Sleep well – and achieve weight loss

weight lossWorries about weight loss and dieting seem to be very much a part of modern life and with obesity rates ever increasing, weight loss is on most peoples’ minds.

Hypnotherapy is a proven weight loss treatment and members of the National Council for Hypnotherapy have good success rates in helping clients lose weight and, as a result, suffer less anxiety, stress and feel better about themselves.

It is a known fact that the UK has a problem with obesity.

The government and the NHS rightly believe that for the health of the nation, levels of obesity need to be reduced.

So there are many diets, eating recommendations, calorie-counters and the like out there, all trying to help people lose weight. But many diets and fads seem to have little or no success.

Numerous studies have shown a significant association between short sleep duration and being overweight or obese in both children and adults.

And this could well be the key – and where hynotherapists can play an important role.

Poor sleep patterns have been shown to affect the brain areas responsible for complex decision-making and response to rewards causing many to favour unhealthy foods.

Poor sleep also causes changes in the levels of hunger hormones.

There is a decrease in the level of leptin – which regulates food intake and signals when the body has had enough food, while the level of ghrelin – which stimulates appetite, fat production and body growth – rises.

Insomnia is the disturbance of a normal sleep pattern, and it’s estimated that approximately one in four people will suffer from the condition at some point in their life. Sleep is a state of consciousnesses, which gives an individual time to rest and build up their strength.

Insomnia can leave people feeling drained and exhausted, resulting in poor performance at work, lack of concentration and irritability.

Hypnotherapy is often an effective treatment for those suffering from insomnia.

Hypnotherapy can help an individual to relax, both mentally and physically, using varying relaxation techniques. Hypnotherapy can also help an individual to understand some of the causes of insomnia and sleeping problems.

Many people suffering from insomnia believe they are not going to be able to sleep, which often means they don’t. Hypnotherapy can help to re-educate an individuals mind to expect a good night’s sleep.

Dr Neil Stanley, an independent sleep expert, says getting a good night’s rest is important.

The conventional line regarding excessive eating, he says, is we are all victims of the ‘aggressive advertising’ and ‘easy availability’ of sugary and fatty foods.

He says: “I believe that it is more than coincidence that, over the last 40 years, as there has been a reduction in our sleep duration, there has also been a rise is the number of people who are overweight or obese.”

Using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), poor sleep has been shown to affect the brain areas responsible for complex decision-making and response to rewards causing us to favour unhealthy foods.

Research suggests this causes 24% high feelings of hunger, a 23% increase in overall appetite but a 33% increased desire for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods making us feel that we have had insufficient food and thus encouraging us to increase food intake.

Short sleep has also been shown to increase our urge to snack between meals and causes us to excessively season our food, eat fewer vegetables, buy more junk food and buy more food overall.

So the availability and advertising of junk food is seen as the problem.

However, the simple fact is that because of poor sleep, you may actually physiologically want to eat these foods regardless of the efforts of the multi-national purveyors of junk food – though this is in no way trying to absolve them of their responsibilities.

Paul White, Ethics Director and former Chairman of the National Council for Hypnotherapy, said “Most hypnotherapy for insomnia treatments works to remove the underlying worries and anxieties that support insomnia. In doing so we generally reduce the anxiety and restore good quality sleep, affectively treating both the cause and the symptom at the same time.”

Paul White has a special interest in using hypnotherapy with problem behaviours such as insomnia.




How can hypnotherapy help weight loss?

As the colder weather approaches, so does the sometimes seasonal habit of ‘binge eating’ or ‘comfort’ eating. Chocolates and other sugar-rich comfort foods are often consumed at this time by people who are anxious, depressed or unsettled. All of this leads to unwanted weight gain and problems like guilt and add to the anxiety and depression levels.

And while research shows dieting affects the way one’s brain works and hormone changes encourage a person to eat and store even more fat. It shows that in most cases dieters put on more weight than they lose.

But hypnotherapy can effectively treat what many diets cannot.

Members of the National Council for Hypnotherapy have training in treating weight loss issues.

Says Paul Howard, NCH Marketing Director: “In a hypnotherapy weight loss programme the hypnotherapist can ask the subconscious to modify your lifestyle without any undue stress or distress.

“Factors such as old behaviours, feelings and emotions, habits and exercise levels can be altered during the hypnotic process. Furthermore, we can use hypnotherapy to keep your metabolic rate up, stimulate Leptin and Peptide YY levels and help to suppress Ghrelin by suggesting to your subconscious mind that you are actually eating more than you really are.”

Eating for comfort can become an eating disorder – that is when the relationship with food affects the way you live your life.

Binge eating, bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa are all categories of eating disorder.

According to the NHS, It is estimated that about 50 per cent of people who binge eat have been depressed at some point in their life. However, it is not clear whether depression causes binge eating or whether binge eating causes depression. Stress is another common trigger of eating disorders.

Stressful events, such as moving house, job or school, or the death of a friend or relative, can sometimes cause someone to binge eat.

People with eating disorders usually experience difficulties in their personal life. Those who binge eat are often ashamed at the amount of food that they consume. They may also feel that their lack of control around food mirrors the lack of control they have over their personal lives, commented the NHS.

Back to NCH’s Howard: “The good news is that you probably already know what you should be eating and you probably know what exercise you should be taking.

“We don’t have to educate you on how and what you should eat and tell you what exercise you should be doing to lose weight.

“All we have to do is to use hypnotherapy for weight loss to remove the subconscious programming that is getting in the way of your success.”

So how does the hypnotherapy treatment work and is it successful?

There’s the well-documented case of singer Lily Allen dropping six dress sizes after treatment and most hypnotherapists report a success rate in excess of 98 per cent.

Hypnosis is a temporary, altered state of consciousness. Using hypnosis for weight loss is usually a two-part process.

First, the therapist attempts to help the person understand their problematic behaviors, such as overeating or shunning exercise. Then, while the patient is in a relaxed, impressionable state of mind, the therapist suggests altering those behaviours. Or as Howard says hypnotherapists ‘remove subconscious programming’.

Hypnotherapy for weight loss has become very popular with millions of people who are now using this treatment to give themselves a healthier body.

More and more celebrities – like Lily Allen – are or have used hypnotherapy and are turning their backs on diets after discovering what many health professionals already know, traditional diets do not work for the majority of people.

Hypnotherapy is safe too. It involves using the state of hypnosis to treat a variety of medical and psychological problems. It is estimated that 85 per cent of people will respond at some level to clinical hypnotherapy.

It may even succeed where other more conventional methods of treatment have not produced the desired result.

When carried out by a trained and qualified hypnotherapist the benefits can be long lasting and often permanent. It is natural and safe, with no harmful side effects.

If you have any further questions about weight loss, please contact a local NCH accredited hypnotherapist for weight loss in the NCH Hypnotherapy Directory.