What bothers you most about weight loss — how hard it is? What type of diet to choose? Whether or not you should detox? The difficulty of setting your goals? Staying away from your favourite foods, or feeling like you’re losing out? Or stopping the weight piling back on after your diet?
Weight loss is commonly assumed to be simple: Calories in, calories out. But, it’s much more complex than that. When you restrict your calories, your body slows down its metabolism to compensate. That’s why, after a diet has ended, your weight goes up again, often to past where you were before your diet!
At weight loss hypnotherapy in Oxfordshire, you will find help in dealing with all of these aspects. They all tie together, which is why it doesn’t work to just go on a diet, or “make me dislike food” (as some people ask). Besides, with four-fifths or more of diets failing (depending on which research you believe), why would you want to do that to yourself?
Overeating and binge eating
Traditionally, trying to diet, to stop overeating or binging, involves making food your enemy. Food becomes not only something that you must have (otherwise you’ll starve to death) but also an enemy to be avoided at all costs! No wonder dieting is so confusing.
What if there were a better way — to change the way that your brain automatically responds to food, so instead of seeing it as an enemy that you can’t resist, it becomes a friend that nurtures you without being needy and suffocating?
When you and I work together, we get you to see food in an entirely new light. When you struggle with the stress and anxiety of life, instead of turning to food to make you feel better — and then overeating — you learn how to leave food as something that you do with pleasure when you’re genuinely hungry.
Speaking of which, do you know when you are genuinely hungry rather than emotionally hungry? If you don’t, you’re not alone — it’s normal for overeaters to have lost their ability to distinguish between genuine hunger and emotional hunger. That’s something that we work on.
Talking of stress and anxiety, I have always found that people eat to “swallow” their emotions or to “fill” an emotional hole. I have never found overeating to be “just” overeating, which is another reason why diets don’t work — because diets ignore the reasons why you overeat.
Everyone has a method of coping with stress. Some people were lucky enough to have learned at a young age how to do this with wisdom, but most of us — like our parents before us — have had to figure it out for ourselves. If you learned to eat as a way of coping, the way that your brain works means that it quickly became the default, causing you to overeat.
That’s why, as counterintuitive as it seems, a big part of losing weight has nothing to do with food! When we work together, we deal with your life issues. Specifically, you learn new ways to cope, ways that don’t involve eating but do work much better.
The most common emotional aspect behind overeating is anxiety. I have seen this in every person, without fail, who comes to me for weight loss. Helping you with anxiety is an important part of the process that we go through.
More and more researchers and weight loss experts have been realising the role that biology plays in weight gain and weight loss. There is a fairly complex play between inborn traits, i.e. your genetic components, and epigenetics, i.e. ways in which your body changes in response to your environment. (Did you know that how you mother ate while pregnant affects you to this very day?)
Most importantly, though, is the fact that how you eat affects how your body responds. When you constantly switch between overeating and dieting, it confuses your body, and it adjusts by wanting to hold onto fat. In other words, they very thing that you do to lose weight (dieting) is the very thing that makes you overweight in the long run!
There are other aspects, of course. When we work together to change your eating behaviours, we work towards ending that vicious cycle, so that your body can learn to normalise itself and recover.
People who come to me for weight loss sometimes also have an addiction such as too much alcohol or another recreational drug. If this also applies to you, it would be a good idea to work on this at the same time as working on weight loss.
By the way, overeating stimulates the same parts of your brain as an addiction. No wonder it’s so hard to stop doing this!
Birthdays, weddings, Christmas, Easter…
What about those special days when you suddenly stop your diet and go mad? Well, the good news is that once you have changed your relationship to food, with you and food treating each other as friends instead of enemies, the whole “I gotta eat more” on special days simply disappears. If eating is a pleasure every time when you eat, you won’t want to change how you eat on special days, because it’s already special!
If you have any concerns about medical problems, please see your doctor.