Learning To Keep The Weight Off And Change The Way You Think About Food

Have you had trouble with losing weight? Learning to keep the weight off is difficult, isn’t it? Does it sometimes feel like your weight fluctuates more than the stock market? Do you feel you could write a ‘diet’ book all by yourself but for some reason, even though you ‘know’ what to do, you just don’t do it?

The effects of ‘diet quick fixes’ are not long lasting as many of us have tried dieting to lose weight and failed. Sometimes we see short-term successes, but let’s face it, more often than not the diet fails, lowering our self-esteem and making us feel like failures.

Whether you have a few pounds or a few stones to lose or just want to cut out junk food, you need to make long-term changes and stick to them. When it comes to losing weight, the good news is this needn’t be difficult!

Keep The Weight Off By Changing Habits

Beating yourself up about being lazy and calling yourself harsh names is not motivating, and actually makes losing weight harder. Note-to-self: You are none of these things, you are worth it, and you are beautiful!

So why isn’t your diet working? Changing your diet is necessary but sometimes it’s not enough on its own. The basic formula of ‘eat better + exercise more = weight loss’ is correct, but the problem is the psychological aspect of changing unhelpful patterns that we may have got stuck in.

Tips for keeping the weight off:

  • Start with a healthy eating plan: a protein-rich meal will keep you feeling fuller for longer and you will snack less between meals. This will help maintain your weight loss;
  • Make a weekly meal plan and shop accordingly. Even if you go out or have a change of routine such as holidays, keep to your plan and stick with it;
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. You can control your weight if you are eating regularly and don’t snack, so start the day as you mean to go on;
  • Exercise and stay active. Build your exercise slowly by doing a gentle jog or more vigorous walk, and then increase the amount and intensity gradually. Build your activity slowly and keep at it;
  • Get your friends and family to support you so that you stay on your plan to eat healthily and keep you activity plan;
  • Try different things so if you get bored you don't slip back in the old unhealthy eating pattern. Buy a new cookbook or do a cooking course with your diet in mind and try a new exercise class that is fun and motivating;
  • Set some SMART (simple, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) goals and motivate yourself to not give up.

Why Does Hypnotherapy And CBT For Weight Loss Work So Well?

Hypnotherapy with CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) can expose hidden reasons that you have not previously been able to lose weight. This process allows a person to break through the barrier that makes it difficult for her/him to achieve their weight loss goals. During the session, you will go into a state of deep relaxation and you are able to link what you think and feel with your actions, to put things into perspective. When the mind and body are in the relaxed state, you are given suggestions that will help you with your weight problems and change your way of thinking about food. After a series of sessions, you can be successful in achieving your weight loss objectives and regain your self-confidence again.

Ever heard your mind thinking and saying, “I just can’t stop eating. The more I try the harder it is?”  This is because the ‘unconscious’ is still making you think about food, making the battle of Mind vs. Food – Food: 1, Mind: 0.

Also, if you have the wrong diet your body may lack the right nutrients and so be driving you to eat more food in an urgent attempt to meet its nutritional needs. When you have a healthy natural diet, there is much less need for willpower because your body stops craving sugary foods.

In combination with eating healthier, the therapy works with the unconscious mind, changing your inner feelings and thoughts towards food. By resolving conflict, the ‘unconscious’ becomes aligned with the conscious, to bring about change on all levels.

You will come to learn how powerful your thoughts are and then harness that power to focus on what you want. Your unconscious mind will direct you to the healthier outcomes you desire and will change your behaviours to reach your goal, making permanent weight loss a reality!

Hypnotherapy and CBT help by:

  • Removing your desire to eat sugary foods or overeat.
  • Forming a positive self-image, using visualisation techniques.
  • Producing a more robust feeling of determination and strength.
  • Providing you with the motivation to exercise and lead a healthier lifestyle.
  • Improving your confidence, self-esteem and positive thinking.
  • Giving you tools and techniques to cope with the stress.
  • Resolving any past events which may be connected to weight gain

Hypnotherapy together with CBT is a safe and effective method of embedding the habits that will allow you to lose weight. Through this process, you will feel in control of yourself, your weight and your life.  Why wait any longer for the weight to drop off and live the fulfilled life you wish for?

For a chat about how you can learn to keep the weight off, contact me on 07967 151790 for a free consultation.


How to Use Self Hypnosis to Stop Anxiety Attacks

We all suffer from anxiety attacks from time to time, it’s perfectly normal. But when those feelings of panic and anxiety are a regular occurrence and threaten to overwhelm you, it’s time to get help.

Unfortunately, often the things that might trigger an anxiety attack are unavoidable. For example, a deadline at work, a significant upheaval in your personal or work life, or anxiety about a forthcoming event such as moving home, a wedding, holiday or Christmas. Fortunately, there are ways to manage these panicky feelings before they escalate into a full blown anxiety attack, and self-hypnosis is an effective way to do this.

How Self Hypnosis Works

Self-hypnosis works on your subconscious mind and helps you to control the triggers that start a panic attack. The aim of self-hypnosis is to allow your mind to go into a trance-like state, which in turn allows you to be calm and relaxed and be in control of your anxiety.

