Weight-loss: Making it happen

Losing weight is such a big issue for so many people. Hypnotherapy can definitely help you - there are many different approaches depending on your needs. Do you need a direct up front motivation approach or do you need a nurturing and a more stress reduction approach? 

There are numerous reasons for weight issues but one thing is certain - If you don't change anything, nothing will change. Do you want to lose weight? If you don't want to lose it but someone else wants you to, it is unlikely you will succeed. If someone else is making you attempt it - why? If your health is at risk and you don't want to change your weight - why? What's going on for you?

If it feels like too big a step, let's just think about the options of doing nothing and staying the same or doing something and changing. What about eating an extra two doughnuts a day (or two bars of chocolate)? Just imagine nothing changed but the extra two items were eaten each day - in a week you would put on weight - just a little, in a month a fair bit, and in six months loads of extra weight would be gained if only this small thing changed.
So if you work this in the opposite way - eat something less each day and do some small extra bit of movement - then in a week you would lose a little bit, but in six months you would have lost a reasonable amount?

Sound ok so far?

Right well lets imagine you make that small change and you see results. How might that feel. Scary or ok? Remember you are still the same person - just a little less fat and a little less heavy. Does it sound like you could make a tiny change? Could you alter your portion size? If it is easy to make it bigger why not easy to make it smaller?


  • I have a medical condition.
  • It runs in the family.
  • I am big boned.
  • Menopause makes it hard.
  • I don't want to give up alcohol.
  • I can't exercise - I'm in pain. 

Lets think about these as they are valid excuses and feel very real.

Medical conditions - These are tricky. Often your body believes your thoughts and it seems like being diabetic or having asthma (for example) can make it really hard to lose weight. Be honest with yourself - does everyone who has your condition have a weight problem? Has your doctor told you it is healthy and normal to be the weight you are? If I looked in your fridge what would I find? Do you have clothes that don't fit you in your wardrobe? Are you content to stay as you are?

It means you may have to try harder if you have a medical condition. Maybe your extra movement will be just going up and down a couple of extra stairs a day, or walking to the kitchen to get a glass of water instead of your partner getting it. That's it, not too much to start with. Close your eyes and see how it feels to consider it. 

Runs in the family - If being overweight runs in the family, look in the food cupboards and fridges. Think back to your parents cupboards - were they full of the same stuff? They loved you and had less information about healthy food. The more they loved you the more food went on your plate maybe? Make positive changes step by step  for the whole family, and start by reducing portion sizes. 

Sometimes weight is about sadness in families or abuse or protecting yourself. Therapy can address these issues, or it can help you to start afresh and new - changing something you have control of. Once you have control of the weight maybe you will be able to work out if you need any other help with other issues.  
Or maybe you need to work out the issues then address any remaining weight issue - do you need to seek help before losing weight? You need to find what is right for you and if you need help with it  there are lots of therapists that would be delighted to offer support and help.

Big boned - No you aren't, but you may feel more comfortable considering a small weight-loss. After all if you identify with all your family members as being a big boned family, it may feel hard to be the odd one out. Maybe they will all just make a couple of tiny changes. 

Menopause - This is frustrating and annoying, and yes weight is harder to shift, but it may just be our bodies protecting us in our old age. More fat means you are less likely to fracture a hip! Yet you can still make changes and and see a reduction in weight and improved body tone. It may be a bit harder than when you were 30 but this is still an excuse - just go for it and do it step by step.

Alcohol - In small quantities is fine, don't change it if you don't want to. Up the movement instead. This is your weight, you make the changes you want to. Check you have a balance of all essential food groups, if you are unsure see your GP or practice nurse to discuss it.

'I'm in pain' - This is definitely an issue but maybe the pain is worse because of the fat. Losing weight may help to reduce the pain. See your GP, get good pain relief first and start with one extra movement in the morning and evening. Do you only use the stairs once a day? Can you use them twice a day, or go half way, or walk to your gate twice? Whatever you do now, just increase it a little. Reduce your portions at the same time.

You know all this, you have heard it before.

There's no magic stuff or miracles for unrealistic goals but hypnotherapy can help you make the changes and achieve realistic goals. For instance with the help of relaxation to reduce the stress, the stress hormones that also increase appetite are reduced.

Hypnotherapy allows you to use focused deep awareness to really see your food and enjoy it. Visualisation to see the changes - engage your brain to work with you, supporting the movement and sustaining it. You can also engage in deep inner awareness breathing exercises to focus you on foods you want to eat and stop the stuff you don't want to eat. 

Also, look at your dietary needs and consider your medical needs. Ask the correct questions and make sure you seek the advice you need for your situation. This is simple homework - making changes to suit you. 

Looking at cognitive behaviour - the way you think about food - working on your relationship with food and planning what you want to change - all of these things are typically carried out over a six week programme and you will see a difference. 

Different approaches work for different people - but if your weight is causing you stress, the stress is also likely to be causing some of the weight problems - so breaking the cycle will help. Some people prefer a more direct approach. Working out what you want, whilst considering your options and needs is essential, and this is the best place to start when your weight is an issue. 

Sometimes stress causes weight-loss and this can also lead to life threatening conditions. In such circumstances the same rules apply - work out what you need, be honest with yourself, allow someone to help you. Sometimes those that love you see things you don't see. Check with your GP and find out what the options are. Hypnotherapy isn't the be all and end all but it does offer stress reduction, treatment, support and can allow you to take the next step towards sorting out the issues that are important to you.

Hypnotherapy Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Suzanne Lamb. Psychotherapist. BScHons DipHypnCS DipCBT AdDipPsyC DipHypbirth.

I am a consultant clinical hypnotherapist and psychotherapeutic counsellor, previously working as registered general nurse / nurse practitioner for 30 years, I have worked with young people and adults in various clinical areas for the past 11 years Supporting their emotional and health needsIn my therapy practice I offer confidential sessions (within the guidelines of my code of practice) to help … Read more

Written by Suzanne Lamb. Psychotherapist. BScHons DipHypnCS DipCBT AdDipPsyC DipHypbirth.

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