How Hypnotherapy Can Help You Eat Healthier
After watching the series of ‘The Men that made us fat on BBC’, particularly the last episode on how the supermarkets and the government mainly put the onus on us to buy and eat healthily, I was left thinking - is this our responsibility?
During the series they talked about how, in the 70’s, we did not have a weight problem and the fact that our diet was very high in fat. We tended to fry our foods, and I am sure some of us can remember having the beef dripping sandwiches (I thought they were horrible!). Mind you, our high-fat diet did cause heart problems and other diseases. The programme focused on sugar, particularly the corn syrup that was added to our diet; according to the programme corn syrup is higher in calories than sugar and also much sweeter. However, we had an abundance of it and it was very cheap to produce. You would have thought that, as it was sweeter, they would have used less - but sadly they used more to make our food even sweeter. It was also discovered that the corn syrup had an effect on our brains which effectively 'turned off' the neuron that sent the message that we were full, and hence overeating began.
The food industry was also aware that there was a gap in the market for snacking and started advertising for us to have a small snack during the day. The great advertising campaign began - for example, ‘a finger of fudge is just enough to give your kids a treat’. I wonder if you sang that in your mind as you read it - I know I sang it as I wrote the words. Advertising is very powerful even if you are not aware of it. What happens when you are sitting down and relaxing is that your subconscious mind is receiving messages - basically you are in hypnosis. Advertising is all about making you aware of the brand; before you know it, you see the product in the shops and buy it. Or, your children are asking for the product, and as the advert said ‘it is good enough to give your kids a treat'.
We now know that sugar is addictive, and with all the clever marketing of sugary drinks, sweets and cakes and really is the labelling that clear for us to understand? For example, if you go to Dunkin’ Donuts and have a reduced fat blueberry muffin you would have consumed 400 calories - however if you had a Jam Donut (average serving 75g) the total calories would be 252. Both foods are of course high in sugars; however overall there is a massive calorie difference.
Thus far it was the food industry that created snacking! The food industry saw a gap and encouraged us to fill it.
Then came ‘Super sizing’; it was a cinema in Chicago that first came up with the concept of super-sizing. In 1967 David Wallerstein, an area manager for the Balaban movie theatre chain, was given the task of boosting sales of popcorn and soda. Realising that consumers wouldn't buy multiple cartons of popcorn, Wallerstein decided to introduce a large size, alongside the standard, for which they could then charge more; considerably more than the cost of the extra popcorn. An immediate success, Wallerstein was soon head hunted by McDonald's, where he applied the concept to the burger chain. The argument was that because we had larger portions we would eat less during the rest of the day; this did not happen, and instead our appetites grew along with our size.
With this knowledge of how the food industry encouraged us to eat sugary foods and larger portions, are we responsible? With the complex way that foods are labelled, is it our responsibility to stand in the supermarkets and figure out which is the best food to choose? Whatever we think at the moment, it is down to us to choose a ‘good’ healthy diet, so what can you do? Hypnotherapy is one way that can help you to eat less, make healthier choices and exercise more.
We do know that, to lose weight, we need to change our eating habits - which can be easier said than done. Hypnotherapy can deal with what causes you to overeat and give you control over your choices. Do you ever find yourself saying that you 'comfort eat'? You eat when you are bored or relaxing? Maybe hypnotherapy can help you.
How hypnotherapy works; contrary to popular belief hypnosis is not a deep sleep, and you are not unaware of what the hypnotherapists is saying. You are in fact in a very relaxed state and aware of all the suggestions that the hypnotherapist is saying. It is in this relaxed state that you can take very positive suggestions to help you to make healthier choices and feel more motivated to achieving your ideal weight. Hypnotherapists will use very positive language to help you to achieve the ideal weight for you, usually using stories and pictures for you to see yourself slimmer fitter and healthier. Recordings are often supplied for you to take away and play in the comfort of your own home, where you will hear the hypnotherapist reinforcing all the positive changes that you want to make. In fact, the more we practise anything the better at we get at it; before you know it you may find that, without consciously thinking about it, you are eating more slowly, making healthier choices having that extra energy to take the stairs instead of the lift, and getting slimmer.
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