Weight control is a major part of most hypnotherapists’ work – but there’s something for you to consider- hypnosis isn’t magic, but the good news is that hypnosis is still one of the most powerful weight control tools available. It deals directly with the main reasons for putting on weight in the first place – unconscious habits.
For something that is so essential for our survival, it is surprising how small a part genuine hunger plays in our eating habits. People eat for all sorts of reasons – because they’re bored; because they’re upset; because they’re thirsty and they don’t realise it; or simply they have become used to eating a certain food at a certain time, and so on. Eating can also be an unconscious act, something that a person enjoys while sitting in front of the TV or at a desk.
A good hypnotherapist will be able to identify the unhelpful patterns of behaviour around eating, and work with the client to find better ways of dealing with boredom, stress and so on. Hypnosis can then be used to teach the unconscious mind more helpful ways, often by rehearsing a preferred behaviour in the mind. This sets up a “template of success” that the unconscious mind can refer to in the future.
Sometimes people’s ‘weight loss’ goals are compromised by cravings for fatty, sugary foods. Again, the hypnotherapist will be able to find out why this is happening. Perhaps it’s an attempt to meet an emotional need, or perhaps the client’s lifestyle means they are letting their blood sugars crash at certain points during the day and they’re reaching for a quick fix. Hypnosis can be used to remove cravings quickly and permanently.
Another important aspect of weight loss is goal setting. Many people say they would like to lose weight without being clear what that actually means. Hypnotherapy is all about setting good clear goals, so that the client knows what they will see, hear, feel and do when they reach their goal. Hypnosis can be used to provide a powerful boost of motivation towards achieving that goal, once it’s been identified.
Good weight control combined with hypnotherapy will also involve practical tips and techniques. For example, people who struggle with weight control often say that they don’t know when they feel hungry. One way to control your eating is to use a ‘Hunger Scale’. Next time you get the urge to snack, ask yourself – how hungry do I actually feel? Give it a number between 1 and 10, with 10 being ravenously hungry and 1 being satisfyingly full. The trick with healthy, sustained weight control is not to allow yourself to become too hungry or too full, so only eat when you’re at an appropriate point – say 5 or 6. Keep monitoring yourself, and stop eating when you feel you’ve dropped to a 4. This takes practice, but over time, you’ll become familiar with your body’s needs