Hypnotherapy and Self-Hypnosis for Weight Loss
GUEST ARTICLE: (c) 2011 by Kenneth McRae
Compulsive overeating with all of its attendant physical and psychological consequences is still today one of the most seemingly intractable problems faced by millions of people in the US and elsewhere. The reasons for this concern the workings of both the body and the mind.
On a purely physical level, one of the major drivers behind the dramatic escalation of weight problems is the widespread use of refined sugar products in all manner of processed foods and drinks. Couple this with many peoples' adoption of basically sedentary lifestyles and you have a ticking obesity time bomb.
Another important factor which combines elements of both the physical and psychological relates to the now proven fact that sugar is - in varying degrees with different people - psychologically habit forming. "Comfort food" is a sort of euphemism relating to the subtle but significant high derived from eating sweet food, especially when some form or degree of depression or low self esteem is affecting a person's outlook.
Many people with a habit of overeating and a psychological addiction to sweet food feel that turning this around and losing weight permanently would be an impossible or at least monumentally difficult task. However virtually no one actually wants to be significantly overweight so people are forever going on diets, starting out feeling determined and quite optimistic but within a couple of weeks or so are back where they started, possibly having ended up gaining more weight in the process.
This leads to feelings of depression and low self esteem, which in turn stimulates the desire for comfort food, which in turn produces even more weight gain. At some point maybe a couple of months after this the desire to reassert the will and lose weight returns, another diet is undertaken and the whole cycle begins again.
This pointless treadmill of endless and ultimately ineffective dieting is a result of the fact that many people have failed to or are unaware of the need to take into account the significant role that the subconscious plays in maintaining and sustaining habitual behaviors and psychological addictions. When a habit or psychological addiction has become embedded in the subconscious, it's usually the case that attempting to use willpower alone to defeat it will prove to be ultimately inadequate.
The power of the imagination is almost always stronger than the power of the will. This is why you might start out on a diet feeling determined and positive, but before long your mind is starting to become filled with thoughts and images of all those beautiful and delicious cakes, sweets and rich and fatty foods. These thoughts and images just won't go away, they're always nagging away at the back of your mind and will sooner or later cause your will to collapse and you will surrender. The pleasure derived from giving in and abandoning yourself to a choc fest or pig out session will however be short lived, soon to be replaced by feelings of self disgust and weakness.
So how do you break the cycle? You can start by understanding and accepting that you have a subconscious mind which is real and is also incredibly powerful. Your subconscious controls and directs all aspects of your body's functioning and repair, and also has stored within it the memory of every single moment and incident which has occurred in your whole life. It has also recorded the feelings and emotions which accompanied each of these moments and incidents.
So while your subconscious mind is indeed very powerful, it is nevertheless guided and influenced by the positive or negative thought energy that it receives from your conscious "everyday" mind. In other words if you're habitually thinking that you love sweet food and couldn't do without it no matter how hard you try, your subconscious will help to ensure that you're continually surrounded by people and circumstances which will confirm this view.
If however you were to train your conscious mind to consistently think thoughts and images relating to yourself as a slim and reasonably active person with a normal appetite for healthy food, your subconscious would begin to gradually "encourage" this new you as a reality in your life, whereby your appetite would begin to diminish, you'd lose interest in sweet and junk food and you'd lose weight - permanently.
The subconscious will tend to act on and help to manifest in your life whatever is habitually suggested and visualized by your conscious thought, whether it's positive or negative.
Training your conscious mind in this way isn’t however just quite as easy as it may sound. While it's not difficult as such, it does require a degree of persistence and dedication, and above all genuine desire.
If you're overweight and really want to slim down to an appropriate body mass index, then start by either locating an experienced hypnotherapist with some kind of visible track record in helping to resolve weight issues, or use self hypnosis and dedicate yourself to a daily session of relaxation, visualization and positive suggestion. Or, of course, do both. Experienced hypnotherapists understand the link between the power of the subconscious and success in any endeavor, and many specialize in weight loss programs. If however you want to start by using self hypnosis, set aside 10-15 minutes once or better twice a day, when you can comfortably relax and have privacy and quiet.
When you're relaxed and comfortable, close your eyes and begin to breathe fairly slowly, deeply and regularly. Then, after a couple of minutes of this, begin to visualize in your mind an image of yourself as being slim, active and healthy. Then, maintaining your relaxed breathing and visualization, begin to affirm to yourself something like "I'm slim, healthy and attractive". Repeat the affirmation about 20-30 times, mentally or verbally, then gently let it fade away and bring yourself back to normal consciousness.
Note the use of the present tense in the above affirmation. Affirming and/or visualizing something as happening in the "now" and not as something that might hopefully happen in the future has a much more significant and positive effect on the subconscious. Also invest some feeling and emotion into your visualizing and affirming. Feel - imagine - how it feels to be slim, healthy and attractive.
If you do this once or twice a day every day for a couple of weeks you'll begin to notice your appetite decreasing, and that you're losing your desire for sweets, cakes etc. If you keep it up for a couple of months - daily - your subconscious will have begun the process of accepting and absorbing the new belief system, whereby the new, slim "you" will have begun to become established in reality - permanently - and you'll also find yourself with more energy and wanting to be more active.
You may at times experience doubts about whether or not you're wasting your time with this. Don't fall for it. This is just your negative self with its tendency to self destructiveness trying to persuade you that you can't better yourself. You CAN. Devote yourself to your hypnotherapy sessions, your daily program or both and just visualize yourself as you want to be, and your subconscious will do the rest.
* * * * *
Kenneth McRae has studied and written extensively on psychology, hypnosis and the subconscious and has helped many friends and others to use self hypnosis to deal with a wide range of problems. For more about achieving “weight loss through hypnosis, quitting smoking, building confidence and more,” visit:
* * * * *
You may visit Kenneth's website at: http://www.self-hypnosis-the-key.com
* * * * *
Article posted: August 24, 2011
Click to return to List of Hypnosis Articles