Dieting doesn’t have to be difficult. By harnessing the power of your brain you can make long term lifestyle changes and lose the weight for good.
With more than two thirds of adults in the UK classed as overweight or obese, it’s fair to say that the country is in the grip of an obesity crisis. And this is having a significant impact on our health and our public services, being linked to an increased risk of serious health conditions such as cancer, stroke and heart disease.
However, despite being aware of the risks, many of us struggle to lose excess weight and keep it off in the longer term. In fact, research shows that most people find it difficult to stick to a diet for longer than a week.
So, why is losing weight often so difficult and what can we do to overcome the obstacles and lead a healthier lifestyle?
Your own worst enemy?
It may sound surprising but, often, the biggest barrier to achieving meaningful weight loss is your own brain. Willpower (or lack of it) is of course a key factor, but it actually goes further than that. When you cut your calorie intake, your brain goes into ‘starvation mode’, adjusting your activity and hunger levels to compensate for a perceived threat of starvation. As a result, many dieters end up regaining the weight that they lose, often with a few extra pounds thrown in for good measure.
The brain is undoubtedly an incredibly powerful tool, but while it can pose an obstacle to weight loss, it is not an insurmountable one – and with some effort you can even harness its power to work in your favour.
One way to do this is to approach your weight loss efforts with a positive mindset. All too often we look at dieting and weight loss in a negative light, viewing it as a punitive ordeal to be endured. This can have a detrimental effect and turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The worry and stress it causes can also generate the stress hormone, cortisol, which is linked to an increased distribution of fat around the abdomen. So, be kind to yourself, adopt a positive attitude, and picture yourself achieving your goals.
Retrain your brain
Of course, positive thinking can only take you so far. If you still feel like you need a little extra help, you might want to consider weight loss hypnosis. Combining traditional hypnotherapy with recognised counselling techniques, such as cognitive behaviour therapy and neurolinguistic programming, hypnosis for gastric band aims to retrain your brain, empowering you to literally think yourself thin.
Clients are walked through visualisation exercises that help to recalibrate the signals that control digestion and feelings of fullness. This culminates with clients visualising being fitted with a gastric band, offering the benefits of weight loss surgery without going under the knife.
Tackle the root causes
For any diet to be effective you need to first understand why you are struggling with your weight in the first place. There can be many complex issues underlying a person’s weight gain, and identifying and understanding these issues is an important first step in tackling the problem, giving you the tools you need to develop a healthier relationship with food and make a permanent, positive lifestyle change.
The power of the mind can be a wonderful thing, and by harnessing it properly you can make meaningful changes and shift the weight for good.