Changing Eating Habits With Hypnosis – Weight Loss Hypnotherapy in Ely and Newmarket
One of the main challenges you may face when trying to lose weight are all of those established habits and behaviours that you’ve been repeating over and over for so long.
You may have been able to change your behaviours around food for a while, yet those unhelpful and unhealthy habits seem to just creep back in. And so you find yourself eating when you aren’t hungry, snacking, comfort eating, craving sugar or just eating more than you need. Despite all of your good intentions, habits can be difficult to change with just willpower and persistence.
Your weight continues to bother you, you don’t feel as good as you know you could, and every setback makes the next attempt to change eating habits even more of a struggle.
As creatures of habit, pattern and repetition we all find ourselves repeating the same sorts of things over and over in similar situations. Those patterns, from your past experiences and behaviours, lead to certain thoughts, feelings and behaviours around food and eating. Just trying to consciously change these patterns and eating habits can feel like a struggle where you are battling with yourself to make the kind of healthy decisions that you want to make.
And that’s where weight loss hypnotherapy and the psychological approaches that go with it can help. Rather than being stuck in a constant yo-yo struggle with yourself, you can learn how to take back control over your eating habits and to develop the kind of positive, healthy relationship with food that will bring you the positive results that you’re looking for.
Weight Loss Hypnotherapy
Weight loss hypnotherapy can help you to increase healthy eating habits, increase your focus, willpower and control, reduce emotional eating, and through to build your motivation, self-regulation and the ability to think of both the short-term and longer-term consequences of your eating decisions. Rather than having an urgent need to eat something unhealthy, wolfing it down quickly and then feeling guilty about it, you can learn how to have control over your eating habits and how to be able to maintain these healthy behaviours into the future.
You might also want to take a look at some of my previous weight loss articles using these links:
Changing Eating Habits with Hypnosis
Part of any successful weight loss hypnotherapy programme involves helping you to learn how to have control over your eating habits so that you eat when you are hungry and you stop when you have eaten enough. You learn how to stop thinking about food all the time, how to feel in control over your eating decisions and how to stop using food as a way of dealing with how you feel.
Pellegrini et al (2021), conducted a review to summarise the evidence evaluating the possibilities and limitations of self-hypnosis and mindfulness strategies in the treatment of obesity. Hypnosis can help you to increase self-control, improve exercise levels, boost self-esteem, strengthen motivation for changing eating habits and reduce stress induced overeating. Mindfulness strategies can help with emotional eating, eating in response to food cravings, eating mindfully and with handling negative emotional states.
Based upon a review of existing weight loss research and evidence, they found that “both hypnosis and mindfulness provide a promising therapeutic option by improving weight loss, food awareness, self-acceptance of body image, and limiting food cravings and emotional eating. Greater effectiveness occurs when hypnosis and mindfulness are associated with other psychological therapies in addition to diet and physical activity.”
As so many of my clients have discovered, weight loss hypnotherapy (including aspects of cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness) can help with taking control over your eating habits, feeling better in yourself and achieving weight loss. There’s more on this here: Hypnosis and Mindfulness For Weight Loss Success
We also have research that has investigated changing eating habits and eating intentions through hypnosis.
Comșa, David and David (2022), investigated an approach to changing eating intentions that was based upon the premise that people decide to act before they acknowledge it, and that they decide based on the reconstruction of previous experiences. They investigated whether an intervention using hypnotic suggestions, could effectively change the intentions of eating.
This would fit with my view with regards to patterns of behaviour as we are all creates of pattern and repetition. We generally do the same things in a situation, with regard to our thoughts, feelings and behaviours, as we have in previous similar situations. This explains why anxiety, panic and fear can become problematic as the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings become a pattern based problem. It can also explain the difficulty that is often encountered when trying to lose weight where you struggle to consistently make healthier decisions and adopt healthier eating habits to those that have previously become established through past experiences.
The research here demonstrated that hypnotic suggestions can have a significant positive impact on intentions of eating and that hypnosis is an effective technique for changing intentions of eating.
One of the key successful components with helping participants to change their eating decisions was an approach called cognitive rehearsal. In this technique, which I use with all of my clients, you receive targeted suggestions to imagine yourself behaving in new ways in problematic situations. This could include handling emotional or stressful situations which previously led to comfort eating, imagining making healthy decisions when deciding what to eat, or suggestions for resisting unhealthy foods, snacking or eating when not hungry.
In the cognitive rehearsal group as part of this research, suggestions were made to imagine being in front of high-calorie food and not taking it because they decided not to. Thus the moment of decision over eating was targeted and changed. Essentially, they primed their mind for successfully adopting the eating habits that they desired and for changing the psychological patterns around eating.
In essence, cognitive rehearsal and hypnosis can help you to positively change your eating habits and can support you in making the kind of healthy decisions that will support achieving your weight loss goals.
“We conclude that hypnosis with Cognitive Rehearsal suggestions can help to positively impact the intentions of eating” (Comșa, David and David, 2022).
This is part of the approach that works so well and forms part of my weight loss hypnosis downloads that you can find here: Weight Loss Hypnosis Downloads
Changing Eating Habits
Alongside weight loss hypnosis, there are certain steps that it is always beneficial to put in place if you want to successfully change your eating habits to support your weight loss goals.
