Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for weight control: Model, evidence, and future directions

Author(s):
Jason Lillis, Kathleen E. Kendra

Abstract:
Behavioral weight loss programs achieve substantial short-term weight loss; however attrition and poor weight loss maintenance remain significant problems. Recently, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been used in an attempt to improve long-term outcomes. This conceptual article outlines the standard behavioral and ACT approach to weight control, discusses potential benefits and obstacles to combing approaches, briefly reviews current ACT for weight control outcome research, and highlights significant empirical questions that remain. The current evidence suggests that ACT could be useful as an add-on treatment, or in a combined format, for improving long-term weight loss outcomes. Larger studies with longer follow-up are needed as well as studies that aim to identify how best to combine standard treatments and ACT and also who would benefit most from these approaches.

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