Barry D Cooper BSc DipCHP HPD AdvDPLT MNCH(Acc) MBPsS

Weight loss can be achieved through hypnotherapy

Attributing food addiction as the single cause underlying the development of obesity, despite the existence of numerous other very plausible explanations, is unhelpful, particularly for those trying to live more healthy lives.

In a BBC-commissioned article , Professor John Blundell from the Institute of Psychological Sciences at the University of Leeds warns the term is being used far too freely. “I am concerned that many people may potentially latch on to the concept of food addiction as an excuse to explain their overeating – the premise that it’s ‘not my fault’ and therefore, ‘I can’t help it’, ” he comments.

This, he says, removes the personal responsibility they should feel and could act on – and they infer that their eating is a form of disease. And this is where hypnotherapy can help those who aim for weight loss. Hypnotherapy changes how the client feels about what they eat. For instance – on a diet, someone might eat a carrot and wish they were eating a carrot cake, but with hypnotherapy the client can learn to enjoy the carrot and not give that cake a second thought.

It might be hard to imagine a world where someone would turn down their favourite food for something healthier, but with certain hypnotherapy techniques it may be possible to change the client’s thinking patterns and gain control over cravings in a way that does not lead to depression. Prof Blundell says binge eating disorder does exist and that sufferers have a strong compulsion to eat, which persists alongside the sense of a loss of control. These are the people who need to take control of their diet and achieve weight loss.

Hypnotherapy for weight loss is becoming increasingly accepted and more popular. Only recently has hypnotherapy for weight loss been given the credit it deserves. The idea of hypnosis is still met with scepticism due to misconceptions about what it is.

While each case is different because everyone has different reasons for wanting to lose weight, some suggestions the client might encounter during hypnotherapy for weight loss include envisioning the body they want; imagining how they will feel with their new look and health; realising that the more they exercise, the more they will want to exercise and the easier it will become to do so and whenever they get the urge to eat something unhealthy, or eat when not hungry, imagine not reaching the weight loss goal.

By targeting the subconscious mind with powerful suggestion techniques, a hypnotherapist will help the client develop a new, positive relationship with food and exercise.

This month, the BBC reported that many young families had cut back on fresh fruit and vegetables and switched to less healthy processed food as the recession squeezed budgets.

A UK study of 15,000 households’ data suggested that rising food prices and stagnating wages had led people to buy less food and choose cheaper products.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said pensioners, single parent households and families had the biggest drop in the nutritional quality of their diets and it is a known fact that bad diets can lead to weight gain and decreased fitness. The report’s authors used food purchasing data from 15,850 British households from 2005 to 2012, enabling them to analyse the impact on spending of the recession.