How reducing stress can help lose weight
So what has managing your weight got to with stress? The answer is a lot!
Some clients who come to see me for weight loss hypnotherapy state they are fine and they are perfectly happy; if only they could stop eating their favourite crisps/chocolate /cake. My answer is always this; if you are perfectly happy and things are great, then why are you overeating, making poor food choices and eating when you are not hungry? Food, after all, is fuel.
Pure and simple. Sure it is nice to be able to enjoy the food we eat but it is fundamentally there to keep up stocked up on energy to keeps us alive and to keep us moving. And so if you are eating when you are not hungry then there must be a reason for it. Those who eat food when they are not hungry are looking for something and one thing is certain, they won’t find it in food. When we were all living in primitive times, our main goal in life was to survive. By surviving we were able to procreate and our offspring would carry our genes forward. Our main threats in these times were freezing to death, starving to death or being eaten. And so, if we experienced any of these threats, the part of our brain which acts to protect us would kick in . It would make all the necessary changes in our body and mind to enable us to store fat so that we could live off of these fat stores if we didn’t have any food. So if there was a famine, or there was a large pack of animals sitting outside our cave, we had enough fat to keep us alive. And it would hold onto every calorie we put in our mouths and store it as fat - this extra fat would also protect our organs if we happened to be freezing to death too.
Plentiful food has only been around for a short period of time in the scheme of things and so we have not yet evolved from the primitive fat-storing brain. If our brain perceives that we are under threat IN ANY WAY then these primitive actions will kick in. It will hang on to all of the calories we eat and store them as fat. It will make us slow and lethargic so that precious energy isn’t wasted. It is doing this because it wants to keep us alive! And of course famines in the western world are thankfully nonexistent and packs of wild animals don’t stop us from feeding our families. But our lives are now incredibly stressful in other ways! Work stress, relationship problems, mortgages, the news, kids, families, money……
All of these things are seen are threats by the primitive mind. And so if we cannot manage our stresses, or if things are particularly bad, then our brain will go into survival mode, hanging onto to every calorie and storing it as fat. So although you may hate your body for being ‘fat’ and hate yourself for overeating, your body and mind quite simply think they are doing you a favour. It is giving you some extra body fat to help you through the famine which will actually never come. When you are stressed you produce cortisol.
Cortisol is a stress hormone and too much of it is not good for us at all! If you are producing too much cortisol then your body will choose to store calories as fat. If you reduce the stress in your life, thus reducing the amount of cortisol you produce, then your body will choose to use the calories you put into your body for energy instead. And so this is where hypnotherapy comes in. Working on reducing your stress is the first step as this will help you start functioning from the intellectual part of the mind, rather than the primitive mind.
Many of my hypnotherapy clients state that they eat to make themselves feel better and they find they overeat at times when they are upset or lonely or stressed. Reducing your stress naturally with hypnotherapy sessions teaches you to focus on the positive things in life, meaning that you get your kicks elsewhere. Incidences of overeating will reduce as you will be able to make rational choices about the food you are putting into your body. It isn’t a magic wand and it does require commitment and willpower, but with some hypnotherapy at Positive Change 4U, you can make lasting and enduring changes to how you eat and will get to a weight that is right for you.
Book your hypnotherapy sessions via the website or call 07490 763516. Initial consultations are free.