Simply put "stimulus control" means that when you control the setting you control the behavior. Want an alcoholic to stop drinking? Keep booze out of the house. Want to deal with a sleep problem? Stop using your computer in bed, use your bed only for sleep. Simple stimulus control is a KEY element of weight loss. THINtervention did this by having them remove sugar from their kitchens. If the junk's not there, it is harder to eat.
Our most challenged group members, Jeana and Nikki, got the ultimate stimulus control. They were removed from their dysfunctional home settings. And it is very clear that their settings were doing them in. Jeana's profligate world of chefs, yachts, champagne swilling girlfriends, and critical children. Nikki's world of cocktails, cocktails, and lest I forget –- cocktails. Bryan provided Jeana with structure, discipline, a glimpse at a loving relationship, and an equal investment in clean eating. Mandy provided Nikki with something she never before had –- a home, a family, a schedule, and no access to those infernal cocktails. Hopefully, they can then go back to the original settings, armed with the sense of power that the good numbers gave them, and some concrete ideas about what they need to do to get the weight off AND keep it off.
What does this mean for regular folks? It means that if you are struggling with weight loss, you may need to shuffle the deck. You may not be able to "move away" for a week, but you may be able to construct a "new" setting –- dump the sugar, get the booze out of the house, turn home into a place of pleasure, activity, social interaction, and fun. Cook and eat at home with friends where you can control portions and ingredients. Even if you can't afford to have masseuses come to the house, you may have a bathtub in which to take a languorous soak. Exercise at home. Do something other than eat when you go out with friends.