As anyone who has ever been on numerous diets will tell you, maintaining and controlling weight over time is hard. We all know that the key to losing weight is to eat less and exercise more. Simple as that.
But is it really?
Our relationship to food is such a complicated thing. We eat to celebrate, we eat to commiserate but most importantly, we eat to survive. We are hardwired to eat food when it is available. Early man would have feasted when food was plenty, in anticipation of the, inevitable, harder times ahead. In modern times and especially in this country, with a supportive welfare system, the famine never comes.
We were also told time and time again as children, to clear our plates. "Think of the money". "Think of the starving children." By constant reinforcement, these instructions became part of our patterns for living, part of our subconscious mental processes, as automatic as riding a bike or switching on a kettle.
Our state of mind influences our eating decisions too. Sometimes when our anxiety and stress levels are high we can experience disruptions in our normal sleep patterns: not getting to sleep, waking in the middle of the night or struggling to get out of bed in the morning. We try to counteract the ensuing tiredness with our food choices; automatically reaching for foods high in carbohydrates, fat or laden with sugar. If we are trying to loss weight, the guilt of eating like this can outweigh the reward, leading to more anxious feelings.
When we are anxious and stressed over a long period, we also produce too much cortisol, a steroid hormone, which has been associated with fat storage, this can make it difficult to shake off those extra pounds, especially around our middles. If the future is looking unfriendly, we hold onto our energy reserves.
Solution Focused Hypnotherapy
Solution Focused hypnotherapy can help by reducing our overall anxiety. This will mean that we are able to stay in control and make proper decisions about what we eat and do to maintain a healthy body. By keeping anxiety down, we will also be making sure that the body is not storing weight in anticipation of harder times, through the release of cortisol and it will also help with our cravings for comfort food.
Hypnosis can be a powerful tool when trying to combat old patterns of behaviour that have been unhelpful in the past.