Obesity and weight loss are notoriously challenging areas of research and intervention. Traditional behavioral psychology methods for weight loss are known to be ineffective in the long-term for many people. At a time of year when many of us are resolving to eat better, exercise more, and lose weight, obesity and weight loss expert Dr. Jason Lillis offers a different, evidence-based perspective on this complicated issue. In this interview, cross-posted from the podcast Psychologists Off The Clock
, Dr. Diana Hill
interview Dr. Lillis about his book, The Diet Trap: Feed Your Psychological Needs and End the Weight Loss Struggle Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
(New Harbinger Publications, 2014).Dr. Lillis discusses his own values-based reasons for studying obesity, the importance of behavioral interventions, why the "weight loss agenda" may be an ineffective trap, and how values can support long-term commitment to health behaviors. Dr. Lillis also talks about two exercises from ACT that can help people with body appreciation and values-directed behaviors.
Jason Lillis is an assistant professor at the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center at Brown Medical School and the Miriam Hospital. He is a leading ACT researcher who is currently running NIH grants aimed at developing and testing ACT methods for health behavior change, with a specific focus on weight control and physical activity. He is the author of three books:The Diet Trap, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Theories of Psychotherapy),
and Mindfulness and Acceptance for Treating Eating Disorders and Weight Concerns
, and is an editor for the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science.
Diana Hill, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist practicing in Santa Barbara, California, and a co-host of the podcast Psychologists Off The Clock.