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framework for a targeted weight control program

The coping aspect of lifestyle patterns counseling refers to how people view themselves, relate to others, and cope with stress. Often, clinicians are less comfortable addressing this area of weight loss counseling, and yet in our research, this is the most problematic dimension of weight control as identified by patients. In a study of 335 overweight patients in a clinical setting, all seven coping patterns were endorsed by > 50 % of the patients, compared to five eating patterns and three exercise patterns.6 Clearly, patients need help in this area. Using principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, clinicians are able to help their patients develop more positive coping skills by assisting them, for example, to tackle their emotional eating behaviors, lessen their tendencies to procrastinate, or put their self-care higher up on their to-do list.

After the interactive questionnaire is scored, patients can view the results, which consist of three separate lifestyle pattern profile graphs in the dimensions of eating, exercise, and coping. A sample eating patterns profile graph is shown in Figure 2. Similar exercise and coping pattern profile graphs are also displayed for patients who complete the questionnaire. A patient’s lifestyle patterns questionnaire results are unique—no two patients have identical results. Pattern scores range from 0 to 100% for the 21 patterns. The higher the score, the greater is the likelihood that a particular pattern is a dominant one requiring attention during counseling.