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‘Back goes two stone in weight.’ Dawn French, who did so well to lose seven stone, has confessed in a recent Daily Mail article that she has started to gain weight again. This is a common problem of people who shed the pounds through strict dieting; this is very often not sustainable for the long term and bad food habits creep back in again. How can we change our way of life to ensure that the weight stays off with changes in eating habits? This question can be answered by the use of hypnosis to re-establish good eating behaviours and adjust our lifestyle so that yo-yo diet weight gain cycles don’t become the only way to deal with obesity. Dawn said she lost the weight by denying herself, ‘but recently I have not denied those things so much – bread, pasta and potatoes are my weaknesses.'
The key issue here is diet as diet is a negative word and I find most people on diets fail in the long term. This is especially true when the diet is extreme and offers a quick fix weight reduction plan. There are the exceptions in slimming magazines of the few that do succeed, but for the majority their diets fail in the medium to long term because most find that the long term plans are too stringent and unsustainable.
What is the answer here? There is no doubt that for those people who have had long term issues about their weight, emotional factors play a significant part in their problem. This can result in what we all call ‘comfort eating’ which is normally about sweet and high carbohydrate foods. You feel you deserve a treat to make you feel better although this in reality just leads to guilt. And being in a destructive relationship can be a compounding factor that often results in poor self awareness and low self esteem. I find these problems often surface in a pre-hypnosis consultation. By using hypnosis, issues can be placed in perspective.
The key factor in weight management is reducing portion sizes. There is no way round this one: portion size matters. This can be achieved by encouraging, through hypnosis, eating slower, so that the person experiences the feeling of fullness in the stomach faster and this sends an all important message to the brain to stop eating now even if there is food left on the plate. Hypnotherapy can be more effective than highly restrictive diets, and it can help achieve long term changes without the feeling that the bad habits will creep back again.