There are many reasons why we have trouble shedding those pounds. I have produced a booklet called Staying Slim which accompanies the weight loss hypnotherapy programme. Please email me for more information on info(AT)pennyling.co.uk (replacing the AT with the @ sign)
New insights into why obesity is so prevalent today point to a number of things:
- The availability of food, especially pre-prepared food which is full of fat and sugar.
- Processed food has added corn syrup as a sugar substitute which encourages us to eat and drink highly sweetened foods. These foods have the same effect on us as smoking and drinking, by effecting the pleasure centres of the brain.
- A more sedentary lifestyle where we're more likely to use a car than walk.
- Despite being more sedentary we're likely to be unaware of our eating regime. Secret eaters are a modern phenomenon due to the way we eat lunch and dinner, just grazing. We become completely oblivious to what we're eating.
- Lack of sleep has been found to make the brain choose unhealthy food.
How Hypnotherapy can help with losing weight and staying slim
Hypnotherapy can help in a number of different ways:
- Building a positive picture of what you want to achieve to increase motivation.
- Helps relax you, so you use the part of the brain that makes good informed decisions about food.
- Suggestions to the subconscious can help us be more aware of our behaviours.
- In Gastric Band Hypnotherapy, suggestions to feeling full can help overcome snacking mindlessly.
- The coaching aspect of SFH can help individuals plan their meals better, plan trips to the supermarkets and overcome all the barriers we put up to stop us keeping the pounds off.
- It's been shown that people with eating disorders can miss internal cues, so they miss the signals coming up from the gut or they misinterpret nausea caused by anxiety with nausea caused by over eating. By learning to relax and getting to know one's signals better people are able to gain control of their eating problems.
- It's not necessarily about the food, but other influences which cause us to overeat, binge and eat the wrong foods. Diet's fail when we feel deprived of our favourite foods. Hypnosis can help change how you feel about the triggers and trigger food if necessary.
Back in 2006, just before I trained I was 12 stone, by the end of my training I had lost 2 stone, mostly due to being much more mindful to what I ate, gaining self control, hypnotising myself to dislike the fattiest cheeses going and walking more.
Latest research into obesity problems
New Scientist May Edition
A report in the New Scientist in May suggests that preventing obesity may be down to timing when one eats - so far they’ve only used mice in the experiement but now scientists at the Salk Institute California are working with humans. As far as the mice are concerned, those who could snack at any time of the day increased their weight by 28%, whereas those eating only within 1 eight hour period did not change, despite having a high fat diet. Satchidanda Panda - one of the researchers - thinks the shortened feeding period allows for the metabolism to perform uninterrupted. So the idea of little and often may not be good for us after all.
June edition of Scientific American Mind
The publication suggests that those with anorexia, bulimia and body dysmorphia disorder may lack in self awareness. It has been found that the indiviuals are worse at determining internal states, such as heart beat and hunger than healthy individuals. Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine found that differences in introceptive skills predict their level of body satisfaction. One way of checking one’s interoceptive skills is to count your heart beats over a minute just by feeling your internal heart beat, then take your pulse the normal way. By subtracting your average pulse from the estimated heart beat and dividing it by your average pulse, then subtracting that by 1, if your score is 0.8 or higher you’re very good, 0.6 - 0.79 means you’re average and below 0.59 is poor.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Jan 18 2012
It was thought amongst the scientific communities that it was low blood sugar levels that drove the desire to eat whatever was to hand, without being mindful of what you’re putting into your body. However recent research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Jan 18 2012 show a direct link between sleep deprivation and obesity.
The aim of the research was to examine brain activation after either sleep or total sleep deprivation in response to images of food. 12 men were examined:- Hunger ratings and glucose levels were taken before the scan, and hunger ratings in response to the food images, after the an fMRI scan. The scans showed an increased activation in the right anterior cingulate cortex in response to food images, independent of calorie content and pre-scan hunger ratings in those who had been deprived of sleep. There was no change in glucose levels after the scan. The results show evidence that acute sleep loss increases the chances of making unhelpful decisions about which food to consume - independent of glucose levels. This shows that sleep deprivation, whether it’s sleep apnoea, or staying up working, studying or playing for just one night can disrupt the brain’s ability to take the appropriate course of action.
BBC Horizon March 20th
Hormones that effect hunger, this is something we have been aware of for some time. Dr Carel Le Roux, of Imperial College and King's College Hospital in London, studies obesity and the role the brain takes in helping us to make the right or wrong decisions about food consumed.
Obese people had increased brain activity in the orbital frontal cortex, which is the region of the brain associated with rewards, Reward systems are part of the subconscious which helps humans find food, procreate and motivates them to work together, however it can get it wrong by getting the same response from alcohol, drugs and certain foods.
Doctors have found that drastic gastric surgery can change the way the brain engages in this process, so Dr Le Roux is looking at ways to do the same without such drastic measures.
One way we as solution focused hypnotherapists help those with the same problem, is by reducing stress, so quietening down the limbic system, so the pre-frontal cortex has a better chance of making the right decisions. Also being mindful, you can ask yourself if the hunger feelings are nothing more than thirst or messages coming up from the stomach. Although these may feel distressing at times, you can learn to override the system by intelligence and distraction.