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Behavioral therapy

Behavioral therapy is a treatment component in weight management that provides patients with a set of principles and skills that help them to modify their current lifestyle habits, specifically as they relate to healthy eating and physical activity.1 The primary goal of behavioral therapy is to change behaviors and to maintain those changes over time. In order to maintain change, behavioral therapy techniques seek to maximize a patient’s ability to effect change and engage in self-care.1 There are several skills and strategies commonly associated with behavioral therapy for weight management, including2

  • Self-monitoring
  • Stimulus control
  • Behavioral substitution
  • Problem-solving
  • Cognitive reframing
  • Goal setting


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  1. Adachi Y. Behavior therapy for obesity. JMAJ. 2005;48(11):539-544.
  2. Fabricatore AN. Behavior therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy of obesity: is there a difference? J Am Diet Assoc. 2007;107(1):92-99.