How can hypnotherapy prevent your binge eating?

Can hypnotherapy really prevent binge eating? People may be sceptical and think of it as an effective solution for changing bad habits, yet can it be helpful for people who have an eating disorder like binge eating disorder? 


Have you tried everything to help stop your compulsive eating and nothing has worked? To help you understand how hypnotherapy for binge eating works, let's understand more about the binge-restrict cycle, food addictions, and eating hypnotherapy so you can see how it can help you to have a healthier relationship with food and yourself.

Understanding your binge eating

Binge eating is an unconscious behaviour that drives us to eat large quantities of food in a short space of time. Whilst bingeing, it can feel like you are in a trance-like state and have a total loss of control. It is normally fatty foods or junk food that is eaten rapidly.

After a binge, negative feelings such as a feeling of shame, guilt or embarrassment come in. It is this reactionary emotion that drives people into a period of highly-restrictive dieting. This is in an attempt to balance out the overeating which we believe will cause excessive weight gain. Though ironically it is this restriction that gives us the desire to binge. We want the foods that we are denying ourselves. We can't resist the food we love and we enter the compulsive overeating pattern again.  

Understanding your relationship with food

We get stuck in this binge-restrict cycle because it is so emotive. It is a behavioural pattern that has developed over time and becomes an unconscious pattern. Meaning we don't know how or why it happens, we just can't stop eating. Unfortunately, most people blame themselves. They think they are not strong enough or they have no willpower to be able to stop. This is a fallacy. There are many layers to binge eating and reasons why we do it. 

On the surface, we see our behaviours, which is where our relationship with food comes in. We see us eating large amounts of food. We develop this love-hate relationship with food. We know we have an unhealthy relationship with food. Because we see our behaviours and we cannot control them, we feel it is our fault. This could not be further from the truth.

Driving our behaviours are our thoughts. This is where our beliefs about food and about us come in. We believe we have no control around food. Driving our thoughts are our emotions. When we binge eat, for that moment we may feel content and find comfort in food, though as soon as we have eaten we feel annoyed and frustrated. Through time we build unconscious attachments to food. It feels good so our unconscious drives us to keep doing that behaviour.

What we can't see are the underlying issues that are causing these emotions, thoughts and behaviours. This is what is in our unconscious. Our experiences from childhood, experiences, feelings and events from our past that are with us, but we can't cognitively remember. Our unconscious has found a way to make us feel good, comforted and loved that we may not have felt during childhood. This is what causes us to stay stuck binge eating and stuck in the binge-restrict cycle. 

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is entering into a different state of being. It is a deeply relaxed state of being where our conscious brain is relaxed so we stop the negative voice within us and our unconscious is open to positive suggestions. It is in this state that we can receive powerful suggestions that allow us to consider a different way of being with ourselves. We are open to different ways of eating. 

How hypnosis can help you finally stop binge eating

You will work with the hypnotherapist to work out the psychological reasons why you binge eat. When you work out the emotional and underlying reasons for your binge eating, you can use hypnosis to help you fulfil your emotional needs. 

How do you break the cycle of binge eating?

Many people with binge eating think the way to stop it is to break the desire for food. They want to curb their food cravings and stop their addictive habits. The hypnotherapist will help you to do this by visualising new habits and helping you with strategies to stop you from reaching out for food. 

A good place to start is by working on the cause of your eating habits. This will involve working on any hidden negative emotions, hidden trauma, and negative thoughts that are causing your eating. 

How successful is hypnosis for binge eating?

It can be very successful, though it does depend on a number of factors. 

1. The therapist is experienced in working with binge eating issues, understands the psychological reasons for your emotional eating and can use different hypnotherapy techniques. 

2. You are open to change and want to work on changing your negative self-beliefs, difficult emotions, and difficult habits. 

3. You are open to exploring your inner world and open to hearing alternative thoughts and ideas about your eating. You are open to bringing in more positive emotions for you.

What to expect from hypnotherapy sessions

Contrary to popular belief, the hypnotherapist is not going to read a wonderful script, you get to relax for an hour and then you skip out of the office with your eating habits changed forever. If only it was that easy and simple. 

The hypnotherapist will work with you to understand your eating habits. You will work out any food addictions and the thoughts, emotions, and underlying issues that are causing your eating patterns and that are keeping you stuck. 

Hypnotherapy is used interspersed with talking therapy and CBT to help you understand yourself better. I use hypnotherapy to help you visualise new habits and to help change your thinking patterns. I use it when doing inner child work to help you heal from any childhood trauma so it breaks any associations with food that you may have had. 

People report losing the will to restrict themselves from food, and the urge to binge becomes less. People develop a healthier relationship with food and themselves. 

It can be very joyful when food becomes a source of pleasure, instead of a source of stress. It is liberating when you gain control of your eating, instead of food having control over you. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
Sunbury-On-Thames, Surrey, TW16
Written by Vanessa McLennan, Weight loss,Eating problems,Binge Eating Hypno-psychotherapy
Sunbury-On-Thames, Surrey, TW16

Vanessa specialises in eating problems, Binge, emotional eating, food addiction and weight loss She has studied psychotherapy,hypnotherapy, EFT, EMDR, CBT and naturopathy. She has an avid interest in health and wellbeing. She loves helping people heal their past on a deeper level so they become free. Eating and living become lighter and more fun.

Show comments

Find a hypnotherapist dealing with Eating problems

All therapists are verified professionals

All therapists are verified professionals