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How To Lose Weight With The Pause Button Technique

How to Lose Weight with the Pause Button Technique

How to Lose Weight With The Pause Button Technique

It is often said that hindsight is a wonderful thing. Assuming that we are unable to travel back in time and redo the things that we have come to regret, the best we can hope for is the ability to make wise judgements in the present. For some, this comes quite naturally. However, for others, it is more challenging. On this page, we will explain how you can manipulate things a little to help you in your weight loss efforts using the Pause Button Technique.

Pause Button Technique to Lose Weight

 The Pause Button Technique, or TactileCBT, is a simple but effective way of helping us to make better decisions around food, for example. It guides us through a series of thinking processes in which we consider and evaluate information from the past, present and future to help us make more informed, more balanced judgements in the present. When we make good judgements, our social, psychological and emotional well-being improves significantly.

TactileCBT helps us to find new, improved ways of thinking and acting and then enables us to incorporate them into a new, improved life path. To do this successfully, we must learn to identify and evaluate all of the alternative choices and actions available to us. We very rarely have only one option, one choice or one course of action available to us. We usually have several.

Being aware of these various options is vitally important when we want to make positive changes in our lives. We, therefore, need to ‘Pause’ and take a second to ask ourselves: What else could I have done? What else could I be doing? You may also like to read our page: “Diet by numbers”

Lose Weight Pause Button Technique

Spend some time reflecting on how and when your weight problem has been present in your life so far. Think about your food choices and actions relating to it. The consequences, good and bad that you experienced when you made a particular decision or responded in a certain way. Think about the things you did right. And the things that you later regretted.

Now ask yourself the following questions….What choices did I make? Which actions did I take? What were the consequences of those choices and actions? Ten minutes later? One hour later? A day later? A month or even a year later…

Choices, Actions and Consequences…

Then, spend time thinking about the alternative choices and actions available to you at those times. So, if you could rewind time, knowing then what you know now, what would you do differently? And once again, ask yourself the following questions…. What choice could I make? Which action could I take? What might the consequences be? Ten minutes later? One hour later? A day later? A month, a year later? 

Lose Weight with the Pause Button Technique

Can you think of any other alternatives? If so, write them down as well. If you are able to, describe three or four potential alternatives, giving as much detail as you can about the likely outcomes and consequences. Try to imagine the impact each one will have across all areas of your life—social, family, mood, health, work, home, intimate relationships, and so on.

If you find that you are struggling to think of alternatives, then enlist the help of other people. Ask family, friends or work colleagues what they would do if they were faced with the same dilemma or problem with their weight and eating habits. How would they react? What would they choose to do? What do they think the outcome would be if…? The perspective of others is often very useful and quite enlightening. 

How to Lose Weight With The Pause Button Technique

Alternatively, you can detach yourself from the problem slightly by imagining that a friend or family member has approached you for help. What alternatives would you suggest they consider? What other choices do they have available? It’s often much easier to solve other people’s problems because when it’s not your own issue, you can remain emotionally detached from it. Therefore, you are more likely to think about the whole situation rationally and objectively. So it’s a very useful technique to use.

TactileCBT and Pause Button Technique

 It is difficult to make real and significant changes in your life if you are struggling to stay motivated or if you don’t feel fully committed to the end goal. Continuing with the same, predictable life path often feels easier. However, the consequences of delaying change are usually negative, and they have a nasty habit of growing bigger as time passes. You may also be interested in our post exploring “The Link Between Dementia and Obesity”

Addressing your weight problem now will undoubtedly lead to a significantly better quality of life in the long term. Optimising motivation to succeed and commitment to the outcome is therefore vitally important for therapy, and both are greatly enhanced when we have a strong emotional connection to the outcome that we are trying to achieve.

