By Erika Flint
If you have trouble losing excess weight, it’s likely that your body and mind are conspiring to keep that extra weight on you. When you’re bored or sad or upset, the brain’s natural tendency is to make the body do something to feel better, and food provides the immediate gratification.
However, bodies of research show that hypnosis works in partnership with weight-reduction therapy by revealing the subconscious motivations for keeping you trapped in unhealthy behaviors, such as eating in response to emotional distress. These hidden traps are why willpower alone is so often ineffective.
Using the mind to reprogram your response so that you’re not reaching for food all the time is an effective way to regain control of eating. The technique involved in hypnosis not only helps you understand why you want to eat when you’re not hungry, but also why you don’t feel like changing the behavior that, consciously, you know would be best for you.
Here are five ways that hypnosis addresses subconscious behaviors and leads to sustainable weight loss:
1. Provides insight into what is really going on.
We often act on beliefs and habits that are stored in our subconscious without even realizing it. Hypnosis helps tap into the subconscious mind for insights into what is really going on that can be keeping you from successfully having a healthy relationship with food.
2. Releases hurtful emotions that lead to eating.
Hypnosis brings clarity to the emotions that have been holding you back and allows you to discover if the emotions are even valid — based in reality, or based on a misperception. Once understood, you can release the hurtful emotions, leaving you with insights that help guide you toward better decisions. By discarding emotional baggage, you feel lighter and better. You reduce emotional eating and begin to feel in control of your life.
3. Creates a new default response.
Hypnosis creates new pathways in your brain. If your go-to response for stress is to eat ice cream, you may have linked the feeling of stress with the response of eating ice cream and now it has become a well-worn path in your brain. In hypnosis, you work on removing the cause for the underlying stress itself, but also on updating your response to stress by changing that old habit to a new one. For instance, drinking warm tea in response to stress provides a relaxing alternative that doesn’t carry the hidden price tag of excess weight gain.
4. Taps the power within.
By reaching deep down inside and tapping into your own inherent power, you can actually see and hear things differently. What’s filtered and brought to your conscious awareness changes. For instance, you can put food back into its proper place by seeing it for what it really is: energy and nutrition for the body. You come to realize that the only one putting food in your mouth is you, and that you have all the control over your eating.
5. Re-imagines your future.
Hypnosis gives you the ability to reprogram your subconscious mind toward the future you want. Imagine doing the activities that lead to weight loss, like grocery shopping for healthy food and eating healthy meals. See yourself as a smaller size and imagine walking around in your lighter body. Hypnosis lets you say to your subconscious mind, “This is the path we’re on, this is where we’re headed.” The change you want to achieve is then accepted by the subconscious mind as true, and you see results quickly.
Keep in mind that hypnosis itself doesn’t change people — instead, it helps rid them of the real or artificial barriers to a healthy outlook and returns them to their joyful selves.
Erika Flint is an award-winning hypnotist, author, speaker and co-host of the popular podcast series Hypnosis, Etc. She is the founder of Cascade Hypnosis Center in Bellingham, Washington, and creator of the Reprogram Your Weight system. Her book, Reprogram Your Weight: Stop Thinking About Food All the Time, Regain Control of Your Eating, and Lose the Weight Once and for All, unveils how hypnosis taps into an individual’s inherent power for weight loss success.