One thing I have learned over the last few years is that it doesn't matter how many diets or health regimes you plan or try to implement, if your mindset and intentions are not in the right place they will just become fads which will be hard to stick to for a long-period of time. Healthy eating should be a lifestyle choice that you feel happy and comfortable with, not a form of punishment or a feeling that you are depriving yourself of something, otherwise you will just feel miserable and then turn to food, if this is your modus operandi.
OBESITY and BMI
Obesity is basically when you carry too much body fat for your height and gender, to the extent that it can pose a serious risk to your health. An ideal BMI (Body Mass Index) should be between 20-25 and is calculated as follows -:
- Square your height in metres i.e. 1.7m x 1.7m = 2.89
- Then divide your weight in KG by that figure
So for example if you weighed 70KG you would divide that by 2.89 to get a BMI of 27.68. This is just a little over your ideal BMI but just short of the measure of obesity which is 30 or higher. So ideally, you could do with losing a few pounds.
Everybody has a different metabolic rate which is the rate we burn off calories. If you are not very active, then you need fewer calories but if you are quite active then you need a few more. However, poor food choices can contribute to an increase in calories. The formula is pretty simple Exercise + Healthy Food Choices = Ideal weight.
Around 62% of the British population are overweight with 1 in 11 deaths caused by obesity and it's catching up with smoking as the number one killer. Britain is the ‘fat capital' of Europe and an astonishing 400,000 deaths alone in the EU are linked to excess weight.
The car, TV, computers, desk jobs, high-calorie food, and clever food marketing have all contributed to encourage inactivity and overeating. “Obesity is a consequence of the abundance and convenience of modern life as well as the human body's propensity to store fat,” says Professor Jebb, professor of diet and population health at the University of Oxford.
Obesity with children is also on the rise with 10 of every 100 6-year olds classes as obese, which rises to 17 out of every 100 by the time they reach 15. Ultimately, it's the responsibility of the parents to ensure that their children are eating healthily and I admit to squirming every time I see a parent take their kids into McDonalds, Burger King or KFC. Our belief system is formed as we grow and if children learn poor food choices from their parents then these will carry into their adult life as well.
WHY PEOPLE OVER-EAT
I've read “Wheat Belly”, “Salt, Sugar, Fat”, “Why We Get Fat” and other numerous publications as well as online articles and although it's vital to inform yourself about some of the practices of big food giants and the differences between good and bad foods, some of the best knowledge and tools I have discovered were Hypnotherapy techniques, to work with the subconscious and discover the underlying causes for overeating, the main ones which are -:
- Food replaces love or attention. If someone has not had much attention or affection in their lives or are perhaps either in an unhappy relationship or struggling to find a satisfactory one, they can often turn to food, which will always be there for them and not let them down!
- When something goes wrong in life. As a child did you ever hurt yourself and get rewarded with sweets or a lolly to help ease the pain? Some people reach for the ice-cream tub or popcorn when watching a movie to cheer themselves up. If they are bored on uninspired at work, they may go and buy a burger with fries at lunchtime or doughnuts as a snack or reward for something. However, it's a short-term fix and can lead to more misery further down the line if it becomes habitual.
- Fear, or as a stress-reliever. When we fear something that we must do or are stressing about something, for example giving an important speech or presentation, a worry about the future for ourselves or our family – it can be any number of things but it can often mean that over-eating masks that fear and turns into a coping mechanism.
- To get attention or boost confidence. Larger people can be imposing characters, there can be an authority or attention to be gained by being a ‘character' or the biggest person in the room. Often it stems from insecurity or a lack of belief in themselves.
- Eating for reward or entertainment. How many times as a child were we rewarded with sweets or treats for performing a task, having a desert if you ate all your greens at dinner, for tidying your room when asked. This can carry forward into life, rewarding ourselves when we go out for a meal as a couple or when we have received a promotion or achieved something notable in life we turn to a celebratory drink which can often turn to excess.
These are some of the main reasons why people may over-eat and they are generally related to FEELINGS (hunger, stressed, sad, bored, lonely), SITUATIONS (watching TV, in bed, at social events) or NEEDS (need love, attention, feel important or to relax)
HOW HYPNOTHERAPY CAN HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS
Hypnotherapy gets a bad rap on TV and the movies and people have this false perception of what Hypnotherapy actually is. In it's simplest form Hypnotherapy is simply helping people who are struggling, to be in a more relaxed state so that their subconscious can be accessed, old habits can be identified and new, healthier habits established – all within a few sessions. It's a form of weight loss treatment which is now being given merit within the NHS and health care system. It can be amazingly effective and often is directly responsible for major changes in a individual's life pattern. I know because I went through Hypnotherapy myself and it changed my life and my mindset around totally – so much so that I spent years learning, training and qualifying to be a Hypnotherapist through the National Hypnotherapy Society.
Regardless of the underlying reasons why someone may over-eat, there are key actions that can help anyone to achieve the following -:
- Experience weight loss towards an ideal BMI range
- Maintain weight loss and healthy eating
- Incorporate new habits into their life
With hypnotherapy we can achieve all of these by performing a relaxation induction, followed by an optional deepening induction, then a weight control therapeutic script and finally a re-orientation. It may take a few sessions and can be really beneficial when accompanied by appropriate and informed nutritional advice.
The Weight control script is the key part here which can really be ideally performed when the client is totally relaxed and has the following main benefits -:
- Gives less importance to food as it relates to your own personal feelings and well-being.
- Builds up your own self-confidence and improves self-esteem so you can accept change.
- Make healthy food choices MORE desirable and unhealthy ones LESS desirable.
- Ensure new patterns of behaviour are introduced into your life with regards to where, when or why you over-eat.
EXERCISE & HEALTH PLAN
Of course Hypnotherapy can help with better food choices, remove compulsions and help heal and deal with the underlying causes for excessive food consumption or poor food choices but it can also help with implementing and maintaining the “other side of the coin” which is implementing and maintaining a healthy exercise routine.
Now, we don't have to run 10 miles a day but starting off small by perhaps getting a Fitbit or other sports tracker and trying to walk 5,000 steps a day is a good start, then build that up to 10,000 steps a day. Also perhaps find something that you love. If you had asked my 5 years ago that I would have loved a near-daily Yoga and Pilates practice I would probably have laughed but try new things, you never know what might grab your interest. I love cycling for example and the occasional trek up a hill or an adventure abroad – find something that is fun and that you enjoy rather than something that you don't look forward to that might not be able to be maintained.
A Personalised Health Plan basically can consist of the following 10 steps and be given boosts with specific Hypnotherapy scripts for each area that may require additional support -:
- Good nutrition and weight loss
- Improved Sleep
- Pain Control
- Treating Phobias
- Improved Self-Esteem and Motivation
- Eliminate harmful substances including cigarettes, alcohol, toxicity in your environment
- Reduction of unhelpful or unhealthy stimulants
- Stress and Anxiety Reduction and negative situations in your life
- Daily exercise plans
- Periodic leisure and relaxation time
If you have never tried Hypnotherapy I highly recommend giving it a go and see if it can help you overcome any bad habits or changes to your health that you may want to make in your life.