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Overcome Emotional Eating With Hypnosis
by Cynthia Lindner, MS, CH
Editor´s Note: Hypnosis is well known for being helpful with reducing weight, and this article discusses issues of emotional eating, and how that can impact weight management success. Hypnotherapy may be used to resolve the emotional issues while adopting healthy lifestyle behaviors.
Much attention has recently been paid by the media to the issue of obesity, and it has been said that in the United States obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Roughly two thirds of Americans are overweight and our children are developing disorders such as type II diabetes and hypertension that were typically considered adult maladies linked with being over weight. Obesity is also linked to heart disease, stroke and several cancers. -- More about that later.
Causes of obesity are fairly easy to identify. Consuming more calories than are used results in that excess energy being stored as body fat. This was good for the survival of our ancient ancestors, and calorie storage is still a positive function for today’s bears that hibernate through the winter. If you are reading this you obviously aren’t an ursine omnivore, and too much fat on your body would be cause for some concern.
In the 1960’s the average American ate around 3,100 calories per day. By the 1990’s that figure rose to about 3,700 calories per day. We have inexpensive and high calorie fast food, and easy access by drive through, to the high fat burgers, white carb buns, and sugary sodas, shakes and, you know, most will have fries with that. Most restaurants are serving up double to quadruple portions!
Another contributor to the problem is that Americans are eating more processed foods than ever before. We spend more time sitting in front of computers, sitting in a vehicle to get where we are going, and even more time sitting in front of our big flat screen televisions. Yes, it is not very difficult to see why more and more people are shopping in the plus size stores. For a small percentage of people with unexplained weight gain, (that is to say, their eating and activity are the same yet they begin to add pounds) may find through a simple blood test that it is due to a hormonal imbalance pertaining to the thyroid gland.
"To get what you want, stop doing what isn't working." --Unknown
What seems most difficult is changing our behaviors, to reflect patterns of a healthier lifestyle. Lasting weight loss demands that a transformation of eating and exercise habits takes place. Using hypnosis can help people to look forward to eating and increasing activity in a way that leads to a healthier lifestyle. Many other choices we make each day, such as how much time is spent sleeping or surfing the Internet, can also make a huge difference.
The approach of simply eating less and moving more is fairly simple, unless you happen to be an emotional eater. Many people who successfully reduce their weight gain it back if they haven’t come to terms with the emotional factors that lead to the weight gain in the first place.
Some examples of the emotional factors that present a challenge for maintaining a healthy weight are:
* Maintaining the motivation over time is helpful for maintaining those healthy lifestyle changes.
* Improving body image is a key to long-term success.
* Having skills for handling stressful situations rather than eating for comfort.
* Thinking positively by changing negative beliefs.
* Having satisfaction in your daily life, through acquiring useful skills for day-to-day living.
In comparing slender people with those who are overweight, it has been found that people that have chronic weight issues are more likely to have experienced the loss of a parent in early childhood either through death or divorce, experienced some form of abuse, lived with a parent who had a substance abuse problem, has had clinical depression (57% vs. 22%), experienced rage, and felt that having fat is a form of protection (25% vs. 0%).
According to the American Cancer Society An estimated 1 out of every 3 cancer deaths in the United States is linked to excess body weight, poor nutrition, or physical inactivity. These factors are all related and may all contribute to cancer risk, but body weight seems to have the strongest evidence linking it to cancer. Excess body weight contributes to as many as 1 out of 5 of all cancer-related deaths.
Dramatic results can often be achieved with hypnotic techniques including visualization and guided imagery. The key to guided imagery is learning to deeply relax and opening the subconscious mind to suggestions that enable people to erase unwanted behaviors and the desire to have unhealthy foods and replace them with a stronger desire for a full, rich, and healthful life.
Utilizing hypnotherapy as part of a weight control plan will make it much easier to change those unhealthy patterns into healthy behaviors and thought patterns. People will still need to make healthy choices in the foods they eat, and they will still need to increase activity, but this can be accomplished without feeling deprived or worrying about failing with a little help from a qualified Hypnotherapist.
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