nothing has worked and they are getting worse.

In all these cases, as soon as the decision to go ahead with the surgery is made, hope is restored. They are able to believe, without doubt, that they will be able to lose weight, because it is the new physical condition, the alteration of their gut, that will cause them to lose weight. They don’t have to depend solely on their own efforts.

Another characteristic that may be present in those I’ll recommend for bariatric surgery is an unusually powerful eating drive that I am certain is biologically based. It is a drive so strong, like that associated with the worst addictive drugs, that we are unable to overcome it, even with the best behavioral interventions we employ. With most people, we are able to answer the cravings in a way that overpowers them, and also employ methods that will reduce or eliminate them. In these worst-case scenarios, the people are unrelentingly tormented by these drives that cannot be overcome. The surgery acts as an additional tool in their toolbox that strengthens their ability to manage their eating, physically limits what they can process and absorb, and may have an important impact on the production of hormone, as we know it does related to diabetes, that influences eating drive and behavior.

How has it worked? I’m happy to say that I am hearing “I’m doing great! I have my life back, better than ever” more often than ever, more often than when I only offered behavioral therapy in my weight loss counseling work. My clients who were spiraling down are getting better, having hope. They are able to apply the behavioral techniques with increased effectiveness. Like my other successful clients, they are mobile again, with less pain and discomfort, ridding themselves of the diabetes and high blood pressure and the medicines they needed to treat them. They are happier with themselves and their lives. If you have been chronically overweight and unable to achieve the weight loss you want, rest assured that it can be done. Your habits will have to change for life, but that does not have to be by sheer force of will alone. There is a whole body of behavioral technique that I teach, that can be learned, that makes behavior change possible.

But, if you have done all that, learned all you can from me and tried your best, and things are getting worse and you are running out of time, weight loss surgery might be right for you. So says the weight loss counselor’s counselor who people think is totally against bariatric surgery.

William Anderson is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in weight loss, eating disorders and addictions. He is the creator of “Therapeutic Psychogenics”, which helped him lose 140 pounds permanently thirty years ago after years of obesity and dieting failure. He has written a book about it, The Anderson Method, and he is teaching these techniques to individuals and therapists all over the country.