1. Keep A Record
Perhaps the most useful first step in losing weight and changing eating habits is to keep a record of your eating for a week or two. If you’ve ever done any sort of weight loss programme before then you’ll have likely done this sort of thing before. Yes, it can be a bit dull to write down what you are eating, yet if you are going to make progressive, positive changes then you need to know exactly what you are eating and when, rather than what you think you are doing.
As humans were designed to think ahead to our next eating occasion and so our memories about what we’ve eaten and when can be a bit unreliable and it’s very easy to overlook things. So keep a record for a couple of weeks so you can be certain of what you are currently doing. If having to write it down leads to making healthier decisions along the way then great, if not, you can be confident that you now know what you are dealing with.
2. Find The Patterns
Once you have your eating record, go through it and start to identify the patterns, behaviours, triggers and ‘danger’ times for eating unhealthily. There will be certain common people, places or times that lead to overeating, snacking or comfort eating. The more specifically you can spot these, the more focused you can be in making the kind of changes you want to achieve.
3. Change One Eating Habit At A Time
With your list of triggers and patterns identified, pick one of them and decide how you can change it constructively. Maybe you need to make sure you have healthy snacks available for when you are hungry, perhaps you decide to swap out your daily usual breakfast for something healthier or you could allow five minutes each morning to prepare the healthier food you need to keep you going through the day.
There are hundreds of possible ways of making a change yet the key, having identified the habit, is to focus on just one thing and put a few minutes each day into consistently changing that. In no time at all it starts to become your new eating habit. And because you are taking it one step at a time it becomes easier to show up and make it happen, rather than procrastinating or getting overwhelmed with trying to change everything in one great sweep (which rarely works over time).
Once you’ve established that new habit in that situation, move on to the next thing. Sure this approach takes a little longer as you focus on one step at a time, yet that’s far better than trying to make changes that will fail and leave you back where you started without any progress being achieved (and with more frustration and disappointment).
4. Eat Slowly and Deliberately
Most people who have unhelpful eating habits tend to eat too quickly and while they are distracted and busy doing something else at the same time as eating.
If you eat too quickly then you don’t get to enjoy what you do have as much as you could, you will likely eat so quickly that you can’t spot when you have eaten enough and there is no time to make any decisions about what to eat or how much to eat. It’s gone before you realise and then you feel bad because you’ve eaten unhealthily and you’ve eaten too much.
And being distracted with something else, like work, TV or other screens, means your brain isn’t even engaged in what you are having. Again, you can’t make any eating decisions if you are busy engaging in something else. Your brain won’t register what you have eaten and you’ll probably keep going until whatever food in front of you is all gone.
If you eat quickly and mindlessly then you aren’t in control over your eating habits. So deliberately slow down your eating speed and invest a few additional minutes a day in mindfully eating.
5. Know Your Motivations and Use Them
It’s quite common to find that you have some sort of negative experience, such as overeating, seeing your weight has risen on the scales, seeing an unflattering photograph of yourself or realising your clothes are getting tighter, and you decide that you need to lose weight. You are full of motivation and good intentions. Yet over time and with the busyness of life and the power of existing eating habits, you find that those motivating reasons fade to the back of your mind when you are about to decide what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. Afterwards, when it is too late, you remember that you wanted to eat healthier and lose weight.
So make a list of your reasons and motivations for wanting to take control over eating habits and lose weight. Have the negative stuff there that will happen if you don’t change and just continue with what you’ve been doing. And have all the good stuff that will happen as a result of making positive, progressive changes in your health and happiness.
Yet the key isn’t just to capture your reasons, you need to review it. Ideally, pull out your list and spend thirty seconds reviewing it and thinking about it in the moment just before you make an eating decision. Rather than just forgetting about it until after you’ve eaten, you want these things at the front of your awareness just before you decide what to eat to inform your decision making process and to help interrupt the same old patterns. Keep adding and reviewing your reasons and motivations and have them lodged firmly in your mind.
Weight Loss Hypnotherapy
As the research mentioned shows, hypnotherapy can help you with changing your eating habits and losing weight. There’s also a load more information and research for this covered in the links to previous articles I’ve included above.
Hypnotherapy can help with tackling comfort or emotional eating, changing eating habits and building self-worth and self-esteem, along with building motivation, determination and persistence to ensure you are firmly back in control over food, your relationship with food and your eating decisions.
If you have been struggling to make the changes that you would like to and that would help you to achieve your weight loss goals, then do get in touch and we can have a chat about how weight loss hypnotherapy can help you to make progress towards the size, shape and weight that you desire.
To your health and happiness,
Weight Loss Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket
Need some help with weight loss and to take control over eating habits? Book your Complimentary Hypnotherapy Strategy Session to chat about weight loss hypnotherapy with Dan now: Appointments
Find out what other people have said after their hypnotherapy sessions for weight loss and controlling eating habits: Hypnotherapy Testimonials
And check out these powerful weight loss hypnosis downloads that can start helping you right away: Hypnosis Downloads
Reference: Comșa, L.T., David, O.A. and David, D.O., 2022. Eating Behavior—Choice or Reconstruction of Past Experience? A Randomized Clinical Trial of Changing Eating Intentions of Healthy Adults Through Hypnotic Suggestions. Behavior Therapy, 53(2), pp.323-333.