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Trying to teach compulsive eaters to eat ‘just a little’ simply doesn’t work, Stephen Gullo, PhD
Tuesday, July 17, 2012 12:34 pm Email this article
Larry Hobbs: Why do so many people regain their lost weight?
Stephen Gullo, PhD: Most people don't have diet problems, they have compulsive eating problems.
The high rate of weight regain is due to the failure to differentiate between the dieters and compulsive eaters.
Trying to teach compulsive eaters to eat "just a little" simply doesn't work.
No one has ever taught us how to have just a little of a compulsion.
There is also backwards thinking about deprivation.
Choosing not to eat certain foods is not deprivation, it's a smart investment.
I try to help people see that when they eat certain foods it hasn't made them happy, it has only made them fat.
This is a re-post of an interview I did many years ago (in 1996) with Stephen Gullo, PhD, author of the best-selling book Thin Tastes Better.
He had lots of wonderful advice that I believe everyone can learn from, both doctors and patients.
About Dr. Gullo
About Stephen Gullo, PhD
Stephen Gullo, PhD, a health psychologist practicing in New York, is the author of the national best-seller THIN TASTES BETTER: Control Your Food Triggers And Lose Weight Without Feeling Deprived. Dr. Gullo has treated over 11,000 patients during his 28 year career (as of 1996 when this interview was done.)
Twenty of those years he was on the faculty and staff at Columbia University.
Perhaps most impressive of all are the results of a survey conducted by The New York Times.
After interviewing fifty of his former patients The New York Times reported that five years after treatment 45% had maintained weight losses of 20 to 100 lbs.
Not bad, considering most weight loss programs have success rates of only 3-5% after five years.
He can be reached as follows:
(Note: I do not know if Dr. Gullo is still in practice. This contact info was as of 1996 when I did the interview.)
Stephen P. Gullo, PhD
16 E 65th St, Suite 2A
New York, NY 10021
(212) 717-6548 fax
Larry Hobbs: Dr Gullo, tell me a little about your background and how you became interested in obesity.
Stephen Gullo, PhD: I was a co-director of the Family Bereavement Study at the Institute for Cancer Research at Columbia Presbyterian.
In studying women who had lost their husbands one of the things that I looked at was eating behavior.
So I really just stumbled into this field.
This was not a path that my destiny had ever called me to since my great-grandfather was one of the pioneers in the process that made possible the mass production of pasta.
For centuries my family has been involved in the production of Italian food.
So I never thought that I would be helping people with their eating behaviors.
Starting in 1974 I started using motivational and advertising psychology to change eating behavior.
Hobbs: What do you mean by advertising psychology?
Gullo: Some of the greatest motivators in the world are found in the advertising agencies on Madison Avenue.
They motivate people to spend $70,000 for a Mercedes and those people don’t feel deprived of their money.
They feel privileged.
So I tried to figure out how I could apply the same psychology to help people part with their savored foods without feeling deprived.
Other articles about Dr. Gullo
Other articles about Stephen Gullo, PhD
Here is a list of other articles about the weight loss advice from Stephen Gullo, PhD.
- Trying to teach compulsive eaters to eat ‘just a little’ simply doesn’t work, Stephen Gullo, PhD
- Well over 50% of people have compulsive eating problems estimates Stephen Gullo, PhD
- Compulsive eating is more of a problem now because people eat on the run notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- Most abused finger foods: cookies, crackers, chips, chocolate, and peanuts notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- Those who are trying to lose weight should keep a food journal notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- People usually only abuse 3 or 4 foods in 3 or 4 trigger situations notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- ‘Boxing in’ or ‘Boxing out’ certain foods and situations helps people lose weight, Stephen Gullo PhD
- Limiting certain foods to only certain situations helps people lose weight notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- ‘Foodie-ism is when food comes before health, appearance and the quality of life, Stephen Gullo, PhD
- Being at home is a trigger situation for overeating for women; TV watching for men, Stephen Gullo
- Using substitute foods for trigger foods helps people lose weight notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- How to deal with food cravings according to Stephen Gullo, PhD, author of Thin Tastes Better
- How to deal with a temporary loss of control with food according to Stephen Gullo, PhD
- Almost all of my weight loss patients have given up peanuts, pretzels and chips notes Stephen Gullo
- An increase in frequency leads to an increase in quantity of certain foods notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- Stephen Gullo, PhD gives audio recordings to weight loss patients to teach, remind, motivate
- ‘Tomorrowisms’ are promising to change tomorrow, but control problems have to be addressed today
- I disagree with allowing people to eat problem foods for one-hour a night notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- Weight loss patients try to negotiate eating one food when told they can’t eat another, Dr. Gullo
- I don’t treat children or teenagers because they don’t understand control, Stephen Gullo, PhD
- Stephen Gullo, PhD uses slogans to help motivate his weight loss patients
- For those who are given to excess, abstinence is easier than moderation quotes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- Better to fax (or email) than to get fat notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- Weighing yourself daily is very helpful during weight maintenance notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- I have my patients calculate the ‘calorie units’ of their trigger foods notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- I have my patients ask themselves 4 or 5 questions about food daily notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- I have severely obese people monitored by their doctors every 2-3 weeks notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- I have exercise physiologists design exercise programs for weight loss notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- I use guar gum, glucomannan and spiraling to help with weight loss notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- People need to learn how to break their patterns of abusing trigger foods notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- The use of prescription diet pills should be limited to certain people notes Stephen Gullo, PhD
- How to Lose Weight: An interview with Stephen Gullo, therapist to the rich and famous
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