Navigating the Intricacies of Hypnotherapy, Blood Sugar, and Body Composition for Weight Loss

 

As a hypnotherapist, I believe it is important to shed light on the occasions when the magic of hypnosis may not weave its usual spell. I often explain the importance of lifestyle shifts that seem unrelated to the presenting issue. I regularly recommend a holistic approach, including other complementary practitioners (with different expertise). I strive to demystify the role of the hypnotherapist and emphasise the essential blend of therapist and hypnotist.

 

Beyond merely inducing hypnosis and making suggestions, hypnotherapists must understand the complexity of problems and recognise why and when hypnosis might not work. Such is the case with weight loss – or fat loss and body composition, terms I’d prefer to use. When you seek hypnotherapy for weight loss or to change your diet, the following information is highly relevant – as is time with a nutritional therapist.

 

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Do we need glucose?

 

Glucose is a vital component that impacts every system in your body. It serves as the human body’s preferred source of energy. In fact, every cell in your body relies on glucose to fuel its functions. You can consume glucose through two types of food: starchy foods such as pasta, bread, rice, and vegetables, and sweet sugary foods like cookies and fruits.

 

The correlation between carbohydrates and sugar is regularly misunderstood. Carbohydrates and sugar, while distinct, share fundamental similarities. The composition of both is carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and they both provide energy as glucose.

 

Sugar, as we know it, is a soluble type of carbohydrate with a sweet taste. We split simple sugars into monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, and galactose) and disaccharides (sucrose – table sugar, lactose – found in milk, and maltose – found in grains). Monosaccharides and disaccharides contrast to polysaccharides, which are complex carbohydrates that include starches and fibres. These are chains of sugar molecules and are neither soluble nor sweet tasting.

 

It’s crucial to recognise that your body processes both types of glucose inputs similarly. Whether derived from processed cookies high in refined sugar or natural sources like vegetables or rice, glucose is glucose once in your body and serves as a vital energy source. When your blood glucose levels drop too much, you’ll experience a decrease in energy and find it harder to concentrate. Your body can momentarily replenish glucose stores from your liver, but this reserve is finite. Without enough glucose, your body must convert fats and proteins into glucose.

 

Blood Sugar Spikes

 

So, the good news is, you need sugar! But…of course there is a but! Excessive glucose intake, much like overwatering a plant, has a negative effect on your body. The mitochondria in your cells convert the glucose into energy. Mitochondria thrive on a steady trickle of glucose. Abrupt spikes cause the mitochondria to shut down. This puts your body into a state of stress, causing inflammation, fatigue, and glycation. Glycation causes sugar to bind to cells and tissues, leading to health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and arthritis. Glycation also accelerates aging.

 

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Insulin and Blood Sugar Spikes

 

Your body has a clever system to counter glucose spikes. It releases insulin. Insulin plays a central role in maintaining blood sugar homeostasis by helping with the uptake, utilisation, and storage of glucose, as well as regulating fat metabolism. 

 

Insulin holds the key to the cell doors, allowing glucose to enter. When blood sugar levels spike and mitochondria start to shut down, insulin helps lower blood sugar levels by opening the cell doors to store excess energy for future use. The cell doors insulin opens are in the liver, muscles, and fat cells, increasing fat accumulation. Additionally, elevated insulin levels correlate with conditions like PCOS and fertility issues, and sometimes manifest as type 2 diabetes.

 

The Best Sources of Glucose

 

Complex carbohydrates found in whole grains and vegetables also contain essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre. I like to imagine the fibre acting as a sponge between the sugar and the body. This lets the sugar trickle through slowly, preventing a damaging blood sugar spike. So, when the body receives sugar with fibre, there is a slower release of glucose into the body. This prevents a blood sugar spike and reduces the risk of mitochondria shutting down, and therefore the release of excess insulin into the body (with it’s key to those cells).

 

Historically, plants had much higher fibre and seed content. There was very little of the sweet juicy stuff. Typically, humans have changed the dynamic of these natural foods with modern breeding practices. We now have much more of the sugary part and far less of the fibrous bits. It’s important therefore to eat the fibrous part of the plant too, and to remember your body evolved to eat significantly more fibre with the plant and to eat it rarely. These natural foods were scarce, and whilst we need the fibre, vitamins, and minerals, we only need a slow trickle of the glucose.

 

Most simple sugars are human created. Much like human’s learned to breed the plants with more of the sweet stuff and less of the other, we also learned how to strip foods of everything, leaving only the sugar. Simple sugars are therefore more likely found in processed foods and sweets. Although fruit is generally a simple sugar too. Because these sugars are more likely to come without the fibrous sponge, there is increased risk of a rapid spike in blood sugar, causing many of the problems mentioned earlier.

 

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Insulin and Gut Bacteria

 

Another interesting fact is that high insulin levels inhibit fat cell emptying. Although insulin holds the key to the cells, that key opens a one-way door. When there is excess insulin travelling around your body, the fat cells will take in glucose, but not release it. Reducing insulin levels is therefore paramount to fat reduction. We cannot underestimate the importance of managing insulin levels through diet and lifestyle if you want to improve your body composition. Strategies such as a balanced, blood sugar stabilising diet, regular physical activity, and managing stress all help regulate insulin levels.

 

Although it would take a whole other blog post, it’s important to note that your gut bacteria are separate entities to you. You nurture your gut bacteria through what you eat. Some gut bacteria are more favourable than others. Unfortunately, when you eat the sugar loving bacteria, they thrive and crave more of it. You are not to blame for your sugar cravings! It’s the pesky bacteria within you. However, the more you nurture them, the stronger they’ll become.

 

If you want to change your body composition, hypnotherapy to help banish old habits and create new ones is relevant. However, speaking to a nutritional expert is as important to ensure your diet is blood sugar stabilising.

 

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