Do you take up each new promising diet you hear about, only to find that at first, you quickly shed at least some of your excess weight, but then slowly end up regaining much of what you lost? If you do, you are certainly not alone. This yo-yo pattern of weight gain and loss is the experience of literally millions of people. Fortunately, hypnotherapy can provide you with an effective alternative. Treatment will involve a number of therapeutic sessions that are specifically designed to help you modify those unhelpful habits that, over time, have resulted in your unwanted weight gain.
Restrictive eating plans tend not to work in the long run. This is especially true for fad diets. Still, simple formulas and glossy pictures continue to support their hollow promise of easy weight control. Each year, huge numbers of desperate people are enticed into adopting these, often punishing, eating regimes; and each year, huge sums of money pour into this lucrative sector of the market.
The reality is that no eating plan or fad diet is geared to deal with the deeper issues that, in all likelihood, will have been the real cause of you putting on weight. Also, no particular supplement or combination of foods can contend with those bigger underlying issues that so often serve to sabotage a person’s good intensions in life – either dietary or otherwise.
We develop most of our numerous tendencies while we are still children. Some of these are helpful, but others are not. Either way, we rarely re-examine them. Instead we simply tend to unconsciously carry them with us throughout our lives.
An example of this is what we might do with the excess food should we find that we have more than we need on our plate. As children, many of us were taught to eat everything that was put in front of us. We learned that to not do so was to be both ungrateful and wasteful. In consequence, we, as adults, still continue to eat, even when we have had enough and should really stop. Large portion sizes, not to mention leftovers, necessitate that some food is anyway wasted. However, because of the lessons of our upbringing, we may have a habit of wasting excess food into our ever expanding stomachs rather than simply putting it into a dustbin, where it really belongs.
It is not only the amount of food that we eat that might be impacting on our weight. It may also be the type of food. Certain foods create addictions and, without us even realising it, can play havoc with our fluctuating energy levels. Unscrupulous manufacturers understand this all too well, and often create products that trigger cravings and support unhealthy eating patterns. They are also most adept at actively marketing these products. Unhealthy product placement is now commonplace in movies and on television, and billboards and other advertisements frequently contain subliminal sales messages.
Our emotional needs can all too often be experienced as hunger. Many of us eat simply to combat boredom, or to comfort or reward ourselves. We have a mind-set that believes that we actually need certain delights ‘every now and then’. Additionally, there can be a shared feeling of being ‘naughty’ whenever we indulge in an illicit treat.
Perhaps some or even all of these factors may be relevant to you. Perhaps none are. However, they are examples of common behaviour patterns, which give rise to weight issues. Often, simple willpower is not enough to effectively deal with them. Should that be the case, hypnotherapy can help to re-programme the unconscious mind. It is able to target that part that is causing you difficulties. The sessions will enable you to begin to recognise the underlying issues that have caused you to gain weight and go on to help you find ways to control them, both now and in the future.
It is possible to break free from the relentless cycle of increasing and losing weight. Indeed, many previously overweight people have had lasting success, which has in turn served to increase their self-confidence and positively impact on almost every aspect of their lives. The focus of the work I do is to enable my clients to eat less, but enjoy their food more. Lifestyle changes, which include exercise and healthy eating, do of course play their part, but so does increased mindfulness and overcoming unhelpful beliefs, habits and emotional blocks that so often derail our good intensions.
In recent years, the hypnotic gastric band treatment has become something of a trendy weight-loss method. Marketed under various guises, it is intended to result in you having your body believe that a gastric band has actually been put in place within you, even though this is, of course, not the case. The intervention is sometimes promoted as a quick-fix, magic bullet to weight loss.
During normal gastric band surgery, a band is surgically fitted around the top of your stomach with the purpose of causing a feeling of fullness after you have eaten just a small amount of food. It is considered to be a relatively radical solution, and tends to be undertaken as a last resort when various other means of weight control have been unsuccessful.
Even such actual surgery is no magic wand. Once the band is in place, it is necessary for a person to eat slowly. It becomes important to take small mouthfuls and to chew thoroughly. Most people have also found it important to control their portion size, often eating from a small tea plate rather than a normal dinner plate. Typically, people can also spend no more than about 20 minutes on each meal.
Indeed, the experience is not always an easy one. When hungry, they may be tempted to fall back into old bad habits, such as eating fast and not chewing properly. They may then experience a sudden discomfort and be forced to stop eating and to wait for some food to slowly move through the artificial neck in the stomach sac. Such a bad reaction can cause them to retch (which can prove just a little antisocial). They are also likely to find they need to avoid certain foods so as to prevent feeling uncomfortable or being sick.
Although installing a virtual or hypnotic gastric band is of course safer, less invasive and therefore more desirable than undergoing an actual surgical procedure, it still neither deals with managing a person’s hunger nor with whatever underlying emotional triggers may be at the root of the person’s unhelpful eating patterns.
When it works as intended, the virtual gastric band is meant to replicate the extremely unpleasant reactions brought about by a real gastric band. When it does not work (as is frequently the case) it only serves to increase those unhelpful feelings of failure that are often prevalent in people who need to better control their weight. As a therapist, I would wish to avoid causing my clients either experience.
I do feel it is kinder, more empowering and (in the long run) more effective to adopt a mindful, eat-less-enjoy-more strategy. As with other issues involving emotions and established patterns of behaviour, hypnotherapy and its related disciplines can be most helpful in this regard.
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