How hidden emotions are hampering your weight loss

Did you know your eating habits are controlled by your emotions? You can have all the willpower in the world, but if your subconscious is causing you to reach for food on auto-pilot, it’s a battle against yourself!


Emotional connections to food

As a child and a teenager, we’re growing so quickly that we can’t eat enough to catch up with our growth. Then, growing stops. But the associations we’ve made between certain foods and how they make us feel lingers. That tasty lemon cake you’re Grandma used to bake for you, that makes you feel loved with every bite! Maybe you’re known for being able to down a pint of lager in seconds? You feel like that’s your special talent in your circle of friends.

It’s so frustrating when you hit a certain age and the food you’re eating ends up on your hips, isn’t it? 

When it happened to me, I blamed it on my change in routine. Being married and eating a full meal every night, instead of picking here and there. Yes, that could be a factor, but over that time I also came off the pill and reached my mid-twenties. And then came motherhood, with hormonal ups and downs galore!

Eventually, I decided it was time to get my body back in shape, hopeful I could reach the weight I was as a late teenager. How silly. 

Our bodies are meant to change

Our bodies are meant to change as we grow! I wish there had been more awareness of this and encouragement to love ourselves as we are, back then. But magazines and TV were full of diet culture.

I’m telling you this so you can see that I’ve been there. I’ve tried all the diets. I’ve tried regular exercise too (even going to classes when my babies were small, feeling guilty I should be with them). But still, I yo-yo'd. I even kept two different sizes of clothes because I knew I’d go up and down!

After 10 years of dieting, I gave up. Do you know why? Because my six-year-old daughter got on the scales and asked me to weigh her, then she said, "Have I gained or lost?". It hit me like a ton of bricks that my little girl thought it was normal to shame her body in this way. A huge wake-up call that I shouldn’t be shaming my body either.

Finding the cause

So, I celebrated my body and forced myself to stop saying negative things about how I looked in front of her. I started trying to say positive things instead. I said them, but I didn’t believe them. You see, there were a lot of emotions hiding under the surface of my weight gain.

I’d had quite a few traumatic experiences in my life, where I’d brushed myself off and carried on. But they were still in my subconscious, crying out for help.

Of course, I gained weight. Stopped caring about how I looked. Then a slippery slope to a feeling of unworthiness and burnout resulted in depression

So I focused on my mental health instead. And I started to pay attention to the thoughts that were going through my mind as I reached for chocolate or another glass of wine.

I realised that there were an awful lot of emotions around my eating. It was like a representation of what I thought about myself, and that wasn’t much...

  • needing to feel like I deserved a treat
  • eating to punish myself
  • drinking to ignore the hurt I’d trapped inside me for so long

Is it like this for you? Do you notice what you’re thinking when you reach for the chocolate or crisps? Sometimes it’s nice to feel naughty!

A few years ago, I had hypnotherapy for my anxiety. And I also had some sessions to help me cut down on late-night snacking. What came next was profound. 

All of my eating was addressing some emotions I was craving. Like belonging. Love. Acceptance.

The only way to get back to myself was to face those hidden beliefs I’d formed about myself as the result of past trauma.

Hypnotherapy for emotional eating habits

The great thing about hypnotherapy is that you don’t have to talk about any trauma you’ve experienced to actually heal it. Your mind is very powerful and knows exactly what you need. It just needs a little guidance to get there.

My clients come to me with an eating habit they want to get rid of to help them lose weight. Like snacking on the school run, buying lots of junk food at lunchtime, addicted to bread, chocolate, and fizzy drinks.

Habits might start innocently. Then they get built into the routine of our lives and it’s difficult to let them go. What will we fill with that emptiness left behind? Well, that depends on your values in life. 

Maybe you can replace the money you put into takeaways with a new sport? 

Maybe you can replace the time and energy you put into eating secretly, alone, into spending time having fun with your friends?

When we dive deep and address the emotional cause of overeating and release it, weight loss will come. Ending the craving and being more conscious of what you eat will help you way more than any diet.

Techniques used in hypnotherapy for weight loss

We have different techniques we use in hypnotherapy to help you with your weight loss – here are some of the ones I use:

  • Visualising your future self – giving you a goal to work towards.
  • Boosting your self-love with suggestions – so you can start by loving who you are, regardless of your weight.
  • Reframing how you feel about food.
  • Regression to pinpoint where emotional eating originated and release it.
  • Replacing unhealthy food cravings with healthy foods.

If you’re ready to stop dieting and start loving yourself instead, book a call with me.

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

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Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5
Written by Sarah Fish, MSc Dip.HSH GQHP CNHC (Stress, Anxiety, Cravings, ASD, ADHD)
Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5

Sarah Fish is passionate about helping her clients overcome whatever is holding them back, so they have the freedom to live joyfully! Her sessions take place online or in person in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. She specialises in anxiety and habits, but she's trained in so much more! Visit for more information.

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