 Developing a strong emotional connection to your new life is a central component of TactileCBT. You have identified a range of alternative choices and actions available to you. Maybe you have selected one or two that are most likely to help you achieve your weight-loss goals and lead to your new, improved life path. The next step is to forge a strong emotional connection to these choices/actions and to the new life that you could be living.   

press pause before you act

 Find a quiet place to sit or lie down where you won’t be disturbed. Take some time to relax. Empty your mind, allowing any new thoughts to float past, and focus on you and on your breathing. You are going to think about the problem that you are overcoming and the changes that you are making. You are going to think about past, present and future events relating to your weight problem.

 Imagine that you are an actor in a movie. You are playing the central role, the lead character. You are on set and about to be involved in a series of scenes. Each one is very detailed, and you are experiencing everything: the sights, the sounds, the smells, the sensations on your skin, the sensations in your body.

The first scenes of the movie go back to your past. They are of memories relating to your weight problem; the choices that you made in the past that made the problem worse. The actions that led to negative outcomes. We also have a page: “The gold standard in weight loss”. How to Lose Weight With The Pause Button Technique.

How to Lose Weight With The Pause Button Technique

Other scenes are of occasions when you made a good decision and took positive action. You, the lead character, experience the benefits of that good choice. The positive outcome, the positive feelings, the positive sensations. You live, breathe, and feel the scenes that are unfolding. You are experiencing your past. The good and the bad.  

Then, think about the present and your life as it is now. Again, draw on the good and the bad. The things you are happy with and the things you want to change. Live, breathe, and feel this life. Experience it throughout your body and mind.

And then think about the future. The life that you will have if you continue on the same path, making no changes. The outcome and consequences of living the same lifestyle. And then think about the future that you want, the future that you can have if you take a different path, making positive changes and achieving permanent weight loss.

TactileCBT to lose weight

Throughout this exercise, add as much detail to the images that you are creating as you can. Let yourself connect on all levels with the scenes that unfold. The more detailed and realistic the imagined journey, the stronger the emotional connection to the events you create in your mind.

And most importantly, allow yourself to imagine the good feelings that you will experience when you achieve your goal. Allow yourself to truly connect with the positive life that you are working towards. You can also read our page which refers to psychology-based “Weight-Loss Tips”

Understanding Time Perspective

TactileCBT develops, balances and enhances time perspective by taking people through a journey of mental time travel. Using the pause button technique, a person can jump back and forth through time in their mind, navigating the three-time partitions. They automatically draw on information from the past, present and future to make judgements and decisions.

How to Lose Weight with the Pause Button Technique

They learn, often for the first time, to speculate about their future. What might happen? What might be the outcome? How about the consequences? And they learn, almost without realising, to make decisions that are based on thorough evaluations of the available evidence. 

To prepare yourself for using the pause button technique or to further enhance your time perspective, you can also do the following exercise. It is similar to the exercise that helped you to develop a strong emotional connection to your new life path. 

As before, find a quiet place to sit or lie down where you won’t be disturbed. Take some time to relax. Empty your mind and focus on you and your breathing. You may also find our dedicated page: “Why Psychology is key to weight loss” of interest.

TactileCBT and mental time travel

Now, just imagine that you have a time machine. The machine has a large screen showing the pause button card. You press REWIND and are taken back to events in the past. Previous times when you made a particular choice around food or took a certain course of action. A time when you did something that you later regretted.

Live these scenes as they unfold. What can you see, hear, or smell? Which sensations are running through your body? What thoughts are running through your mind? And what emotions are you feeling? Take yourself through the whole scene in detail: the context leading up to the decision, the moment you made the decision, the action you took, and the consequences that unfolded.

Now FAST FORWARD to a minute later… an hour later …a day, a week, a month, a year later. Connect yourself fully to these scenes as they unfold through time. The consequences through time of that one choice. Live it, feel it, experience it.

