No-Diet Weight Loss? Have you ever noticed that diets don’t work? Do you struggle hard, eat lettuce or no carbs, lose a few pounds and then give up? Do you then gain back the weight and a bit extra? You are not alone! This miserable cycle just keeps happening – and it happens for a very good reason.
Why Diets Fail at Weight Loss
When we restrict our diet, a very primitive thing happens in our brain – it goes into ‘starvation mode’, a state that prepares our body for the forthcoming famine, after all, if you were a caveman, the only time you would restrict what you ate would be when there were no fruits or berries to be found, or animals to hunt – probably winter.
So this caveman would go into starvation mode, craving high-energy, high fat foods, in order to lay down body fat to allow him to survive over the harsh, hungry winter, when little or no food was available.
These days, food is easy to find – at all times of the year. And, much of it is processed, refined or sweetened, making it easy to eat far more calories than we actually need. So we gain weight…. and then we diet!
Low-fat diet, low-calorie diet, low-carb diet, cabbage soup diet and all the others rely on making certain foods or food types forbidden. And, human nature being what it is – forbidden food is what is craved the most. And not allowing yourself what you want or crave is the number one reason that diets fail in the first place – they are simply not sustainable! Imagine I told you you could never eat something you love (chocolate, bread, cake, biscuits etc) EVER again! Not nice is it? In fact it can be quite psychologically damaging, making you feel miserable and guilty if you ‘break’ your diet for a biscuit!
When the ‘starvation mode’ ends (Springtime for the caveman, when we start eating ‘normally’ for us), our caveman will eat whatever he finds – he’s been starving for the last three months! Sadly, this response is also true of us, and explains the ‘rebound’ weight gain we often experience after dieting.
The ‘Diet Industry’ is huge – and it relies on your failure to survive. Just think about it for a second – if diets worked, there would be no overweight people, surely? And, if there were no overweight people, who would buy the latest diet books, or ‘calorie-counted ready meals for one’ or slimming pills? That’s right, NO ONE!
So, suppose I told you it was perfectly possible to lose weight and maintain that loss with:
- NO restrictive dieting
- NO banned foods
- NO enforced weigh-ins
- NO ‘slimming pills’
- NO rebound weight gain
What would you think? Incredible? Impossible?
Well, with just careful, individualised hypnotherapy and motivation, it is often very straightforward to change our attitudes to food, and our relationship with stress and anxiety, which can often lead to comfort eating – which can lead to guilt and anxiety, and result in more comfort eating, a vicious circle. When this cycle is broken, weight loss becomes almost automatic.
What needs to happen is to ‘break’ the habits that have caused us to gain the weight in the past, and replace those habits with new ‘good’ habits – habits that will last us a lifetime. So much of our physical body is controlled by our mind, and the way we think about things.
Strangely, as this process takes hold, many clients report actually enjoying the food they eat more. I call this ‘mindful eating’ – being aware of each mouthful, and not being distracted.
Clients also report feeling fuller, longer – and, as no food is banned – no cravings. And because the primitive ‘starvation mode’ is not invoked, then it becomes very difficult to be a victim of ‘rebound’ weight gain, or to binge when the mode ends.
During the first session of weight loss hypnotherapy, many clients are amazed at the sentence, “Just keep eating what you usually do!” However, I do explain thoroughly that this is not an excuse to binge! There are rules, but these are very simple and easy to stick to! As the sessions progress, it becomes more and more obvious to the client (and their subconscious mind!) what is required to lose weight or maintain weight. And it becomes easier and easier, as the client becomes more relaxed, less stressed and more confident!
If you have any further questions about weight loss, or wondering if Hypnotherapy is right for you, please do not hesitate in contacting me. All enquiries, just like my consultations, are held in the strictest confidence, and with your safety and well-being in mind.
A Note about Eating Disorders
It is estimated that 1.6 million people are affected by eating disorders in the UK.
Eating disorders, such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating, are often an outlet for a range of emotions including anger, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Such responses can be caused by a variety of factors: a general inability to cope, psychological trauma, bereavement or difficult relationships. Eating disorders can develop as a coping mechanism in response to these stresses.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy tackles these conditions by reducing anxiety and helping clients to regain a sense of perspective; once anxiety is under control many troublesome symptoms can be alleviated, including unhelpful behaviours associated with food.
This highly effective form of therapy can help clients overcome conditions, such as eating disorders, that are caused by, or made worse by, inappropriate responses to stress. The therapy encourages positive thinking by helping clients to focus on solutions to problems, rather than dwelling on the problems themselves.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy differs from earlier forms of therapy by encouraging clients to formulate a positive image of their problem-free future rather than analysing the cause or symptoms of problems from the past. Clients usually find their ability to cope improves and motivation, confidence and self-esteem are all restored. Once they have a better perspective on life they can regain control and a healthy relationship with food.
If you have any further questions about eating disorders, or wondering if Hypnotherapy is right for you, please do not hesitate in contacting me. All enquiries, just like my consultations, are held in the strictest confidence, and with your safety and well-being in mind.