There’s not a week goes by without some fad diet making the headlines, and I often think that these stories offer little but false hope for people who are struggling with their weight. In the run up to Christmas, dieters often go into overdrive so that they can look their best for the impending office party. Cue yet another fad diet.
For many habitual dieters, their chop-and-change approach to diets simply ends up becoming part of a lifestyle in which the pursuit of a new diet becomes more significant than the act of losing weight. The idea that “the last one didn’t work but this one’s go to be worth a go” stops being something to be applauded and instead becomes slightly sad.
The fact is that all good diets work if you stick to them. If you limit your calorific intake and start burning off weight in the gym then – bingo! It’s not the diet that needs to change if you want to keep the weight off, it’s the individual.
During the course of our weight-loss hypnotherapy in London, the whole mindset behind losing weight is one of the first things we discuss with clients looking for success in that area. There’s a tip that I can share with you now, and it’s this:
If you want to lose weight, a very powerful part of the puzzle is wanting to be slim – and not merely wishing that you were not overweight.
You might want to read that again to realise that there’s a subtle but important difference. In the latter, where people obsess over the idea that “I don’t want to be fat,” the focus is on a negative, the “not wanting to be” part. Even though you’re trying to be positive in dealing with the issue, everything is wrapped up in negative thought.
When flipping it on its head, and focusing on the idea of being slim, the goal becomes 100 per cent positive. And this can put you on a fast-track to success.
The importance of visualisation
During clinical hypnotherapy with patients, one of the tools at our disposal is called visualisation, in which we help people to visualise themselves as they would like to be. We work with them on this image to help make it really intense – like a scene from a movie, or a vibrant glossy image from a magazine. A positive goal such as “being slim” is a classic way in which this technique works. A negative goal like “not being fat” isn’t as effective. Sportsmen use the technique all the time, so it’s a case of “I want to win” rather than “I don’t want to lose”.
Sometimes clients have put on weight because of their reliance on certain comfort foods – snacks they reach for when feeling low because sugar releases dopamine which makes them feel good. Using something called Time Line Therapy, we can get to the root of what is causing them to reach for the snacks in the first place. Time Line Therapy is incredibly effective in helping people to release themselves from past negative emotions such as sadness, guilt, remorse, frustration or jealousy.
It’s almost a way of turning back the clocks to make you no longer feel bad about the trigger event. This, in turn, can take away the desire to comfort eat, and when coupled with a positive mental goal, losing weight becomes infinitely easier.
The mind is a wonderful and powerful thing – all most of us need to get it back ‘on-side’ is a little expert help.