Can hypnosis stop me comfort eating?
Comfort eating is a psychological condition where someone feels compelled to eat when they are not hungry. Often foods are consumed that are not healthy and there is an inability to stop when they have had enough. (https://eating-disorders.org.uk/information/compulsive-overeating-binge-eating-disorder/)
Comfort eating or binge eating effects more people than anorexia and bulimia. Latest figures estimate about 12 million people in the UK suffer from comfort eating to some extent. Society may sympathise, to a certain extent, with those dealing with ‘real’ addictions such as drugs, alcohol or smoking. However, those that comfort eat are not given the same level of understanding. Because of this, issues with self esteem and depression can occur, often making the situation worse. Yet addiction to food is a real addiction and should be treated like any other. Willpower alone just doesn’t work.
Why do people comfort eat?
Addictive habits are based in our subconscious minds. The mind develops coping strategies as we encounter different events or situations in our lives. When we find something that makes us feel better, our subconscious mind latches onto this strategy. Therefore, our subconscious believes that if we continue to keep doing that same thing, it will continue to cause us to feel good, when we are feeling bad. Hence why eating a whole packet of biscuits is quite common amongst these type of clients.
Quite often, these coping strategies start in childhood. Adults can typically reward children for good behaviour with sweets and treats. Alternatively, when something hasn’t gone well, food is often used to cheer children up. Overtime, the use of food as a reward or to make children feel better becomes ingrained. Therefore, this means that as adults when we feel low, our mind is wired to want these unhealthy foods, believing that it will make us feel better again.
How can hypnosis help with comfort eating?
Firstly, hypnotherapy addresses the route cause of your comfort eating. Rather than relying on willpower alone, hypnotherapy changes old thinking patterns and replaces them with new healthier ones. Your hypnotherapist can offer suggestions to your subconscious mind that may make you feel different about the foods you crave. For instance, causing you to dislike the taste, smell, sight of that food. All of this work together will enable you to be free from your addiction and be able to bypass those old foods you used to crave without a second thought.
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About Lorraine Grant
I am a hypnotherapist who also uses NLP, CBT and TFT within my clients sessions. I have a background in nursing and counselling which have provided me with a good foundation and understanding of many clinical and mental health challenges. The main areas of my work are anxiety, weight loss, pain management and working with young people.