One of the most common things that people come to a hypnotherapist is for help losing weight. Everyone wants to be healthy and look good and some find that despite their best efforts when it comes to staying active and exercising regularly (and may even succeed in losing a significant amount), they cannot keep it off due to their eating habits. They say “you can’t outrun your fork”.
Whether due to stress at work or in their personal lives, it can be easy to turn to food as a coping mechanism. This so called “emotional eating” is a psychological barrier to the goals of health and fitness.
Be it those long work lunches or that moment of weakness late at night, there is always an emotional component to our food choices. The key is to recognise the kind of thinking that will lead to the outcomes we desire and engage in that.
So take a moment and ask yourself something: when you look at food you really don’t need to eat, (but you find yourself wanting to eat), what do you think?
Do you imagine how good it is going to taste? Do you imagine how good it is going to feel on the tongue? The texture, the satisfying sugar rush it’s going to give you? Perhaps the smell or sensation you will have. In this moment, you are engaging in a kind of thinking called future pacing. The issue with this kind of future pacing is that it also leaves out other factors: the heavy feeling in your body after eating too much fatty foods, the low that comes after eating those sugary foods or perhaps the feeling of guilt that occurs just after your binge. This is “fat thinking” and often occurs just out of our conscious awareness, motivating us to do the behaviours that will move use away from feeling and looking slim.
We all know people that seemingly can remain slim no matter what. For some people good genes certainly play a role, but most have a naturally healthy relationship with food through engaging in “thin thinking”. They do a version of future pacing as well but also factor in how good they will feel after eating that healthy meal or how bad they will feel after eating the junk food.
These are all strategies that both fat and thin people engage unconsciously. One thing a good hypnotherapist can do is help people install these at level of a person’s mind so that when faced with choices like this, they will automatically slow down and be able to choose the strategy that benefits them most.
Have you considered how much your automatic patterns around eating influence your weight loss or fitness goals?
When looking to lose weight, dealing with psychological aspects will ensure your long-term success. In peer-reviewed studies, hypnosis has been shown to significantly advance the amount of weight loss of behavioural programmes, and does so for longer.