Excess weight is one of this country's major physical and mental health problems. Not only are there some serious medical conditions, but people who are overweight are more likely to suffer from poor body image, reduced self-esteem and related anxieties and depression.
“Approximately 280,000 adult deaths in the United States each year are related to obesity. Some serious medical conditions have been linked to obesity, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. types of cancer. ” Understanding Adult Obesity: NIDDK (Excerpt)
The energy and money spent each year by Americans wishing to lose weight could practically run a small country! The cost of being overweight in terms of human unhappiness is incalculable. There is a reason why Americans are still overweight despite spending all this money on weight loss … diets do not work!
But in order to understand why diets do not work, it is important to first understand how the mind works. Once you understand how it works, you will be halfway to making major changes in your life … If you change your mind, you will change your destiny! There are 3 main areas of the mind that I'm going to address … the conscious, the subconscious, and the critical area of the mind.
The conscious mind is our short-term memory. It is the logical, reasoning, decision-making part of the mind. This is where we decide to lose weight and it's the part of our brain that controls our will-power. In order to make positive changes and become mentally fit, we need to be consciously aware of the need for change, be motivated to get better, and believe we can achieve our goal. The conscious is the part of the mind that is in-charge. It makes up about 12% of our brain-capacity.
The subconscious mind is our long-term memory. It makes up the other 88% and it always hears, always pays attention and is anxiously awaiting instructions on how to help the proper way. It is the most powerful computer ever created, capable of running multiple tasks simultaneously. It does not judge, criticize, analyze or reject … it simply records and reacts. It does not understand, does not have a sense of humor and it takes everything literally.
To better understand the relationship of the conscious mind as it relates to the subconscious mind, I use this analogy:
The mind is like a computer. The subconscious is like the operating system, always on, in the background, doing all the basic functions that we do not have to “think about” such as breathing, walking, etc. The subconscious does not know the difference between fact and fiction; it just stores information and reacts according to the information stored. Everything to the subconscious, whether real or imagined, is a FACT.
The conscious mind meanwhile, is in the foreground executing our behavior. This is where we get our “will-power”.
Between the conscious and the subconscious is a sort of filter, called the “critical mind”. (You probably know it as “critical thinking.”) This filter helps to protect us, keeping us from taking in information that is incorrect or negative, sort of like our own personal little Spam-filter. Sometimes, however, negative or incorrect information slips through this filter and goes into our subconscious. Once it is in the subconscious, it is locked in and is very difficult to change, at least on the conscious level.
There is hope, however … if we want to change a behavior, we just need to “hack in” to the subconscious and modify the existing belief system (reprogramming the operating system). We do this through Hypnosis.
How many times have you tried to do something that required Will-Power, only to fail? It does not mean that you're weak. You see, the conscious mind, where Will-Power and Reason come from, only uses up approximately 12% of our Brain-Power. The other 88% comes from the subconscious.
The reason diets, for instance, do not work is because they're on the conscious mind. Remember, the conscious mind, where we get our will-power, only makes up about 12% of your mind. The subconscious, the part that makes up the other 88% is fighting it! No wonder it's so difficult to lose weight! If 88% of your mind is saying yes to chocolate cake, that poor little 12% of your mind is going to have a hard time fighting it.
Let me give you another example … sometimes you've been overweight for many years and you decide it's a new year, now is the time that you're finally going to go on a diet and make it stick. When you make a conscious decision to lose weight, however, you are only using the conscious area of your mind (12%). Your subconscious (88%) believes the “fact” that you've always been overweight, you've tried and failed many times with many different diets, and so you'll never be thin. As far as the subconscious is concerned, you've always been overweight, you'll always be overweight, and you can say or do that will change!
This is where hypnosis can be very helpful. While in hypnosis the critical mind gets placed in the background, allowing the subconscious mind to open up and accept positive suggestions (like turning off the spam-filter to allow a specific program to download onto your hard-drive). In this way, we can “download” new suggestions into your subconscious to change your way of thinking and create a picture of being consistently thin, at a more healthy weight, therefore helping you to achieve your goals!
So what does all this mean with regard to dieting and losing weight? It's very simple really. Once a suggestion is “downloaded” into the subconscious mind, it is considered a “known fact”. We often use self-suggestion in our everyday lives, many times without even realizing we're doing it. You see, it all has to do with the way that we perceive ourselves to be. Statements or thoughts such as, “I can not lose weight, no matter how hard I try”, or “I'll never be able to do this” are very powerful, but very negative self-suggestions. (Remember, the subconscious takes everything literally and whether it's true or not, believes it to be a “fact”.) Our subconscious mind is innocent and naive. It tries to protect and help us as much as possible, and tries the best way it knows how. However, having the intelligence level of approximately a four year old child, many times it does not help us the proper way and needs to be redirected.
This is where hypnosis comes in. Hypnotherapy is a highly effective means of achieving habit control to correct problems such as being overweight. In hypnosis, we give suggestions such as, “you CAN lose weight” and “you WILL be able to do this”. Statistics show that using hypnosis can significantly increase your chances of not only losing unwanted weight, but also keeping it off for good.