You can teach yourself self-hypnosis, but most people find it quicker and easier to be taught by a trained clinical hypnotherapist who can guide you through the technique and find the most effective method for you.

Below is a simple effective technique called eye-fixation method used in self-hypnosis. This will be more effective in a quiet room and all the distractions should be put away like the phone, Facebook, computer, Snapchat etc. Before starting you should make a list of positive statements designed to elevate your anxiety. This is something you can do with your therapist, choosing the most appropriate statements to use, that resonate with you fully.

  1. Make yourself comfortable on a sofa or a comfy chair. Stretch your legs in front of you and keep your legs uncrossed. Avoid doing self-hypnosis if you are feeling bloated or are physically uncomfortable in any way.
  2. Pick a point on the ceiling and look upwards by fixing your gaze on it. Breathe in and out (3 to 4 times) and let your body slowly relax down into the chair you are sitting on. Let your thoughts drift away and repeat to yourself ‘I feel tired and my eyes are heavy’. Then relax and close your eyes in a comfortable position. Say the words in your mind in a gentle soothing and calm manner.
  3. Allow your muscles to relax and then count yourself down from 10 to 1. Say in your mind ‘with each number I count down I am relaxing more and more’. Focus on your breathing in and out and become aware that you are drifting into a calm relaxed state without letting anything bother or disturb you. Let any uncomfortable thoughts drift away.
  4. You can now think of the positive suggestions that you have prepared and repeat them in your mind and tell yourself ‘I feel calm and my anxious thoughts are just drifting away and my stress is greatly reduced. I am going to be positive about how I perceive myself and will develop new skills to stay stress-free’.
  5. Just before you wake up fully give yourself an action or response, it is called a post-hypnotic response. These suggestions will be positive goals that you want to achieve. You are in a heightened state of suggestibility and will be able to let the words/ goals sink deep into your unconscious mind and make the changes you desire. You can say these confidently and as you mean it and be in the present tense, the words are phrased positively. ‘I can be relaxed or I feel calm and know when the anxiety thoughts are returning’.
  6. Work on one issue or goal at a time and be realistic about what is troubling you now. If you are able to repeat these suggestions while practicing self-hypnosis, this will be most effective for making a positive change.
  7. Try using imagery in your self-hypnosis practice by visualising the stressful situation and the action you need to take to be in control of it. Utilise all your senses hearing, smell and touch. You can use positive images from your past experiences and visualise your goal as a ‘crystal clear’ image as if you are watching a movie of your life and how you are overcoming your anxiety.
  8. When you are ready to count yourself back to wake up from 1 to 5. Once you’ve repeated this method at least 3 or 4 times on separate occasions, you will find that you will be able to go deeper and achieve a deep state of hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy and Cognitive behaviour therapy can teach you these techniques properly so they become second nature when you do suffer from a panic attack.

Here is a little script that you can use to release the anxiety and panic attacks:

Self-hypnosis can be used by most people when you want to be relaxed in order to deal with issues of daily living. It can help to change your thoughts, behaviours, improve your self-esteem and help you make positive steps toward your goals. It can be a stress reliever, can reduce your anxiety and you can be in control of your emotions and symptoms.

Imagine yourself that you have some helium balloons tied to a string and a basket. Put all anxieties and worries in this basket which is weighed down by a rock. You are then placing all the fears and issues attached to the anxiety in the basket. When you have released the balloons by taking away the rock the basket will lift up in the air and start to rise. This will then start to make you feel lighter and lighter and your fear is lifted and the weight is also lifted from your shoulders. Feel the sense of relief and relaxing feeling and say to yourself ‘ I feel relaxed and calm and have let go of my anxieties and stress’

Understanding your signs and symptoms of anxiety and how to deal with them quickly:

It is good to know and understand your panic attacks and anxious thoughts that you suffer from. This can be related to the acute fear and rapid discomfort you feel at the moment. This manifests itself very quickly and within minutes you will start to have increased breathing, sweating and shaking and panic with the fear that is going through you.

  • Understanding and distinguishing whether you are having a panic attack or whether it's a heart attack, which many people say that symptoms feel like of anxiety attacks feel like.
  • Calm your body and breath in and out slowly. But if you feel its anything other than an anxiety attack or are worried and not sure please seek help from a Doctor.
  • Getting help from a Cognitive behaviour therapist and hypnotherapist to work through your anxieties and help to be in control and recognise your triggers. The therapist will teach you self-hypnosis and how imagery can help with moving forward from the anxiety and panic attacks. Through self-hypnosis practice and vivid imagery, you can visualise reacting the way you desire when you feel anxious and achieve your goal of being in control of the panic attacks.

To find out more about clinical hypnotherapy and to get support with anxiety and panic attacks, click on this link or contact me directly - +44 (0)796 715 1790

 


Giving Up Smoking: Tips For Managing Bad Days

We all know that giving up smoking is tough; that your craving won’t go away overnight and even when you’ve quit smoking for a considerable amount of time, that desire for a cigarette, cigar, pipe etc. may suddenly catch you unawares.

