5 Evidence-Based Weight Loss Tips: What's Right For You?

In this post, I share some tips that will get you off that weight loss roller coaster and help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight for life.

Why Many Weight Loss Diets Don’t Work

Nearly two-thirds of adults in the world and more and more adolescents and kids are overweight these days. Research has shown that an overweight person is at a significant risk of developing diabetes and heart conditions. Most diets are very difficult to keep up long-term, this is because when you go on a diet you decrease the number of calories you eat and your body feels like it is starving. Initially, you lose weight because your body has to use the excess fat in our body. However, your body presumes that it is starving and lowers your metabolism. This is a biological and natural driven mechanism, which evolved to help the fittest survive. The result is that if you want to lose weight you need to eat less and less food.

But after a while, your body feels deprived of food and you start to resent this diet and it affects your mood. This decrease in your mood level results in binge eating and therefore you will put on the weight that you lost.

Weight Loss And Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Cognitive behaviour therapy is based on evidenced-based techniques that can help you learn to change the way you think, feel and behave around your eating habits for the rest of your life. Also, you will learn to set some realistic goals and crush your self-defeating thoughts and pre-assumed beliefs about food.

First, you can identify those self-sabotaging thoughts and distortions and learn how to correct them. This then leads to you being positive, developing self-belief in yourself and motivating you further to stay on this healthy positive eating plan. Some of the self-sabotaging thoughts could be:

  1. You rationalise ‘bad eating habits’ by saying to yourself “it’s OK to snack on a pack of crisps because….”
  2. You follow the rules from your childhood about food wastage, remember your mum saying ‘its wrong to waste food, please clean your plate’.
  3. You have negative thoughts and distortions like “I will never lose the excess weight, so why should I bother trying”
  4. You have worst-case scenario thinking “what if I have low blood sugar and faint if I stay hungry, so I must have that chocolate bar”
  5. Negative visualisation you think is “what will my mother-in-law say if I don't eat her chocolate cake”
  6. Some deluding thoughts you have could be “since I tricked a little by eating that chocolate pastry or pie… I might as well finish it”

Benefits of cognitive behaviour therapy are:

  • Your cravings for ‘bad’ foods will decrease,
  • You will be in control of your desire for food and won't get into a panic if you are hungry for a little while longer,
  • You will have a daily healthy eating plan to follow,
  • You won’t feel deprived and resent the foods that you cannot eat,
  • You will feel great and positive about yourself,
  • Your self-confidence improves and you feel happier and healthier.

Here are some tips that I recommend my clients use between hypnosis treatments. They can be even more powerful when combined with a cognitive behaviour hypnotherapy that can help you break the cycle and get you off that weight loss rollercoaster.

  1. Note down on a flash card or postcard (and read the daily) the reasons why you want to lose weight. Also, find a healthy and nutritious eating program that works with your lifestyle, that is flexible and this will encourage you to change your mindset about which foods are ‘good’ for you and which are ‘bad’ for you.
  2. Be mindful and think of everything you put in your mouth (good or bad), eat very, very slowly, sit at a table when you eat, and acknowledge when you have done well. Reward yourself (praise yourself) for eating healthily.
  3. Clear your house, car and environment from all the junk food, crisps, chocolate etc. Set a reasonable goal to follow and make a distinction between your desire to eat, whether you are actually hungry or you are craving ‘bad’ foods at this time.
  4. Choose your exercise regime: so that you can burn off any excess calories, improving your health and fitness and this, in turn, will tone your muscles. Exercising makes you feel positive (physically and mentally), boosts self-esteem, relieves stress and anxiety and helps you feel better about yourself.
  5. Be in control of your cravings: practice mindfulness techniques and controlling your eating behaviour techniques.

Mindfulness techniques: Give your cravings a special name, and say ‘no’ to eating ‘bad foods’. Don’t cave into the temptation of eating that packet of crisps, keep an eye on your ultimate weight loss goal and imagine your future eating good foods and feeling healthy.

Behaviour techniques: Keep your craving at bay by not going near the ‘bad’ foods, plus drink plenty of water instead of snacking and drink low calorie drinks too. Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques and keep yourself distracted away from foods that are unhealthy.

Please email me (info@formindssake.com) or call directly (07967151790) if you would like to practice these tips in depth and let’s get you started with losing any excess weight and feeling fabulous!


What To Do If Your Confidence Takes A Nosedive

We all know of confident people who walk tall, speak with self-assurance and never seem fazed by work, family or anything else. By comparison, they might make use feel anxious, overly apologetic, and full of self-doubts and negative thoughts. However, don’t be fooled by first impressions, many people have moments where things don't look so great – it’s just that some of us are better at putting on a brave face than others.

How To Get Your Confidence Back

When your confidence does take a nosedive due to circumstances, such as relationship problems, issues at work or family worries, try to think of it as a temporary setback and address the issue before it gets worse. Self-confidence is something that we can learn, helping us to cope with stress and anxiety, feel good and have a more positive attitude. Not only that it can rub off on other people, so if your family members or friends are going through a rough period, your self-confidence and ability to face issues head-on can inspire them too.

Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy is the strength of your self-belief in your ability to achieve your goals. Albert Bandura, a prominent psychologist created the ‘Self-efficacy model’, suggesting that self-confidence comes from self-efficacy. This model suggests that self-efficacy influences the way a person thinks, feels, acts and, therefore, makes decisions. A person can work to develop the task-oriented skills and motivation to succeed at their own level of self-efficacy. For example, if you were an athlete and have had a setback where you have been injured and stuck at home for a while, you might have felt depressed, your self-confidence dipped and feel sorry for yourself, you can raise your self-efficacy and self-confidence level by looking at your past achievements and draw on those past accomplishments. By using mental imagery/ rehearsal techniques, vivid imagery of past performances and positive thoughts you can change your mindset and work towards positive goals.

Also, you can identify and dispute your irrational thoughts or maladaptive thoughts, which are called cognitive distortions through a process called cognitive restructuring. 

Here is a PDF document to help you create a goal-setting system, which is one of the most important skills you need to become and remain self-confident: Create a Goal Setting System

Tips to build your self-confidence:

Here are some techniques you can try at home to help build your self-confidence, helping you cope with life’s challenges:

  1. Look at your past achievements and feel proud of the things you have done and achieved in the past.
  2. Notice where your past self-belief and resilience came from and trust in yourself to be self-confident again.
  3. Identify your weaknesses and work on strengthening them.
  4. Create a goal setting system and expect to be successful.
  5. Visualise positive thoughts and rationalise negative patterns of thinking.
  6. Lean on a close friend for support.
  7. Have a strong mental imagery of success in your mind.
  8. Clear all mental blocks and increase your motivation to succeed.
  9. Deep breathing and relaxation exercises.
  10. Self talk such as affirmations and positive words to keep your momentum going.
  11. Look at the way you think of yourself and change it around due to something that is bothering you and making you feel low and not confident.

Face your fears, put everything about your life into context and don't let failure take over your life and build your interests and skills. You can look forward to a bright exciting future with confidence.

If you have any questions about self-efficacy and how to build your self-confidence, please get in touch. Leave a comment below or call / email me directly: 0796 7151790 / info@formindssake.com


 

"A first timer at Hypnotherapy, I chose Andrea because she was well qualified and uniquely, has nursing experience. What I didn't know was how caring and reassuring she was! I immediately felt I had come to the right person. I suffered from extreme anxiety, low self-confidence, and low self-esteem and also doubted my ability is making decisions. With her professional help, I have worked through unresolved issues and my self-confidence improved drastically. More importantly, I have learnt a lot about myself, have self-worth and also worked on how to deal with various problems/issues life throws at me. Clinical Hypnotherapy was a wonderful and insightful experience" Paula.

 


Find Help To Stop Smoking In South West Surrey

If you’ve been inspired by No Smoking Day to stop smoking, let’s look at ways you can gain control over your smoking habit and find help to finally stop smoking.

Do you find that you often ask yourself these questions?

  • How will stopping smoking help me feel better?
  • What is it that I value about not smoking?

The decision to stop smoking is a single act of will while being a non-smoker is a series of actions over time to create a new behaviour that allows the individual to control the impulses that make them crave a cigarette and ultimately no longer think about smoking in this way.

Are You A Smoker Or A Person Who Smokes?

Does your limiting belief say: “I am addicted to cigarettes.”

This belief could be causing you to see yourself as a smoker, not a person who smokes. Overcoming this self-limiting belief is what can give you the tools to quit smoking.

Your limiting belief often originates from the influences of friends, family or the people who have shaped your smoking behaviour. If they see you as a smoker it can be a self-perpetuating cycle that doesn’t allow you to take ownership of your smoking habit and control it.

But remember, the one and only one thing you have control over in your life are your choices.

This is a very powerful moment: a light bulb moment and may make your head spin! When you apply this concept you can make the choice to stop smoking and identify yourself as a non-smoker.

Your self-belief and the act of taking control holds the key to all your thoughts and choices….giving you the will power and tools to enable you to stop smoking for good.

This is a massive turning point and extremely empowering, making many people feel better when they find themselves in control of their smoking behaviour, rather than give their power away to something like a cigarette.

“The most powerful force in the entire universe is a human being trying to remain consistent with who they see themselves as.” Seth Ellsworth

How I Stopped Smoking – A Case Study

Julian wanted to say a few words about how he quit smoking;

“I started smoking when I was 15 years. I wanted to belong to the gang, be cool and be liked by my friends and peers. At 38 years old I was unfit, unhealthy and spent more money on cigarettes than I liked. I had a bad, wet cough and couldn’t walk into our nearest town from my house, even though it is only a 15/20-minute walk.

I never saw myself looking like I did at only 38 years old: I looked drawn, my skin on my face felt dry, I smelled of stale cigarette smoke, and I was always short of money as I spent a lot of money on cigarettes.

My wife and I argued a lot and we were not close anymore; she does not smoke you see. My parents refused to let me smoke in their house or in their garden as they have labelled it as a smoke-free zone, so I didn’t go there often. Most of my friends have given up smoking and hence I would stand outside the pub smoking alone in the cold. I felt like the last person still smoking and knew I had to make a choice.

