We all want to find a way of losing excess weight that works, with minimum effort. The mantra of ‘dieting doesn’t work’ has been doing the rounds for years and many people are just disillusioned with getting on and off the seemingly endless diet treadmill. But is there really a way around it, a way that you can lose excess weight just by, literally, putting your mind to it?
There are many new programmes that tempt people in with just that promise. Some of them use hypnosis to try and train the mind into not eating anything that you’re a sucker for, and there are several ways that you can use hypnotism to help you lose weight that promise weight loss with absolutely no effort except listening to a CD, or having a session with a trained hypnotherapist. So how does hypnotherapy work if you’re trying to lose weight?
Willpower Versus the Subconscious Mind
Well, most diet and exercise programmes rely on the old faithful willpower to work. The trouble is that willpower only works for as long as we are totally focused on a goal, and strong enough to resist the temptation of a chocolate bar, cakes at work, or sitting on the sofa instead of going for a run. It’s fine at the beginning of a diet when you’re all fired up, and thinking all you need is a bit of effort and willpower and you’ll be a size ten. But willpower tends to wear off.
The trouble with strength of will is that it all comes from your conscious mind, the part that nags you on a daily basis that you’re too fat or not fit enough. The conscious mind likes to think that it’s in control of us, because it’s the part we hear most. In reality, hypnotherapists will tell you, it’s actually the subconscious mind, chuntering away in the background and trying to process all of our past experiences, including failed diet attempts, that’s telling us what to do, powerfully yet quietly. If you want to be able to lose weight without the pesky conscious mind butting in all of the time to tell you that the dessert looks delicious or just one more glass of wine won’t hurt, you need to attack the issue with a powerful weapon – the subconscious mind.
How Hypnotherapy Can Help
Hypnotherapy is safe and effective, because it doesn’t involve using any drugs, or unusual diet products. It relies on ‘programming’ your subconscious mind to eat in a healthy way.
Of course, simply sitting in a hypnotherapist’s chair or listening to a CD of soothing words won’t do the actual work for you, and it’s true that hypnotherapy can only work if you then take the appropriate action. But studies have proved that it can really help if you use hypnosis to help you stay on track. A 1998 Study “Controlled trial of hypnotherapy for weight loss in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea” found that people who used hypnosis to help them lose weight not only lost the weight but also kept it off for longer – and another benefit was that they reported being less stressed. The caveat was that they all used hypnotherapy in addition to a diet and exercise plan.
What Happens in Hypnosis?
There are several different types of hypnosis-led diet plan. One very popular method is the book and CD combination, and there are several varieties of this type of plan online, or in bookshops. The idea is that you read the book, and then you’ll usually be asked to listen to the CD on a daily basis to reinforce the thinking in the book. It’s really worth shopping around for a plan that will suit you as some of them can be faddy in themselves, attempting to convince you not to eat certain types of food. Others are gentler and just give you the tools to stick to a plan of your choice.
There are also books that help you to harness the power of your mind to learn to eat naturally, stop when you are hungry and choose the right foods. These can be very effective, in fact one of them has been turned into a television show in the UK and been a great success.
You can also choose to have hypnosis sessions with a trained hypnotherapist for weight loss. The therapist will put you at ease and explain what hypnosis actually is. It’s not a case of ‘putting you under’ or in some kind of trance, as you will usually be conscious of what’s going on around you, but in a deep state of relaxation which enables the hypnotherapist to make suggestions to your subconscious mind that bypass the nagging voice of your conscious mind.
Afterwards you’ll feel relaxed, and may not remember all of what’s been said, as you might have ‘drifted off’ – but your subconscious mind will remember it and start to override any desires to overeat or do the things that stop you from achieving your weight loss goals.