• Anxiety – what is it and how can we help?

How can hypnotherapy help with Weight Loss?

Why do we gain weight?

In a nutshell, consuming more calories than we burn leads to weight gain. The reasons for burning less may be down to illness, slower metabolism or genetic factors but the rule still applies that if we eat more than we burn, excess calories can be stored as fat.

Diets – why they don't work

There is no doubt that diets as we know them work un the short term, but they are not so successful in the long term, Most diets prohibit certain foods or even entire food groups and are often a big departure from the foods a person would normally eat. Whilst it is possible to override our usual eating habits to reach a goal, in the long term this is usually not sustainable and people often put weight back on after their goal is reached, as the goal is no longer present. Constant calorie-counting and watching what we eat draws our attention back to the food, and we can end up thinking constantly about what we are eating - and, very often, what we are not allowed to eat. When the effort of the diet becomes too much, people fall off the wagon and the weight piles back on.

What can you do instead?

In order to sustain a healthy and managable weight loss – and by that we refer to the NHS guidelines of 1-2lbs a week – we need to look at why people over eat. The magic question to consider is 'are you always hungry when you eat?' If not, you are eating for some other reason and it is these occasions that lead to weight gain. At other times you are eating for fuel for your body. In other words, the key to sustainable weight loss is to address the psychological reasons behind eating. When these are resolved, weight loss can naturally follow.

Why do we eat when we're not hungry? Emotional eating!

Emotional eating is when we use food to soothe unwanted emotions, We all have needs: ifthose needs are not met, it can lead to anxiety and stress and it is then common to 'self-sooth' – this is why people turn to alchohol, drugs, habits, and of course food. Eating stimulates the pleasure centres of our brain and when you combine this with feelings such as stress, low self-esteem, sadness and boredom, it is easy to see how emotional eating can lead to weight gain.

The subconscious is programmed to protect us; at some point, there will have been a perceived benefit to these eating habits: a reward, or entertainment; to counteract an unpleasant experience; as a substitute for love. Since these reasons are deeply embedded in the subconscious, it can be difficult to maintain any weight loss. The subconscious reasons for over-eating are often greater than the conscious desire to keep the weight off.

How can we help ourselves?

Firstly by recognising the signs. Emotional eating is generally an unconscious action, and usually comes on very quickly - a strong and loud craving. This is different to physical hunger, which creeps up slowly. The emotional eating craving is always for greasy, fatty or sugary comfort food - we never crave a salad when it’s emotional.

Second, recognise that emotional eating is a call from a part of ourselves that doesn’t wantto feel a certain way. The unwanted feeling is suppressed by our subconscious and the food is a replacement and assists in this suppression to stop us feeling it. It’s a form of protection.

If we recognise that what we are doing is self-soothing, we need to learn to become authentic with our feelings and recognise why we are eating. Mindful eating is a good approach. Any time you suspect you are eating for emotional reasons, stop and ask yourself why you are eating? Do I really need this? Is this a replacement for something else instead?

If we recognise that what we are doing is self-soothing, we need to learn to become authentic with our feelings and recognise why we are eating. Mindful eating is a good approach. Any time you suspect you are eating for emotional reasons, stop and ask yourself why you are eating? Do I really need this? Is this a replacement for something else instead?

Are there other reasons for over-eating?

Quite often people simply develop poor eating habits. We may have been taught, for example, to eat everything on our plate, but plate sizes have increased dramatically over the years, So 'everything on the plate' is now much more than it was. Our faulty relationship with food often starts at an early age - parents might use treats as a reward ("eat your dinner or there will be no pudding"), or guilt ("think of all those starving children").

How can hypnotherapy help?

As hypnotherapy works directly with the subconscious, it is an ideal method to combat unhealthy eating habits. Instead of focusing on what you eat, hypnotherapy can help to break the patterns of behaviour that lead to over-eating. Unlike many diets out there, weight loss through hypnotherapy does not forbid any food. We work with the subconscious to encourage better eating habits and get rid of unwanted food cravings. By encouraging healthy eating and a better lifestyle, weight loss usually follows. Healthy eating hypnotherapy sessions are designed to help encourage you to change your deep-seated feelings and thoughts about food, your body and your eating habits, giving you the motivation to succeed in losing weight and to establish healthy patterns to achieve long-lasting results.

What else can help?

BWRT also enables us to deal effectively with weight issues such as binge eating, drinking and cravings.