I feel great now. I had the support from my wife and parents as soon as I set a date to give up the dreaded cigarettes. I went to a local hypnotherapist to increase my motivation and control my cravings. I learnt a breathing technique and how to be in control over my habits and behaviours. I have my best friend as my mentor and guide in case I am tempted to go back to smoking again. I cleaned my house, my car, desk etc and also my negative way of thinking and now I feel so much better and much more positive. I am doing a 10 K run in September for charity. I’ve finally found something I like more than cigarettes… I am so very grateful."

Support To Quit Smoking

Here are some key factors that help people to successfully quit smoking:

  1. Support from friends and family,
  2. Support from a friend to motivate you, keep tabs on you and remind you of your goal,
  3. Nicotine replacement products such as gum, nasal sprays and lozenges and help,
  4. NHS Stop Smoking Service provides local support through Surrey Stop Smoking Service, 0845 602 3608, stop.smoking@surreycc.gov.uk or Quit4life Hampshire Stop Smoking Service, 0845 602 4663, text QUIT to 60123, quit4life@nhs.net
  5. Reflexology can be effective, local reflexologist Rachel Carlse has experience of treating smokers 07790171115, www.feetinfleet.co.uk,
  6. Evidence has shown that Clinical hypnosis as an intervention to a smoking habit has a 40 – 50% success rate. The more sessions the client has the better for motivation and skill development.

Find out more about how hypnotherapy can help you stop smoking here.


Anxiety And Panic Attacks: What Is Your Mind Doing To You?

Everyone experiences anxiety or panic attacks sometime in their lives. We're all designed to protect ourselves from life-threatening or dangerous situations. Have you ever heard of the “fight” or “flight” response? This is when, due to stress, a huge surge of hormones such as adrenalin or cortisol is released telling your body to fight the danger or run from it. Without this humans would have died out years ago!

When you’re stressed, these elevated hormones, change the way we behave and our actions. For those of us who are constantly under stress - due to our work, family life or relationships - these hormones can remain at high levels in our body, leading to chronic symptoms of stress: panic attacks or acute anxiety.

In this post, I will be looking at how to identify the triggers that cause anxiety and panic attacks, and offer some advice for coping with them. If you think you may be suffering from stress and want more advice, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Anxiety And Panic Attacks Are Not Uncommon

With constant pressures from work, family, and relationships, many of life’s demands can cause anxiety and panic attacks. It can affect everything you do and get in the way of addressing the issues that cause them. Acute anxiety can affect how you think, feel, behave and how you cope with everyday events.

If you think that you, your partner, a friend or family member is suffering from anxiety, here are some of the common signs:

  • Sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Problems with sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Panic Attacks
  • Irritability
  • Anxiousness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Short temper
  • Overly cautiousness
  • Alcoholism
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Recurrent headaches/dizziness
  • Acne

Managing your stress in daily life

In themselves, stress and anxiety are not illnesses, however, they can cause very serious illnesses if not addressed. Recognising the symptoms of stress as early as possible is so important, enabling you to find ways to manage it, and avoid adopting unhealthy coping methods such as smoking or drinking. By spotting the early signs you’re also able to prevent symptoms getting worse, which could potentially cause serious complications such as panic attacks or high blood pressure.

Luckily for us, there are many things we can do to manage our stress more effectively. We can learn how to use deep breathing techniques, relaxation techniques, start exercising regularly and learn self-hypnosis/meditation.

Recognising your stress/anxiety triggers

A diary is a great way of identifying what’s causing your stress. I suggest making a note of your stressful episodes for 2-4 weeks, which will help you spot your triggers and then address them:

  • What were you doing at the time of the stressful episode?
  • Make a note of the date, place and time.
  • Who were you with?
  • How did you feel emotionally?
  • What were you thinking?
  • How did you feel physically?
  • Use a stress scale (0-10) 1 is the least stressed you feel and 10 is the most stressed you could ever feel)

You can then use the diary to:

  • Work out what triggers your stress/anxiety
  • Work out how you operate under pressure and when you get stressed
  • Develop better coping mechanisms to deal with the stress and whether they work for you or not

Take action to tackle your stress quickly

There’s no single method that will work for everyone. However, there are simple things you can do to change and help relieve stress and anxiety such as relaxation techniques, exercise and talking to other people. Who would have thought that simply breathing and talking could actually reduce stress?! How cool!

There are some great tips here on the NHS’ website for managing stress: 10 Stress Busters

Get support for your stress

You might be thinking, “I have tried exercising, I have tried relaxing and yet still nothing still seems to be working. Why?” Don’t worry, Stress Anxiety Hypnotherapy can help you relax, regulate your sleep patterns and improve your relationship with people around you.

Hypnotherapy helps by exploring your inner-mind and find ways to change your perspective; making positive changes for a calmer and better lifestyle.

If you’re a little sceptical about hypnotherapy, and most people are!, you may like to read this blog post – Dispelling The Myths About Hypnotherapy