I have never been good at sticking to diets. I would always start off great and I’d be motivated for a couple of weeks, but then I’d get lazy, or have a bad day at work and would convince myself that I deserved a treat. Many of us can easily fall into this cycle when it comes to losing weight because we see food as comfort or reward, rather than fuel to sustain us. So when we go on a diet, we lose our reward system or end up feeling like we are being deprived of comfort and it all falls by the wayside.
So how can we go about changing our idea of diet and weight loss so that it has a positive impact on our lives instead of feeling like being in a perpetual cycle of depriving ourselves and giving in to temptation. That’s where hypnotherapy comes in.
What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a goal oriented therapy where a therapist will assist you in changing unwanted thought patterns and behaviours by exploring issues that you are facing and making positive carefully worded suggestions while you are in a relaxed receptive state. Typically, you will be guided into hypnosis using a combination of guided relaxation exercises and visualisations, much like a guided meditation.
Hypnosis has historically been regarded suspiciously, due to the perception given by stage hypnotists that their candidates are under the their control and appear to do things that they would not normally consider doing. But hypnotherapy isn’t about someone else controlling your mind while you are unconscious. As the client, you are fully in control at all times of just how relaxed you become. You are also not unconscious while in a hypnotic state – it’s more like the dreamy, floaty feeling that you get when you are just about to fall asleep or when you are just waking up in the morning. And it is this relaxed state that allows you to be more susceptible to suggestions of change.
Why use hypnotherapy to lose weight?
There may be many different reasons why you are finding it difficult to reach and maintain a desirable weight. It could simply be that you need some extra motivation and would benefit from a session to build self-esteem and visualise reaching their goals. However there may also be underlying emotional issues or unwanted habitual behaviours relating to food and lifestyle that need to be addressed in order for you to develop long-term positive changes in your weight and self-image.
An important benefit of hypnotherapy is its ability to bring you into a comfortable state of complete relaxation – something that eludes many of us in today’s hectic lifestyles. That coupled with being an effective means of reducing general anxiety provides a strong basis for improving how your body responds to food. When we are anxious, our bodies are in ‘fight or flight’ mode and naturally hold on to more body weight and crave high energy foods because they are expecting to have to respond quickly to danger. When we are less stressed and anxious, we produce less cortisol, have more control over cravings and naturally increase our metabolism.
Effective hypnotherapy for weight loss is tailored specifically to an individual and the particular changes that they want to see in your life. Examples of how hypnotherapy might be used in relation to weight loss and self-image include:
Increasing self-confidence and self-esteem
Reducing general anxiety and the need to use food as a means of comfort
Encouraging new ways of thinking about food
Breaking habits and associations between food and emotions
Instilling new healthy habits and choices in relation to food and exercise
Introducing mindful eating
Increasing motivation by visualising goals and highlighting progress
Creating aversions to particular problem foods
Changing underlying negative beliefs about weight and self-image
One thing to remember is that hypnotherapy is a complimentary therapy, and should be used alongside a healthy eating plan and exercise regime. If you would like advice about eating better and exercising, you may find it useful to speak to a nutritionist. It is often a combined effort of all these things that leads to success.
What to expect from a hypnotherapy session
First, you will have a consultation meeting with your therapist to discuss what you hope to achieve and agree what methods your therapist will use. Based on this meeting, your therapist will devise a treatment plan (typically 2-3 sessions unless there are complex underlying issues to address).
During a hypnotherapy session, your therapist will guide you into a state of deep relaxation using a combination of breathing, visualisations and suggestions. Once in a suitably relaxed state, your therapist will use targeted suggestions based on what they have learned about you to undo negative beliefs, instil new ways of thinking and encourage new behaviours. A session will typically last around 45 minutes, with time either side to discuss progress and next steps.
Will hypnotherapy work for me?
Hypnotherapy is a powerful tool to help change behaviour and thought patterns, and although some people are more open to suggestion than others, the majority of people will experience improvements with hypnotherapy. Clients often find that they feel much calmer and more in control of their thoughts and lives in general, and this can have a huge impact on everything from the ability to make significant lifestyle changes, success in relationships, to better self-confidence, and feeling much more equipped to deal with life’s challenges.
Good hypnotherapy is all about working in partnership with your therapist to work towards your individual goals – if you have a good relationship with your therapist, and have a genuine desire to make changes in your life, then there's every reason for you to succeed.
Want to know more?
Get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to explore hypnotherapy for weight loss. Or click below to book your free initial consultation.