Why oh why don't diets help me lose weight?

Many people try dieting as a way to lose weight. Most do their research carefully to find what seems like the best diet for their lifestyle, whereas some jump on the same diet bandwagon their friend is on, in the hope they can give encouragement and support to each other.  


Apps are increasingly popular these days, as are online weight loss groups. Anyone who has ever gone on a diet knows that they start with enthusiasm and determination, often combining their new ‘healthy eating regime’ (don’t be fooled – that’s just another clever way of saying ‘dieting’!) with walking, going to the gym, cycling, swimming etc.

Extensive research shows that diets don’t work

The bad news – and I’m not going to sugarcoat this pill, if you’ll excuse the pun – is that it is a proven and heavily researched fact that diets do not work. Not only do a very small percentage of dieters achieve their goal weight, but approximately half of them put back even more weight than they lost. Once this happens, most people then go on to try more and more diets, always with the belief that ‘this one will work for me’. Hence the phrase ‘Yo-yo dieting’.

Another point worth considering is how we are manipulated by large corporations who make billions of dollars each year through promoting weight loss groups and consumables that are deliberately targeting the increasingly high numbers of people around the Western world with excess weight problems. Many of these same corporations are also successfully marketing eye-catching consumables that include a high percentage of sugars and unhealthy fats, so for them, it’s a win-win situation.

An important question to ask yourself is ‘If dieting actually worked, wouldn’t I have reached (and maintained) my goal weight by now?'

Let’s dive deeper into the reasons why we eat too much or the wrong kinds of foods. Yes, you can analyse this subject endlessly (and I bet you’ve already done that), but ultimately, no matter how many answers you get or all the strategies and plans you make, you are still unlikely to release your excess weight – and keep it off. That’s because you’re using the very small conscious mind that only has a small, temporary memory, and so doesn’t have the resources to help you address your issues successfully.

(Did you notice my use of the word ‘release’ instead of ‘lose’?  I much prefer to talk about weight release because it sounds so much better. Loss is always painful, right?)

How hypnosis can help you to release weight 

When working with a hypnosis professional, they will help you to relax the conscious mind so you can gain access to the infinite subconscious mind, which houses your permanent memory, as well as your creativity, imagination, habits and beliefs. The subconscious has all the information you need to discover the root cause of your weight issues, and can be persuaded to replace that out-of-date information with new suggestions for healthy eating.

Some people are dubious about the idea that all our issues start when we are very young, but there is plenty of data to support this idea. In fact, it is thought that around 80% of our belief system is in place by the age of five, and the remaining 20% by the end of our teenage years!

For my part, when doing age regression with my clients (regressing them back to find the ‘root cause’ of their issue), I am always suspicious that we aren’t yet there if the client doesn’t report that they are a small child of five or even younger. Even much younger. Many of my clients report being small babies, perhaps even newborns, and quite frequently they are still in the womb.

Understanding our unhealthy relationship with food

You may have asked yourself the question ‘When and why did my unhealthy relationship with food start?’ You may be surprised to hear that there are many answers to this question, as we are all individuals, so each one of us creates our own relationship with the food we put in our mouths. Let’s look at some examples, taken from my experience of working with clients over the past 20 years.

A baby who feels unloved by their mother and craves more attention may experience pleasure from being breastfed, and start an association between the experience of breastfeeding and being given love and attention. As they grow up, they may carry a belief that they are unlovable, and so will start to ‘use’ food to recreate the feeling of being loved and cared for.

A foetus in the womb who senses that their mother doesn’t want them may start a belief that they aren’t loved, and will grow up constantly trying to please their mum, which may include enthusiastically eating all the food she puts in front of them.

A young child who is made to eat everything on their plate (‘Think of the poor starving children in Africa’) and perhaps encouraged to have second helpings, even when they are full, may grow up to feel they must always finish all the food in front of them.

A child who is given ‘treats’ (cakes, sweets etc.) by a parent or a grandparent, as a reward for being good, or because it’s a special day or occasion, will quite possibly grow up to crave sweet treats as a form of stress-relief or as a reward after a long, hard day at work.

A child who witnesses parents fighting may turn to food as a form of comfort or distraction because they are too young and ill-equipped to know what to do to stop the arguments and create the harmonious atmosphere they crave.

I could go on, but I think this will give you some clues about your own personal beliefs around food.  

My own food story

I was a post-war baby, and although I didn’t know it at the time, rationing came to an end when I was six years old in 1955, and suddenly my parents had easy access to all kinds of sweet and sugary foods, which they took full advantage of.  

I clearly recall relaxing Saturday afternoons with my mum wheeling a laden tea trolley into the living room and being allowed to eat lots of buttered crumpets, foil-wrapped cakes, chocolate biscuits, swiss rolls and jam tarts, whilst sitting in front of a lovely warm fire. I came to associate those happy times with sugary foods, and spent many years struggling with my sugar habit!

How the subconscious mind stores and processes information

Once a belief is stored in your subconscious mind, it will remain and become stronger over the years, with the subconscious playing out ‘automatic programs’ at certain times of the day or in particular circumstances. Because the subconscious doesn’t have a delete function, these programs will continue to play over and over. Only through hypnosis can these beliefs be revealed and changed, because your subconscious only wants the best for you, and needs to recognise that it isn’t helping you by continuing to play those old out-of-date programs.

So, to return to where we started: your subconscious mind knows from the outset that you hate dieting because it feels like deprivation, so it actually tries to protect you by encouraging you to eat all the ‘forbidden foods’, believing that these make you feel happy! Every time you ‘fail’ to lose weight on a diet, your subconscious logs in that failure, and next time you try again, it will work even harder to put you off. That’s why I created the phrase ‘Yo-yo diets are wishful shrinking’.  

Hypnotherapy can help you release weight slowly and safely by changing the out-of-date information in your subconscious mind and enhancing your natural willpower without the need for dieting. And the good news is that the changes, once made, are permanent – because your subconscious mind has no delete function!

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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Templecombe, Somerset, BA8 0ET
Written by Niki Cassar, DCH DHP MPLTA SQHP
Templecombe, Somerset, BA8 0ET

Niki Cassar has been working as a full-time hypnotherapist and past life regressionist for the past 23 years, with much of her training done in the USA. She strongly believes that we are all shaped by our past, and only by accessing and neutralising out-of-date information in the subconscious mind can we resolve the issues that cause us problems.

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