How to gain control of your eating with hypnotherapy

Do you feel like your eating is out of control? Once you start eating do you find it hard to stop? So many people experience this. 


Lots of my clients say they feel they are in the ‘good’ zone, which means eating healthily. Then along comes something that throws them off. This could be someone offering biscuits and sweets in the office. Someone making a cake for you. You smell a fresh loaf and it is too good not to eat. This throws you off your ‘good behaviour’ and once you start eating it is hard to stop

Of course, it is hard to stop. Who doesn’t love sweet, yummy food? It tastes too good to stop. Stopping requires a level of self-control and self-discipline. You need to be in touch with your stomach to read the signals when you have had enough and be able to stop when you have had enough. This can be extremely difficult for a lot of people. 

For many, once they have stopped, they know they have eaten too much and they go into a spiral of self-hatred. Telling themselves off for not being able to stop. Seeing that they are weak for not being able to stop. This makes you feel even worse and this leads to more discontentment with your relationship with food. 

Causes of loss of control

You may find that there are other areas in your life where you feel out of control or felt you had no control in your past. The one area we can control is our food. No one can tell us how much or what to eat so eating gives us this feeling of freedom and autonomy. Eating gives us a sense of pleasure that we may not have received before in our lives. 

Food may have been restricted to you. There may have been strict rules around food. Maybe you had no choices over what you were given. Feeling like you have no choice as a child can leave you feeling angry and as an adult, you want your autonomy back. 

A way to get your autonomy back is to indulge in the things that you want and often what’s available, feels good and is quick and easy to get hold of is food. 

To work on the deeper causes of feeling out of control, it is helpful to go back to times in your life when you felt you had no control and work through what was happening to you at those times. This starts to give you back your autonomy, so you no longer need to get it from food. 

How to gain control of your eating

1. Make notes of your eating

Start to make notes of your eating patterns. It could be that you write in a journal the event of what happened to cause you to overeat. The trick is to be an observer of your habits. When you can note that overeating is a behaviour, it is not you, but your behaviour. It helps you to separate yourself from that behaviour. 

2. Notice your triggers 

When you have been keeping a log for a while, you are able to start noticing what the triggers are that cause you to overeat. There could be one consistent trigger or several different triggers. You are looking for patterns. When you know the triggers you can now make changes to your behaviours to either learn how to deal with those triggers or even avoid them. 

3. Make notes of your feelings

Note how you feel when overeating. This may require you to go back and visit the last time you could not stop eating. You want to pay attention to what it was feeling like in the midst of overeating. You may well be eating unconsciously and, therefore, are not aware of what it feels like emotionally, and that’s ok. You can start practising mindful eating. 

We want to note our feelings because on some level our unconscious will be gaining pleasure from eating. We want to work out what the good feelings are, and what they are about and then we can work out how to gain the same feeling without it involving food. 

How can hypnotherapy help?

Hypnotherapy helps by helping you to build your awareness of your eating patterns. The hypnotherapist will talk with you about what is happening for you when you are overeating and what is happening for you when you feel out of control. We may start in this way; 

1. Imagining stopping eating and noticing what feelings come up for you. Discussing what those feelings are about. Practising stop overeating in the imagination. 

2. Going into a state of hypnosis, imagining eating in a way that is right for you. Helping you to emotionally feel in control of other areas of your life which transfers to food. 

3. Helping you to feel good about yourself, and confident within yourself so you feel more in control of your life. Working on your self-esteem and confidence. 

4. Helping you to process emotions where you have felt out of control or not in control in other areas of your life. The process of untangling those feelings and events will help you to feel more in control with your food. 

5. By relaxing the conscious part of us and speaking to the unconscious, we are empowering the parts of us that make the best decisions for us. It can allow us to feel more empowered within ourselves and therefore empowered when it comes to the way we eat. 


If you are reading this then you are not alone. Many people feel out of control with their eating and it can be frustrating and demoralising. However, it is a behaviour that you once unconsciously learned, so, therefore, you can unlearn it and develop new ways of eating.

By addressing the unconscious, you can help yourself to feel more empowered, and more in control which then reflects in your eating, which in turn helps you to feel much better within yourself. 

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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Sunbury-On-Thames, Surrey, TW16
Written by Vanessa McLennan, Weight loss,Eating problems,Binge Eating Hypno-psychotherapy
Sunbury-On-Thames, Surrey, TW16

Vanessa is an eating problems, Binge and emotional eating, food addiction and weight loss specialist. She has studied psychotherapy,hypnotherapy, counselling, EFT, EMDR, CBT and naturopathy. She has an interest in health and was brought to this area by her own health issues. She loves helping people heal on a deeper level so they become happier.

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