Does Hypnotherapy Work for Weight Loss?
Whenever I write about weight loss I like to add in my views on the term ‘weight loss’. For me, it is really important to focus on excess fat loss (if we want to talk about the loss of anything) and your mind and body in all forms. Your belly might hang over the top of your pants and this feels uncomfortable so you feel eager to ‘lose weight’ but is this really your goal or do you want to tone your belly so there is more defined muscle (we’re not talking Peter Andre six pack here – just a little less wobble and a bit more strength).
The doctor expresses concern for your health so you seek hypnosis for weight loss but will this help you if you still eat the same damaging foods? I am more likely to help you eat a healthier diet rather than any old diet that will help you lose weight but not necessarily reduce your risk of disease.
You consider yourself overweight and lack confidence as a result, so you want hypnosis to lose weight. Unfortunately, perhaps, when you lose weight you keep yourself. Your thoughts are still your thoughts – so it is important to work on your self esteem and love for yourself, which will help you want to treat your body kindly and the weight loss will more likely happen.
So, when you ask the question, does hypnotherapy for weight loss really work, we have to think about what you want to achieve in a very specific way. Then question whether losing weight will make that happen. Weight loss hypnotherapy has more depth than a diet, it takes exploration and consideration to find the key that will unlock the answer to your difficulties.
Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss
When you try hypnotherapy for weight loss with me, I will initially ask many questions designed to get to know you and understand the reason you struggle to reach your target weight. We will discuss what you want to achieve and how you imagine you will feel once our work is complete. We will make sure that your body composition is the real problem and I will try to gain insight into why you are in this position.
Most people recognise that being overweight happens when we expend less calories than we take in. Whether this is due to a lack of movement, overeating, eating foods that are not conducive to optimum health or a combination of the three. It is important that I fully understand what you find difficult and what you can realistically change. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes makes all the difference, something that is obvious to me might never have occurred to you. Just as many small steps make a giant leap, a few small changes make one big change.
Does Hypnotherapy work for Weight Loss?
Hypnotherapy does work for weight loss, providing your therapist manages your expectations. I am not here to pretend that it is easy for either you or I – however I do know someone who stopped eating chocolate around twenty years ago after one hypnotherapy session. Hypnosis helps you to engage your brain and adjust your way of thinking. Hypnotherapists work in many different ways, in a previous blog post I explain why hypnosis is not the therapy. Here are some ways I will work with someone who comes to me and asks for weight loss hypnosis.
If you struggle to walk past the sweet table at work I will help you link the thought of the cakes to something repulsive. When you see or even think about the sweet table you will instantly think of the repulsive thing and feel more inclined to make a conscious decision to not pick up a biscuit. Aversion therapy typically uses a real stimulus, for example someone who wants to quit smoking may receive an electric shock every time they pick up a cigarette. The aversion hypnotherapy method uses an imagined stimulus. This is effective too because the brain cannot tell the difference between real and imaginary. When you imagine the negative stimulus whilst in a hypnotic state your brain will create a link in the same way.
If you find you have raided the fridge and eaten the food before you even realise what you are doing, some mindfulness training will help you. My blog post on mindfulness found here gives a great insight into what mindfulness is and how you can bring it into your life. Mindfulness will help you make conscious decisions so before you even get up and walk to the fridge you consider whether you feel hungry and need food or the feelings you have relate to a different need. Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation help you with interoception so you can satisfy your needs efficiently.
I often speak about exercise motivation and have previously written articles on it. However, recently I have matured my own beliefs. I realised that many people struggle with exercise because they wait for the motivation to do it. As someone who has followed a formal exercise programme between three and five times a week for over twenty years I can speak from experience and say the motivation is rarely what maintains the rhythm. It is discipline. I know if I wait until I feel motivated to exercise it probably would not happen. When I make it a non negotiable in my life it does happen. Like a gift in return, exercise gives me motivation for life.
Before we work on exercise we speak about how you will fit it into your life. When can you exercise without compromise? Exercise needs to become a priority so it is important we find a way to make it fit into your life whilst keeping time for your other priorities. The hypnotherapy session will help make exercise more appealing so – whilst you will still need discipline – the thought of exercise is positive and uplifting.
How Many Hypnotherapy Sessions for Weight Loss?
This article covers just three aspects of weight loss hypnotherapy. Your specific situation might not fall under one of these categories and there are many other tools in the hypnotherapy toolbox for your hypnotherapist to use. Another question regularly asked is how many hypnotherapy sessions for weight loss? Of course, this is akin to asking how long is a piece of string? Most of my clients will come to me for between four and six sessions. I never encourage people to come for more sessions than they need. Sometimes we discover that the excess weight is skimming the surface of a whole heap of other challenges. I will always try to meet you where you are and address your biggest concern first. If you then wish to explore other areas of your life there is the option.