Hypnotherapy can help you break that over-eating habit

obese3A recent study published in the Lancet shows if doctors spend 30 seconds telling patients they need to lose weight, this can have a dramatic impact.

And, it revealed, some people, who had no intention of shedding the pounds, lost 10% of their body weight after being offered a free weight-loss programme.

The study, by University of Oxford researchers said the 30-second chat would have a huge effect if every GP did it. And it added that patients were not offended by the advice.

“More than any other person, your doctor can bring up the question of weight, it is not like telling your wife she’s overweight,” Paul Cooper, who took part in the trial, told the BBC.

He was one of 2,728 severely overweight people who were involved in the trial and half of these were offered a free place on a weight-loss programme but only four in 10 actually turned up. The study said 25% of these lost 5% of their original weight and 10% lost double that after a year.

Overall, their weight loss averaged 2.4kg (5.3lb).

Commenting on the study, Dr Imran Rafi, from the Royal College of GPs, said: “Levels of obesity are a growing concern in the UK and can lead to a number of debilitating and serious conditions. If this scheme is low-cost and effective, which this research claims it is, it makes sense to consider it on a wider scale.”

But, he added: “We must understand that while some patients in this study did benefit from a referral to a weight-loss programme, it won’t work for everyone and shouldn’t be considered as a blanket solution to curb growing levels of obesity.”

This is where other treatments, besides diets, can play a role – like clinical hypnotherapy, which has approved track record in helping people mange their weight. And the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) is the largest not-for-profit professional hypnotherapy body in the UK with more than 1,800 highly-trained and qualified therapists on its directory.

Unlike diets which simply reduce calories that you are likely to put on again in the longer term, hypnotherapy gets you in touch with the reasons why you unconsciously eat.

Says the NCH: “If you are the type of person that struggles to stop after a small piece of chocolate and feels compelled to finish the packet, then a hypnotherapist can help you understand why and help you create new healthy self-management techniques.

“Hypnotherapy can also help you reduce portion sizes so you lose weight healthily, steadily and for the long term. Losing weight with hypnosis is essentially about teaching you to feel good about yourself, whatever size you are.

“It focuses on making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle that will remain with you for the rest of your life.”

Cooper, who was part of the study, said: “You don’t have to become a party pooper. Have a small piece of birthday cake, eat it very slowly and don’t have a second one.

Talking about the habit of eating, he added: “Before, I might have had half a dozen chocolates in front of the TV, really take your time and tell yourself it’s a real treat and make it last.”

Over-eating or continual snacking, says the NCH, is an unwanted behaviour or bad habit that can be fixed with hypnotherapy.

“When you see a hypnotherapist for weight loss they will ask you lots of questions about when you eat, what you eat, what triggers you to reach for food when you are not hungry, or how often you unconsciously polish off a packet of biscuits.

“Hypnotherapy for weight loss is about changing your habit with food for the rest of your life.”