One of the most effective ways to manage the bad days is to understand what the triggers are that make you want to smoke. While sometimes they may be to do with social situations, the really strong cravings are more likely to be as a result of stress.

What are your triggers to re-start you smoking habit after you have quit smoking for a period of time?

  • Stress?
  • Anxiety?
  • Irritability?
  • Boredom?
  • Tiredness?
  • Anger?

These triggers can be difficult to overcome when you are on this smoking cessation journey. In general, people think that smoking can calm you down in stressful situations, which is why this is the main trigger for so many people.

Smoking Increases Stress

The action of inhaling and exhaling can help reduce your stress levels, it’s not dissimilar to taking a calming breath, and many smokers report feeling calmer once they have a cigarette. However, nicotine has been proven to exacerbate stress, with studies showing that smokers have higher levels of stress than non-smokers, and that smoking only normalises their stress levels temporarily, which then increase in between cigarettes.

Once you understand what factors trigger your craving, you can then start to control them and find alternative ways of managing stress, boredom or anger.

Managing Cravings – Giving Up Smoking For Good

There are tools and techniques you can utilise to be in control of your triggers. This starts with understanding what’s happening to your body and mind and preparing in advance to fight those cravings.

Managing your withdrawal from your nicotine addiction

Physically your body is reacting to withdrawal from chemicals that are present in the brand of cigarettes you have smoked. It is a stressful process and you must be prepared mentally and physically to cope with it. Have an awareness that you will need be strong to deal with some of the discomforts and to manage and cope with your symptoms of withdrawal.

Fortunately, this does not last very long. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms peak at around day 2 or 3, so you should feel better by the end of week 1. However, it can take up to 3 months for the withdrawal symptoms to be completely gone.

Managing your smoking habits and behaviours

Healing yourself from the habits and behaviours that are linked to the smoking is an important aspect as well. This will take shape when you learn to manage your cravings and feelings. Take it one step at a time and allow this recovery process to unravel by being patient about these struggles you will face.

Unfortunately, nicotine withdrawal can cause the type of symptoms that would normally be a trigger to have a cigarette – irritability, anxiety etc. – but if you understand why you’re feeling like this and have prepared for it, you will have a better chance of managing those triggers and cravings.

These thoughts and feelings together with your smoking cravings can be changed by CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) techniques and you will put them into perspective about how smoking will damage your body.

Tips for managing the bad days:

  1. Make healthy choices:
  • Choose healthy choices with your meals daily. By removing the toxins out of your body you will be moving towards a healthy mind and body routine.
  • Drink plenty of water. As the stress of quitting will dehydrate your body and water is the best way you can keep hydrated. This will reduce the cravings and flush any remaining nicotine toxins from your body.
  • Take some vitamins daily. Your body will get a boost from these vitamins you need to get through your withdrawal process faster. The nutrients from your body are also depleted due to cigarette smoking and these vitamins will boost your immune system.
  1. Reduce your caffeine intake: By cutting your intake of caffeine (either coffee or cola) will calm your nerves. This will also help you to sleep at night as caffeine make you feel energised and you need to be relaxed when you go to bed.
  2. Relax in a warm bath: de-stress in a bath with some scented candles and bath salts.
  3. Calm yourself with a massage: this will relax you and get the tension out of your muscles.
  4. Try to get plenty of sleep: Stress can cause your mind to overthink things and worrying about issues that will cause stress. Allowing your body to rest and your energy levels will return.
  5. Choose some form of exercise to do regularly even if it is a 20-minute walk at least 3 times a week. This reduces the edginess you feel when you are stressed and boosts circulation. Your ‘feel great’ hormone endorphin is released when you exercise or go for a quick walk. You will feel refreshed and this is a great way to de-stress.
  6. Imagine being calm and relaxed. Create a picture in your mind of a place where you felt calm and relaxed, focus on that image. Every time you feel stressed think about this place and imagine being there again.
  7. Deep breathing technique: A quick way to relax when you feel stressed and calm your edgy nerves. Breath into a count to three through the nose and by exhaling with your mouth to another count of five. Do this 4 to 5 times and you will your body relax and let the tension drift away.
  8. Taking one day at a time: Focus on each day as it comes you can feel a sense of pride that you have been without cigarettes for today. Let tomorrow be another day and be positive in your ability to give up smoking for good.
  9. Don't give up, giving up: you might have some bad days where it will be a struggle not to start smoking again and take it one step at a time. Try to keep your mind away from small or big issues that might cause you to have a bad mood. Look after yourself and give yourself a treat or two and be grateful for every day you are smoke-free.

Triggers, such as stress and anger, are one of the biggest reasons that people are unsuccessful in their attempts to give up smoking. How we respond to these triggers and the habits and behaviours we have formed around them, are often very deep-rooted and hard to overcome. This is why a supportive programme of cognitive behaviour therapy is so effective a breaking the cycle of this behaviour and instilling within you new, healthier, ways to manage and cope with stress.

Find out more about my Stop Smoking Course here.