Hypnotherapy for Weight Management …Can Hypnotherapy Really Help You to Lose Weight?

If you spend any time on social media, you may well have seen adverts for Hypnotherapy Weigh-Loss apps or downloads, and you’ve probably seen people like Paul McKenna promise to ‘make you thin’.  I’m sure that many of you will be wondering what it’s all about and how it could possibly work. I can’t speak for these apps, and I certainly can’t speak for Mr McKenna, but I can tell you a little bit more about Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and how it could benefit you.

Now, a very long time ago, I worked in sales. Straight out of University but still unsure what I wanted to do, I got a job selling newspaper advertising space.  I didn’t work in sales for very long! Mainly because I was absolutely terrible at it! I couldn’t sell a woolly jumper in the Arctic! My point is that I am not trying to persuade you that Hypnotherapy for Weightloss is a miraculous solution to getting the body that you want.  If you are hoping to have hypnotherapy and then be able to sit on the sofa watching Netflix and eating chocolates and crisps while the pounds just melt away, I am afraid that I’m going to have to disappoint you. It is not a magic wand.  What it is, however, is a great way to help you to make changes in the way you think, feel and act that can be really helpful in achieving your goals.

We all know the basic premise of how to lose weight.  Eat less and move more.  So simple.  So why don’t we all do just that and have the bodies that we desire? It can be so frustrating when we have consciously decided that we are going to eat well and do some exercise. We know what we need to do, and there doesn’t SEEM to be anything standing in our way from achieving it.  We might even stick at it for six months…one month…two weeks…or maybe just three days.  We might lose some weight in that time if we are lucky.  But then it all goes to s**t, and we strayed from the plan, and we might as well just give up, if only for the rest of the day, and we will get right back on it tomorrow…or Monday…or after the party in two weeks time… Oh, the party! We wanted to lose weight for the party! Now we won’t, and that means we won’t fit into the new dress that we bought in the size we wanted to be, as opposed to the size we really needed (maybe that’s just me!?).  So basically, we’ve just ruined everything AGAIN.  Although, of course, we haven’t, not really. But that is what our negative inner voice will tell us.  Again and again. And often, the only antidote to a negative inner voice is to feed it biscuits.  Even though, like the film The Gremlins, it’s generally not a great idea to feed such things after midnight, or any time of day for that matter!  How is it that our own negative inner voice can be so harsh and cruel? It only serves to make us feel worse, and then we are probably more likely to – you guessed it – EAT! That same negative inner voice can also do a great job of dissuading us from being more active.  It can be really beneficial to consider how we would talk to a friend or family member, someone we really care about, if they were us.  There’s so much to say about that; I think I’ll save it for another blog post, but do take the time to consider how you are talking to yourself internally and if you could be just a little bit kinder and more supportive.

It is crucial to understand how the brain works both on a conscious and subconscious level because we often have the most fantastic conscious intentions, which somehow seem to fail to materialise. Unfortunately, these plans and promises can easily be derailed entirely by our mighty subconscious brains. This is because our subconscious mind controls over 90% of our thoughts, feelings and behaviours!  Hypnotherapy has the benefit of allowing us to access this vast unconscious resource and can help us to change our relationship with food, exercise and our self-image.  Hypnotherapy can help YOU to access YOUR subconscious.  YOUR subconscious brain will work with the suggestions made in both the talking part and the hypnosis (aka trance) part of hypnotherapy sessions.  As a hypnotherapist, I can support you in the process, but I can’t reprogramme YOUR brain.  If I could, I would have reprogrammed my husband’s brain to buy me flowers every week instead of once a millennium, and I would not have to remind my children 38 billion times to brush their teeth! Your brain will take on suggestions that align with your wishes, and change will happen because you want it to happen.  It is what happens after hypnotherapy sessions that will ultimately help you achieve your goals. 

As a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist, I don’t fit people with imaginary gastric bands or use food aversion techniques. In sessions we don’t focus on ‘the problem’ but rather on feeling good and how to achieve that. When we feel good, we make better choices and feel motivated. The thoughts you allow inside your mind are as important as what you put inside your body.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is firmly rooted in neuroscience, so there is much to consider regarding the neurotransmitters and hormones produced by our brains and bodies.  Stress and sleep can have a considerable impact on these chemical messengers. When we feel frustrated and bad about ourselves, we produce fewer lovely feel-good chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.  This is a real shame because a good flow of dopamine and serotonin makes us happier, more motivated and more likely to do things we should.  When we are down on ourselves and feel negative about our bodies, we are likely to produce more cortisol, one of the most influential stress hormones.  Cortisol encourages both fat storage and the desire to eat sugary high fat foods.  Stress can also significantly impact the production of Ghrelin and Lepin, the hormones responsible for appetite and feeling full.  Sleep also has a massive impact on these hormones, our insulin levels AND our metabolism. A lack of sleep can make our metabolism sluggish because it’s trying to conserve energy, and a slower metabolism results in the body releasing cortisol, the stress hormone.  So, in a nutshell, stress can affect our hormones and neurotransmitters, which affect our weight, which can affect our stress levels, which can affect our sleep, which can affect our weight, which can affect… On and on, round and round, a carousel that none of us want to be on! YIKES!

Is this all a bit disheartening? Thankfully it needn’t be. Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is a great way to reduce stress and its associated hormones.  It’s also beneficial in encouraging more of the lovely, natural, feel-good neurotransmitters, and it can improve the quality of your sleep too. Allowing you to focus on feeling good about yourself and work towards your goals.  Ultimately, losing weight doesn’t make you happy, but being happy makes it possible to lose weight!

If you have any further questions, or you want to find out about one-to-one sessions or online small group classes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!