- Publish Date
- Thursday, 20 July 2017, 1:21PM
Most people know how to lose weight. Eat less and exercise more. Easy, right? If it’s so easy, then why does almost every adult I know struggle with their weight. We are obsessed with the latest diet, fitness craze, counting macros, calories and cutting out carbs.
Weight is something I have struggled with most of my life, I have done every diet and exercise regime that exists. I could stick to a diet for a while, but would always fall off the wagon and sabotage all my hard work faster than it took me to take it off. I became a hypnotherapist and weight loss coach mostly to help myself stop the cycle of yo-yo dieting, feeling out of control with food, and gain control over the many other substances I would use to self-medicate.
After working with thousands of people to help them to lose weight, I have found several things to be factors in blocking weight loss.
- You are stressed, and therefore your metabolism is slowing down.
Study after study has now proven that when you are stressed, your metabolism slows down. You burn fewer calories, eat more sugar and fried food as well as having raised blood sugar and insulin. Our physiology hasn’t evolved to be able to cope effectively with the stress we are inundated with every day. Our cortisol and adrenaline levels are through the roof. The only time our ancestors had chronic high cortisol was at times of war and famine therefore our bodies thinks that there must be something terrible happening in the world, so it tries to protect itself by hanging on to weight.
Your nervous system’s stress response is called fight or flight, and when it relaxes, it’s in rest and digest mode. Simply put, the stress response turns digestion off and makes you want to binge on, sugary, processed carbs and fried foods and store the calories for later. It’s not just what you’re eating but what’s eating you…
Now I know you can’t avoid all stress, so the easiest way to counteract this is to take five or six deep breaths before you eat.
Eating slowly, doing nothing else (like watching TV or reading your phone) while you eat, and savoring your food helps you absorb the nutrients from your food more effectively, burn more calories and to feel satisfied with smaller portions.
Eating is kind of like sex, if you are distracted and do it really quickly, it’s not very satisfying…
- Your subconscious believes it’s not safe to lose weight.
Whether your subconscious believes it’s safe to lose weight is something I always look at with my clients in regards to weight loss. We know exactly what to do to lose weight, but most of us are sabotaging any chance of losing weight on a daily basis. You consciously want to lose weight, but your subconscious may think it’s helping you by keeping you overweight for a variety of reason.
I find the two most common reasons your subconscious tries to make you fat are: to make you less attractive to the opposite sex or to appear bigger and stronger. For girls and women, we can have negative or even highly traumatic attention from men, and some part of us wants to hide or make ourselves invisible, so that doesn’t happen again. For boys and men, being bullied or abused triggers a primitive part of ourselves to do what it can to look bigger and tougher. Think about animals, if they feel threatened, they puff themselves up as a defense mechanism.
- You have unhealthy programs about food in your subconscious mind.
You consciously know you shouldn’t eat crap food, but your subconscious loves the way they taste and the drug-like effect they have on your body. This is part of why our willpower runs out, our subconscious mind makes 95% of your decisions and likes to stay on autopilot. Your subconscious is like an operating system, recording everything you do, and making programs out of it.
So, we wake up in the morning and tell ourselves that today’s the day we are going to eat super healthy. But the second we get distracted, stressed or are thinking about something else, our subconscious mind takes over, goes on autopilot and repeats the same habits over and over again. So, start with reprogramming your subconscious. The best way to do that is through visualization which is the language of the subconscious.
You can go to a hypnotherapist, you can buy hypnosis MP3s online for very cheap, or you can listen to guided visualizations on weight-loss on YouTube for free.
Here is a link to one of my weight loss visualizations you can listen to for free:
- You are addicted to processed food.
Sugar, wheat and dairy are addictive and act like drugs in your body. Sugar triggers dopamine (similar to cocaine), wheat and dairy fill the opiate receptors in your body (same as heroin and pain killers).
Wheat is sprayed with glyphosate (Roundup - a weed killer) before it’s harvested and then bleached with chlorine dioxide. Glyphosate kills the good bacteria in your gut, and the chlorine creates a toxin in wheat called alloxan that attacks your pancreas. Researchers are well aware of this connection and use alloxan in lab rats to induce diabetes. Did you catch that? It’s used to cause diabetes! If I sprayed your sandwich with a weed killer and bleach, would you still eat it?
So how to you stop eating those foods?
Yes, it’s hard changing your diet. But I guarantee it’s more difficult feeling fat and tired all the time. I find a good place to start is committing to cutting out sugar, wheat and anything deep fried. I think you can have those foods as treat now and then but not on a daily basis. I found the best way to stop eating the foods you’re addicted to, is to create aversions. For most of us, there are certain foods we just won’t eat; we may have been forced to eat them as a child, have gotten food poisoning from it, or just plain don’t like it. You want to create something similar with the foods you know you shouldn’t eat.
A good technique to do yourself is to imagine at table with all of your favourite naughty foods that are triggers for you and then imagine them covered in mold.
It may be white and fluffy, green and slimy, or with black spots. Just make it as disgusting as you can. Imagine spraying the food with weed killer, bleach, sprinkling dish washing powder, rat poison or a food or drink you hate on top.
Make it look as disgusting as you can so that your subconscious mind associates those foods as something poisonous and toxic for you. Every night before you go to bed, imagine yourself your ideal weight, fit and healthy. Tell yourself you love to eat fresh, clean food, drink lots of water and love to exercise and imagine yourself doing those things. Your subconscious believes everything you tell it, so show and tell it the positive things you want to believe.
I don’t advocate one particular diet; different diets work for different people - paleo, keto, pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan all work to improve your health. It’s just finding a diet you can stick to while cutting out processed foods.
Top Tips to Lose Weight
- Set a goal. Decide what you want to achieve, what weight or size do you want to be and picture yourself having achieved that every day.
- Take five or six deep breaths before you eat, do nothing else while you eat (no phone!), and eat slowly, really enjoying your food.
- Tell yourself that it’s safe to lose weight, and the best way to keep yourself safe is to be fit, healthy, strong and confident. Tell yourself that excess weight causes you to be less safe.
- Reprogram your subconscious mind by visualization to associate unhealthy foods as disgusting. Picture the foods that are keeping you from losing weight covered in mould and poison.
Changing your habits and diet is simple but it’s definitely not easy. Not easy but worth it. Nothing feels as good as being fit and healthy, and this gives you the energy and focus to achieve your dreams.
Caroline Cranshaw is a hypnotherapist, life coach and the author of The Smoking Cure. Find out more about her at nzhypnotherapy.co.nz