As always, this is the time of year when hypnotherapy for weight loss is at its most popular as people’s thoughts turn to beach holidays and lighter perhaps more revealing clothing. Also excess weight can be so uncomfortable and exhausting in the hot weather.
So many people tell me that food and eating are on their mind all day long – when can I have another snack? Shall I have a piece of fruit or give in to the temptation of a chocolate bar or packet of crisps. All their self-talk is about “shoulds and oughts” and self-denial.
Of course, unlike with smoking cessation, we cannot simply stop eating. We need to find a new way to deal with food, become more aware of when we are genuinely hungry and not just thirsty or bored, and when we are full.
So many of us gobble down a plate full of food, a sandwich or snacks on the run. We need to learn to eat mindfully. We need to try to sit down at a table and focus on what we are eating – savour each mouthful, noticing the taste, texture, the smell. And when we eat more slowly and notice what we are eating, then we become aware at what point we are full and tend to remain satisfied for longer.
I notice too that for many people portion size is a very big issue. There is a very useful website – www.myfitnesspal.com – which can really help you to be more aware of the size of the portions you are eating. You enter the amounts of the various foods you eat at each meal, and it calculates the calories for you. You may be eating healthy foods but even healthy foods in large quantities can pile on the pounds rather than getting rid of them.
Exercise too is vital to weight loss. And by exercise I don’t mean pounding the treadmill at the gym. Depending on your starting weight, you may find this very uncomfortable and, in fact, quite detrimental to your general health. See how you could sensibly increase your exercise to fit in with your lifestyle. It may mean getting off the bus or tube at an earlier stop and walking half a mile extra each day. It may mean a cycle ride or walking the dog briskly. Perhaps you have a friend or partner who will support you – go with you to make the exercise more pleasurable and relaxing. If you have a sedentary job, remind yourself somehow to get up and walk around every hour. Just stretching gently as you walk to the water or coffee machine will help to make a difference. Simple stretches like those recommended on long flights are helpful.
Start in a small way and make sure that you’re doing something you can maintain without disrupting your life too much. Even a little change will make a difference.
Before you start your weight loss programme, set yourself some well thought through goals. Just “I want to lose weight” is not enough. Think of what clothes size you would like to achieve or what your goal weight is. And make sure that this is an achievable goal, not something completely unreasonable. Also ask yourself, how will your life be different when you have achieved your goal? Who will be the first to notice? What will you be doing differently? Will you be able to go places or do activities which haven’t been possible for quite some time? Sometimes excess weight can really limit our lives. Imagine how free and proud of yourself you will feel when you have achieved your goal.
Also it’s important to ask yourself, how motivated are you to lose weight? If it’s only a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10 (where one is “don’t care” and 10 is “extremely motivated”) then ask yourself what would increase your motivation? Hypnotherapy is not magic. It does require commitment and good motivation to succeed.
In addition to the basic weight loss programme, a virtual gastric band weight loss hypnotherapy can also help clients who have struggled and found themselves failing time and time again. This is, of course, non-invasive and painless and again, designed to help with motivation and build good habits for the future.