And then FAST FORWARD to the present. Choose one of the alternative, positive paths that you could have taken. A path that leads to the slim, healthy future that you desire, the future that you wish for. Now, FAST FORWARD to that future. In the same way that you lived and felt the past, now live and feel the future. How to Lose Weight With The Pause Button Technique.

pause button technique and TactileCBT to lose weight

Explore the scenes that unfold when you choose this alternative, positive future path. Live it, feel it, experience it. The smells, the colours, the sensations on your skin, on your face. The feelings that engulf you. The lifestyle you are leading. The people around you. The successes, the positive changes. Live the slim, healthy life that you are choosing to make for yourself. Connect to it.  Now, REWIND back to the present.

 This simple exercise will help you to develop the ability to mentally time travel and to imagine past, present and future events, drawing on the information that they contain. The clearer and more detailed the imagery that you create, the deeper the mental processing and the more effective the exercise.

The Bottom Line

Repeat this exercise as often as you can. Try to incorporate the emotional connection exercise as well: the two together form the basis of the pause button technique, and repeated practice will, therefore, greatly enhance the therapeutic benefits that you gain from TactileCBT. And, of course, you can now use the Pause Button Technique to lose weight permanently! 

Our Top FAQs

FAQ 1: What is the Pause Button Technique, and how does it help with weight loss?

Answer: The Pause Button Technique, also known as TactileCBT, is a simple but effective method that helps us make better decisions about food and other aspects of our lives. It guides us through a process of thinking about our past, present, and future choices and their consequences, ultimately leading to more informed and balanced decisions. When we make better choices, it positively impacts our social, psychological, and emotional well-being, which can be instrumental in weight loss efforts.

FAQ 2: Why is it essential to reflect on past choices and actions when using the Pause Button Technique?

Answer: Reflecting on past choices and actions is crucial because it allows us to evaluate the consequences of our decisions. By understanding the impact of our past actions on our weight and well-being, we can identify areas for improvement and make more informed choices in the present and future. How to Lose Weight With The Pause Button Technique.

FAQ 3: How can I identify alternative choices and actions when using the Pause Button Technique?

Answer: To identify alternative choices and actions, you can ask yourself, “What else could I have done?” and “What else could I be doing?” You should also think about the potential consequences of different choices at various time intervals, like ten minutes, one hour, a day, a month, or even a year later. If you struggle to think of alternatives, consider seeking input from friends, family, or colleagues, as their perspectives can be enlightening.

FAQ 4: How can I develop a strong emotional connection to my weight loss goals and the choices I make?

Answer: Developing a strong emotional connection to your weight loss goals is a central component of TactileCBT. You can do this by visualizing past, present, and future events related to your weight problem in great detail. Imagine yourself as the central character in a movie, experiencing the consequences of your actions. Focus on the positive feelings you’ll experience when you achieve your weight loss goals.

FAQ 5: What is “time perspective,” and how does TactileCBT enhance it?

Answer: Time perspective refers to how individuals perceive and relate to past, present, and future events. TactileCBT enhances time perspective by helping people navigate these three temporal dimensions in their minds. It encourages individuals to draw on information from the past, present, and future when making judgments and decisions. This helps them speculate about their future, anticipate outcomes, and make decisions based on a comprehensive evaluation of available evidence.

FAQ 6: How can I further enhance my time perspective using TactileCBT?

Answer: To enhance your time perspective, you can use an exercise similar to the emotional connection exercise. Find a quiet place, relax, and imagine you have a time machine. Visualize rewinding to past events where you made specific choices and experience the consequences. Then fast forward to the present and select an alternative, positive path leading to your desired future. Visualize that future in detail. Practising this exercise can deepen your ability to mentally time travel.

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How to Lose Weight With The Pause Button Technique

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How to Lose Weight With The Pause Button Technique

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How to Lose Weight With The Pause Button Technique

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Mental Health Awards 2022 "Most Innovative Obesity Psychological Therapy Service"

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Holly and Phil interviewed Martin and Marion Shirran

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Good Morning America

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Martin and Marion Shirran
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How to Lose Weight With The Pause Button Technique

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