It’s a fact: Diet’s tend not to work. Hypnotherapists will tell you that only if you get rid of the reason, you will get rid of the weight. Is this true?
A lot of people are overweight, some just plain fat and even others obese. The reasons for all this excess weight are numerous. Refined sugars and processed foods certainly contribute. Overeating is a big factor. Some people eat when they are emotional. Most of us take too little exercise and sit down way too much. The reasons for being overweight are endless. And in the end almost everybody has turned to a diet to try and get rid of the excess body weight.
There are thousands and thousands of diets out there. Hollywood stars support some of them; some are dangerous, some just plain stupid. Some work some of the time; some work most of the time. But let’s get right down to it – most of them last only so long and before you know it, the diet has ended and the fight against fat starts all over again.
Most people have tried fad diets and found them not to work, and then perhaps turned to doctors and their medicine. I know of a doctor who injected his patients with insulin to get them to reduce their weight. Interestingly enough this doctor was as round as a ball himself, so one wonders how his patients trusted him. There are hundreds of different pills you could take, all dutifully prescribed by well-meaning doctors relying on drug companies who make elaborate claims.
Other people try group programs that work perhaps on a shaming basis, where everybody has to weigh themselves in front of the group. When these have failed, people tend to turn to alternative remedies. Perhaps some old “Boereraat” that comes from grandma’s kitchen, or perhaps Eastern methods. In desperation some people turn to hypnosis thinking that one session with a hypnotherapist will solve years of eating problems.
When you start searching through the Internet, you will find many fantastical claims as to what hypnosis can do for you. It almost sounds like magic. But let’s be honest here. It took you years to pile on the weight, and getting rid of it is not going to be an easy thing to do. It may take just as long, if not longer, to shake it all off.
With so many people turning to hypnosis for weight loss, let’s take a look at how this could work, if indeed it does work at all.
Generally hypnotherapists agree that weight is a protection mechanism and that if you can find the root cause of the weight gain, the weight will eventually lose itself. For instance- a young girl is sexually molested, and to protect herself from unwanted male attention, she adds body weight to make herself look unattractive. When she visits a hypnotist, this person will usually “regress to cause”, in other words taking the client back in time to the event that caused the subconscious weight gain and resolve the emotional issues around that. This is supposed to be all that is required to help a person get rid of the weight.
According to the Vanderbilt University one should be careful of overzealous claims made by hypnotherapists when it comes to weight loss. Research has shown that the programs that did have an effect were tailored to the client and resulted in low to moderate weight loss.
The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology reported a Meta analysis (in other words a comparison of different research studies) that indicated that “hypnosis increased weight loss by an average of 97% during treatment, and even more importantly increased the effectiveness of post treatment by over 146%. This shows that hypnosis works even better over time.”
It must be stressed that the hypnosis sessions which were most effective in reducing weight and keeping it down, were longer-term therapies where hypnosis was used as an adjunct therapy. Hypnosis in isolation therefore has low results, but when combined with other methods increases the results that can be obtained, even after the programme has ended.
What does this mean for a person who wants to reduce his or her weight? Well, first it means that the weight is not going to magically disappear overnight. It is going to be a long a difficult process that is going to need lost of hard work.
You are going to have to consult a doctor to find out if there are any medical reasons for the weight gain, such as any medication you may be taking or medical conditions that are increasing the weight. You are going to have to go and see a nutritionist to help you work out a proper eating plan that is just right for you. You are going to have to go and see a health fitness expert to work out an exercise routine.
And you are going to have to go and see a hypnotherapist to help you think differently about food. You may need suggestions for ego strengthening, how to manage your emotions, creating intelligent relationships with food and so on. It is going to take time, effort and commitment.
One excellent therapy that some hypnotherapists use is called the Weight, Hypnotherapy and YOU, developed by Dr Judith Pearson, a leading hypnotherapist and psychologist. This eight-session programme incorporates all the aspects mentioned above and is a longer-term approach to changing the way you think and believe about food. Not everybody uses this programme though, and Hypnosis Works! in Pretoria is one of the few hypnotherapy practices that has adopted this approach.
The bad news is that there is no quick fix to weight loss. The good news is that there are methods that work, they just take time and need to be done in conjunction with other methods. It all boils down to a healthy lifestyle choice. If you are prepared to make the changes required, you will find hypnosis a helpful adjunct therapy to boost your chances of success.