Spring is finally here and Summer is fast approaching, which means we can no longer comfortably hide under bulky layers. This is the time of year when people often being setting goals to lose weight and get in shape. Maybe you’ve gained a few pounds over the Winter (like many of us!) or maybe you’ve been planning to lose weight for a while, but have been putting it off. Here at Morpheus, we understand how difficult it can be to stay motivated and maintain the proper mindset that leads to sustainable weight loss. I’ve asked Luke Chao, the founder of the clinic, several questions in regards to how hypnosis can help you lose weight and keep the weight off.
Ultimately, the only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you take in. Every diet, exercise regime and weight loss program aims to achieve this caloric deficit in a different way. Hypnosis uses a highly suggestible state to reduce emotional eating, change self-image, increase motivation to stick to a diet or exercise plan, and change habits such as snacking or mindless eating, thereby creating a caloric deficit.
One visualization exercise I’ve been using lately is to imagine a table full of nature’s most perfect foods — fruits, berries, lean meats — side-by-side with a table full of foods designed by scientists, manufactured in a factory and sold in branded television ads. When the choice is that stark, nobody ever chooses the manufactured foods. Whether using this technique or something else, my job is to associate good feelings with healthy food, and bad feelings with unhealthy food.
The basic process is the same as with healthy eating habits: associate exercise with pleasure, and inactivity with unpleasantness. For a more in-depth look, we made a video last year that breaks down a brief hypnosis session for exercise motivation:
For anything that the client has to do on their own, outside my office, I usually train them in a method closely related to hypnotherapy called Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Any feeling, including cravings, can be manipulated so that it’s easier to bear or ignore.
Absolutely. The link between food and comfort usually begins at a young age, so we might perform some exploratory work to figure out when and where the connection was made. Then, we bring adult insight to the event or events that we discover. After all, what might have been appropriate for a growing child is no longer appropriate for a full-grown adult.
People can quit smoking by making one empowering decision, or overcome a phobia with one well-targeted insight, but weight loss is always going to be a longer process. Nobody can lose 50 pounds or 20 pounds in a week. For weight loss, I prefer to follow clients throughout the duration of their journey to ensure that they stay on track, whereas for most other issues, I want my clients to become independent as soon as possible.
Absolutely. With any weight loss program, or any health-related program for that matter, the very first step is loving and appreciating one’s own body. Many people who are trying to lose weight describe their relationship with their body in adversarial terms (battle, struggle), but your body is only responding to what you put into it, and what you do (or don’t do) with it. Your body has only the best of intentions when it stores fat — it would keep you alive in times of starvation — and acknowledging this positive intent is the first step in improving your relationship with your body.
It’s actually easier to maintain a healthy weight than it is to achieve it in the first place, since losing weight requires a caloric deficit and maintenance doesn’t. The reason people regain weight after losing it is that they let their guard down once reaching their goal, often because they had felt like they were suffering throughout the entire weight loss process. I want my clients to develop good habits for life, which means losing weight at a reasonable rate (1-2 pounds per week) and maintaining those habits after they achieved their initial goal.
If you have any additional questions about how hypnosis can help you reach your weight loss goals, or you’d like to book a free 30 minute consultation, please give us a call at (416) 556-4068 or send an email to [email protected] and we will be more than happy to assist you.