We all know the feeling. We finish off the last of the Christmas chocolate, drink…
Research shows that 95% of diets fail. Initial weight loss usually fades when people stop their strict regimes and many people end up gaining more weight than they started with.
A diet in the conventional sense involves a strict set of guidelines about what you can and can’t eat, perhaps along with an assigned exercise regime. We count calories and restrict intake of food whilst often banning our favourite foods outright.
We then expect that we’ll suddenly be able to change our long term, established behaviours and fight the cravings we have given into for so long. We hope that our relationship with food will change through sheer willpower and motivation alone. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, and there are a few key reasons why.
Willpower is finite
Relying on willpower alone to fight cravings and denying ourselves the things we feel we want is a sure route to failure. We might start off well when excitement and motivation are high, but it only takes one small bump in the road – a bad day at the office, a social occasion or a tiring day to make us falter.
It’s a natural human condition that if we spend all our time trying not to do something we actually fixate on it more and more until it eventually becomes unbearable. Often known as the “white elephant” syndrome – if someone tells you not to think about a white elephant what do you immediately think about?
Real and positive change comes from addressing the cause of overeating – the desire for and relationship with food. If we don’t want the food as much, we can successfully start to avoid it and the cravings start to reduce rather than grow. Our behaviour changes by choice rather than force.
Diets address the symptom, not the cause
When you diet you are telling yourself you will no longer eat the foods you want. We try to treat the symptom without asking ourselves why we’re eating too much. Overeating is very rarely due to physical hunger. Often food has started to serve some other purpose for us – perhaps it calms after a stressful day, relieves boredom or low self-esteem, lessens sadness or loneliness or makes us feel in control.
It’s only by addressing the underlying causes of the desire to eat and by breaking the relationship in your mind that you find true freedom from your cravings. Simple deprivation only serves to strengthen the bond as we remove food and the negative emotions increase. When we finally give in and eat, we feel relief and guilt. We feel too emotionally drained to start again. Whilst food can and should bring us some pleasure, having it linked to so many strong and painful emotions is not good for our wellbeing.
Diets don’t treat the addiction
If you were addicted to smoking, drugs or alcohol you wouldn’t be expected to just stop, outright with no support whatsoever. For many, food is an addiction and you need support and help to break free from this and change behaviours. You need to reframe your thinking, change patterns and gain control over cravings in a way that doesn’t depress or restrict you.
As you begin to feel more and more in control, positive reinforcement will start to take hold and you’ll feel better and better about your new life rather than worse.
Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss
Hypnotherapy is very effective at helping people lose weight and I have helped many clients with this problem. I help them uncover the root cause of their eating habits so they can make positive long term changes. This treatment doesn’t dictate, restrict or govern, but rather changes how you think and feel about food giving you greater control over your own life.
Hypnotherapy can help you change emotional responses and effectively overcome emotional eating. It helps you listen to your body, deal with cravings, eat in moderation and make healthy choices which result in long term weight loss, greater self-esteem and a healthier lifestyle.
For more information on how I could help you with your relationship with food and weight loss, please do get in touch.