Hypnotherapy for weight loss. Why diets don’t work
Your body doesn’t recognise health risks of being overweight, but it does recognise starvation. The body is not designed to be fed on refined sugars and processed foods. In the wild, without weapons, we are strategy hunters; we stalk our prey relentlessly until it collapses or weakens. You would probably eat once or twice a day and much of the food would be vegetarian. Your body would store any surplus energy as fat to help you through the winter and in the wild this would never lead to excess.
Now we have access to much more food and we don’t need to exercise to get it, your body still hasn’t adjusted. Health issues related to being overweight are just not recognised by your body, which thinks it is being helpful to your survival by laying down more and more stores of fat. The more often you go without food, the more your body worries that you may starve, even when it has excess amounts of fat already, so as soon as it gets the chance, it lays down even more for you. This is the vicious cycle of dieting.
So the trick is to eat less but don’t worry your body about starving. It is good to feel hungry as this is an indicator that your body is getting low on ready supplies of food in the blood stream, and indeed, is a sign that your fat stores are beginning to be used. Dieting is a balance between allowing a small amount of body fat to be used each day, whilst satisfying your body that you are not starving. Foods that are high in sugar and fat are more appealing when you are very hungry and you will be more likely to reach for them if you don’t eat during the day. These foods are very easy to obtain and eat and it is their convenience that motivates you to reach for them rather than taking the time and effort that eating more healthily may take. That is the only effort you need to put in. You do need to ensure that you have healthy foods available to you and that you like these foods. Any diet where you feel you are denying yourself and that is too much effort will not be sustained.
It is good to spread your daily calorie intake spread over the whole day, rather than eating the majority of food at night, which then converts to more fat while you sleep. Eating breakfast kick starts your metabolism and puts you back in connection with those hunger/fullness hormones. When you starve, eventually you stop registering those hunger pangs as your body can be kind at times and it seems to accept that if you have no access to food, it is not good to feel the pain of starvation constantly. Get back in connection with these feelings and look to eat an hour or so after you begin to feel the hunger. Eat as early as you can in the morning (you don’t have to feel hungry). High sugar foods lead to you being hungrier, quicker, as they increase the release of insulin which speeds up the process of fat storage. Sugars locked in more complex carbs which are found in fruit and veg, wheat, grains and pulses are much better as your body has to spend more time and energy in breaking these down.
Eat smaller portions. Using a smaller plate will help with this or make it a new habit to always leave something on the plate. Changing habits can feel uncomfortable at first, as you are naturally programmed to stay the same and cravings are simply a reminder that you had an old habit. Accept all cravings as being simply a reminder and thank them for their ‘help’. Then tell them that you are changing to regain that feeling of being more energetic and healthy; that this is now a value in your life and although in the past that value may have, you want to change now and new habits need to be set.
Exercise is not only good for your weight, but also the most important singular thing you can do for your overall health and well being. Do an exercise that you enjoy, but also look to increase the amount you walk each day by doing some very simple things such as parking your car further away from where you need to go or using stairs rather than lifts. Some people find it useful to use a pedometer to increase their steps. Use basic weights to increase muscle strength, as the more muscle you have, the faster you use energy. There is some evidence that just 5 minute bursts of exercise can be as effective as our long sessions and anything you do to increase your activity is great.
Have an overall goal in mind and a clear picture of how you would like to look and feel in the long term, but also have some smaller stage goals so you can see progression and get more pleasure from the journey. What would you like to have achieved in 3 months, 6 months and 1 year? If the end result is too distant it can affect your motivation, so look for, and feel pleased with the steps along the way.
Using hypnotherapy can help change your old attitudes towards eating and address any emotional attachments that may bind you into unhealthy eating patterns.
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