Researchers investigated hypnosis in weight loss of 60 women, of which were a minimum of 20% overweight. The procedure included group hypnosis with metaphors, ego strengthening, decision-making and motivation, as well as ideo-motor response in individual hypnosis sessions, and group hypnosis with maintenance suggestions. The primary hypothesis that hypnosis is an effective treatment for weight loss was confirmed.
Cochrane, Gordon; Friesen, J. (1986). Hypnotherapy in weight loss treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 489-492
In this familiar instance of widespread childhood conditioning, you were conditioned to follow a plate-polishing routine, which became a major reason for you to devour anything in sight. Consequently, any conditioning puts weight loss outside of your willpower and makes weight loss a stretchy process. Hypnotherapy helps to tune your mind without the use of willpower in the area where your perceptions create the deepest roadblock. Again, willpower is an act of conscious choice or commitment to do something, which brings you back to the concept of ‘conscious vs. subconscious mind conflicting’ mentioned above. In other instances, people may pick up bad eating habits later in life, due to emotional experiences that push them outside their control of will power. Those instances can be related to difficult relationships, abuse, divorce, depression, or other situations where food became their primary source of feeling good.
Likewise, in many cases, people who are mentally unprepared and attempt the weight loss process by cutting off their friendship with food, may lose the weight, but in turn feel depressed. Indeed, feeling depressed will reignite the self-defeating cycle, at the thought of – why feel depressed all the time when instead I could feel the joy of eating anything, but avoid looking in the mirror and feeling less confident. Unfortunately, people will always choose the easiest option for their mind, such as, instant gratification over a reasonable amount of work. People, who cut off the food they enjoy without preparation, may develop depression and don’t even realize what started it. Hence, they may proceed to antidepressants, which may help to alter the brain chemistry, but in turn will not resolve their inner conflicts. Finally, any circumstances that force habit formation diminish the power of will and turn choice making into a mindless response which people have no control over. Hypnosis allows you to use same principles of habit creation, thus you can avoid using willpower as the main force of change, which counters the poor eating habits. Therefore, you restore healthy eating reflexes and rebuild the confidence in your own ability to create and maintain a reasonable change.
Evidently, it’s not enough to join a gym or find a doctor who will supervise a diet, because that alone does not restore a natural and healthy relationship with food. Simply put, it addresses the symptom, but does not counter the source of the problem. If some people manage to succeed with weight loss most are unprepared for a strong psychological demand of restructuring their relationship with food and gain the weight back. However, poor eating habits can take time to develop and become too difficult to amend. Weight kills slowly, thus, it is that much harder to develop strong motivation for change with time. Reasonably, our modern environment does not help the process. For example, people can choose more poor quality, processed foods for less money. Yes, it is a fact that your dollar can buy four times the soda calories then orange juice calories, and even though water is cheaper, healthier and readily available, by the time you are overweight and obese your choice is up to a poor, deeply seated, unconscious habit. Surely, you may think you have control, and in a way you do; you control how many cans of soda you drink – four or five or if you buy them on sale – but the negative habit assures that soda makes you feel good, and that you look for it again the next time you are thirsty. As a result, the cycle continues.
Finally, you get the set of components for weight gain and retention that stand apart from possible health related issues. It is – modern environment, plus your ability to create powerful habits. This equates to deeply set automated response to counter emotions with food, make unhealthy food choices powered by both, the environment and subconscious reasons for fat gain and retention.
Hypnosis is a tool that focuses on developing an ongoing, positive motivation in addition to creating a deeper connection to your body’s internal language, thus incorporating the most powerful elements for positive habit development.
According to Colorado State University Extension, approximately fifty million Americans go on a diet each year, but only 5 percent manage to keep the weight off. Doesn’t that make you wonder, why 95 percent of people who spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on weight loss products are unable to maintain the weight loss results? Is it because the weight loss industry offers quick, simplified, and mindless ways to achieve weight loss? Realistically, it's because people choose the easiest most convenient option for their mind. In other words, the weight loss industry says, all you have to do is purchase a pill, start a diet or buy the fat-melting equipment, and you are just a few simple steps away from restoring your healthy weight. Perhaps, it would be easier for a person to increase physical activity and consume healthier foods in response to the first few pounds of weight they gain. At the same time, addressing the weight gain promptly would stop shaping subconscious eating habits. However, after eating habits are shaped and you jump on the exercise and health wagon, it simply registers as a conflict of interest – conscious vs. subconscious mind.
With this objective in mind, here is the concept that you may have heard of before, “When conscious and subconscious mind are in conflict the subconscious mind always wins.” That’s right, those powerful eating habits fermenting over the years are the main cause for 95 percent of Americans who attempt weight loss to find their weight back. Respectively, wouldn’t you want to resolve that unconscious conflict first, before you go rubber banding, ruining your confidence and spending hundreds of dollars to do it? Nevertheless, I won’t call hypnosis the best tool for the job, because you can decide that for yourself. I will though, call hypnosis extraordinary for its capacity to work in the great depth of your mind, while you develop the new, powerful perceptions, experiences and habits, which in turn, will guarantee your success over time.
You may have the experience of using oversimplified means for weight loss that have made the weight loss process seem easy to achieve. Now you can understand how oversimplifying the process does not help to properly estimate the necessary mental capacity it would take for success. In fact, hypnosis will help restore a healthy mental state and a proper positive expectation, because your mind is the place where weight loss must initiate and be present to continue the process. In addition, hypnotherapy works to restore the confidence that people lose over time. As a result, people restore hope and feel that things will start looking better. Respectively, ask yourself this – what does my mind need in order to sustain the weight level appropriately? If the answer is – a pill, diet, or piece of equipment along, then reading on can enhance your understanding. Weight loss requires tremendous mental resources related to physiological and psychological changes. A person, who wants to succeed with a long-term ability to decrease their weight to a healthy level and maintain it, needs to change the relationship they have with food and their perception of it. Gradually, your brain was trained to favor larger portions of food, so that the smaller portions leave you feeling deprived. Therefore, a person who is trying to enjoy a smaller meal prior to committing to weight loss will mindlessly look for more food soon after finishing their meal. After the commitment for weight loss was consciously accepted, the conflicting mindsets began the grinding process of ripping small holes through the matter of commitment. In order to keep a conscious commitment, a person must be constantly, conscious of a number of situations in their environment, as well as internal mindsets to maintain conscious control.
Eventually, people tire out and start looking for an escape, seek for positive feelings, and start to ‘doughnut’ back to the old routine, bite by bite. This can be a result of a childhood conditioning or an imprint. I can remind you of a memory of a parent-figure saying, “you did not eat anything, eat some more, no playing or dissert until the plate is clean”.
People, who struggle with weight loss and developed rigid and limited mindsets related to food, can use hypnosis as a powerful tool. Rigid mindsets are not only restricting mental progress related to weight loss, but also, dictate your body how to behave in relationship to fat retention. Hence, hypnosis is a way to adopt healthy mindsets at subconscious level and help the process of adaptation to create a positive change.