By Sheila Menon
For many, an issue weighing heavy on their minds and evident in the somewhat tighter clothes they shoved themselves into today is the extra kilos they gained from the string of year-end celebrations and New Year parties they indulged in. With the weight, come the guilt and the endless hours of willing those stubborn kilos away.
It’s always around this time of year that the more desperate turn to the Atkins diet, the Paleo diet and even the grapefruit diet – heck, just about any diet that will help them lose a dress size or two and pronto. Truth is to lose weight, you simply must eat less and exercise more.
But before thoughts of another sweaty workout send you plunging into defeatist mode and reaching for that bag of fattening potato chips, there is one magic formula you might like to try. Clinical hypnotherapy can help rewire your brain so that you actually look forward to those workouts and willingly ditch those potato chips for healthy foods.
Most fad diets work on denial. In other words you forgo your favourite comfort foods – chocolate, beer or carbs – in the hope that pain today will lead to you looking glorious in a month or so. You tell yourself that you have been greedy and bad and now you have to pay the price. Many people have an inner voice repeating the stern mantra “I must not … I will not …” eat the thing they desire most. Trouble is, the more you deny yourself what you most crave, the more you will feel drawn to it. This is simply the way your brain is wired. Most of us do not do well on denial, which is exactly why diets generally fail.
Clinical hypnotherapy helps rewire your brain
Clinical hypnotherapy helps you retrain the mind to forget about fattening and unhealthy foods and to cultivate new healthier desires. Desires are very powerful motivators so it makes sense to harness the power that comes from one’s personal desire to look good and feel healthy.
A clinical hypnotherapist will invite her client to close their eyes and imagine themselves at their desired weight. It sounds simple enough and it generally is. When you utilise hypnosis to imagine your goal, the brain puts down strong markers, which makes it easier to stay motivated and achieve your objective. Another strategy that clinical hypnotherapists use helps their client imagine experiencing their new slimmer, smaller self as if it were already achieved. This makes the reality even stronger, because the hypnotic experience creates a real life representation of success.
Hypnotherapy is proven by science
Once the therapeutic outcome has been established, a clinical hypnotherapist will help her client mentally rehearse their personal journey so that they have the skills and learning necessary to achieve their goal. Neuroscience can now demonstrate through PET scans and functional MRI how specific areas in the brain associated with learning light up during hypnosis, indicating that real change is taking place.
Everyone’s journey is unique but most people will benefit from the imagined experience of eating healthy food and really enjoying the taste. Others will also try out new exercise routines and enjoy the sense of becoming fitter and healthier. A common experience is the feeling of confidence and personal empowerment. Learning during hypnosis is fast and efficient and clients are able to make these routines part of their personal lifestyle after a few sessions.
It generally takes about five sessions over a three-month period for clients to retrain their brain using clinical hypnosis. This is because we are also constantly bombarded with food and eating that is a very social part of ourselves.
It is always easier to visit a clinical hypnotherapist for personal coaching. But hypnosis is a natural state and you can start the process by imagining the outcome you want to achieve clearly and vividly by giving yourself positive messages about how proud and pleased you will feel when you achieve your desired outcome.
All the best!
Sheila Menon is the Principal of the London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH Asia). You can visit the www.lcch.asia website or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about clinical hypnotherapy. FMT