Hypnosis can more than double the effects of traditional weight loss approaches …
An analysis of five weight loss studies reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 showed that the “… weight loss reported in the five studies indicates that hypnosis can more than double the effects of traditional weight loss approaches.” University of Connecticut Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 (Vol. 64, No. 3, pgs 517-519)
Hypnosis Subjects Lost More Weight Than 90% of Others and Kept it Off
Researchers analyzed 18 studies comparing a cognitive behavioral therapy, such as relaxation training, guided imagery, self monitoring or goal setting with the same therapy supplemented by hypnosis. Those who received the hypnosis lost more weight than 90 percent of the non hypnosis, and maintained the weight loss two years after treatment ended.
University of Connecticut, Storrs Allison DB, Faith MS. Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for obesity: a meta-analytical reappraisal. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996; 64 (3): 513-516.
Of course, hypnosis only works if you do your part. Just like any training program you have to actually be the one to do the work. As the saying goes, you can not pay someone to do your push-ups for you! Hypnosis is not something that the hypnotherapist does “to you”. Your mind is like a muscle. You have to exercise it. The job of the hypnotist is sort of like the job of a personal trainer – to guide you and help you achieve your goal. You can go to the gym 7 days a week, but if your personal trainer lifts all the weights for you, your muscles will not grow any larger, your body will not get any more firm. Your hypnotherapist can make it much easier and will help motivate you through guided imagery and other techniques, but you still have to put forth the effort in order to be successful.
Certain procedures seem to produce positive results very reliably. In Hypnosis, we give suggestions that you can still eat foods that you like, but you will cut down on the quantity of food that you eat. By taking good care of yourself, you will find that your mind and body begin to work more and more together. Using hypnosis and following these simple guidelines will help you lose the excess weight and keep it off for the rest of your life.
Weight loss is greater where hypnosis is utilized
Research into cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments established that weight loss is greater where hypnosis is utilized. It was also established that the benefits of hypnosis increase over time.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (1996)
A survey of psychotherapy literature by Alfred A. Barrios, Ph.D. revealed the following recovery rates:
Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions
Behavior Therapy: 72% recovery after 22 sessions
Hypnotherapy 93% Recovery after 6 sessions
Source: American Health Magazine
Below is a list of things you can do to ensure your success:
1. If you need to lose more than 20-30 pounds, it is always a good idea to undergo a physical examination before beginning any weight loss program.
2. Request that your doctor give you a sensible, balanced diet plan. The goal of hypnotherapy is to structure your eating pattern so that not only will you lose weight, but you will keep it off by maintaining a sensible eating pattern for the rest of your life. Avoid fad diets and crash diets! You may lose weight with these but will not establish a permanent eating pattern with which to keep it off.
3. Plan to lose a maximum of about 2 pounds per week. This will reduce bodyily strain to a minimum, keep your feelings of urgency and anxiety down and allow you to adjust to your newly emerging self. 2 pounds a week may not seem like much now, but if you follow this plan, a year from now you could be 100 pounds lighter! (And how much will you weigh in a year if you do keep on doing what you've been doing?)
4. Do not worry about whether or not you can achieve a deep state of hypnosis. Sometimes lighter-state subjects seem to have better results in weight therapy than deeper-state subjects.
5. Think about the times of day when you have the most difficult probleming problems foods, and try to substitute some other activity or thought for the undesirable eating patterns. For example, you could go for a walk. It would get you away from the source of the foods you're craving and give you some healthy exercise at the same time.
6. Do not get discouraged. Some people may diet for as long as seven days and lose only a pound. But, they may lose three inches during the same time because their fatty deposits may turn to liquid and liquid weighs 12% more than fat. To minimize stress, weigh yourself only once a week.
Understanding Adult Obesity: NIDDK (Excerpt)
Obesity is more than a cosmetic problem; it is a health hazard. Approximately 280,000 adult deaths in the United States each year are related to obesity. Several serious medical conditions have been linked to obesity, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Obesity is also linked to higher rates of certain types of cancer. Obese men are more likely than non-obese men to die from cancer of the colon, rectum, or prostate. Obese women are more likely than non-obese women to die from cancer of the gallbladder, breast, uterus, cervix, or ovaries. Other diseases and health problems linked to obesity include:
o Gallbladder disease and gallstones.
o Liver disease.
o Osteoarthritis, a disease in which the joints deteriorate. This is probably the result of excess weight on the joints.
o Gout, another disease affecting the joints.
o Pulmonary (breathing) problems, including sleep apnea in which a person can stop breathing for a short time during sleep.
o Reproductive problems in women, including menstrual irregularities and infertility.
Health care providers generally agree that the more obese a person is the more likely he or she is to develop health problems.
In weight therapy it is very important to consistently stimulate your motivation because due results come about gradually. This is why we use reinforcement CDs in our Weight Management Program, which should be listened to every night about 30 minutes before bedtime. Listening to them every night for the duration of the program will help keep you on track. It is also crucial to keep learning about your new eating patterns, your new physical being, and increase your self-esteem. Sometimes the things you have learned will serve as motivators and reinforce the new eating patterns.