Updated: Sep 1, 2019
How about a bowl of fresh, juicy strawberries? Maybe it depends on the time of day or the activity you're engaged in or the friends you're with or just maybe, your food "choices" are not really dependent upon any of these things, but rather, your "choice" is connected to how your emotions.
Some people might always choose the chocolate and some might always choose the strawberries, but if you're like a majority of Americans, you'll choose the food that brings you the greatest satisfaction, the most pleasure and the best ahhh feeling right now, especially under conditions of stress.
For many of us, our "choices" are not really choices, but rather part of a complex chain of stimulus-response conditions that live far outside of our consciousness, in our subconscious.
According to scientists and researchers, these "choices" are reflective of a paired stimulus-response mechanism that was likely created (unbeknownst to us) a long time ago. For people who are overweight or overeat or binge eat or eat emotionally, this is the situation. Because this condition has existed in our subconscious for much of our lives, it lives outside the influence of willpower and outside the scope of our awareness. That's what makes weight so impervious to traditional methods of intervention like dieting. Dieting can and does make a difference, but for the majority of people, it's effects are not sustainable and that's because maintaining our weight takes conscious effort, willpower, dedication, reinforcement and a generalized lifestyle commitment to secure our changes. In our busy lives, few of us have the desire much less the willpower to reinforce our previous gains and as our Herculean feats of willpower fade away, so do our successes over the weight loss war.
So what do we do? Real choice is the act of a free individual, one who is unhooked to outcome. When we are stressed, most of us constrict our choices and options; our resources appear to fade away unless we ask ourselves important questions such as: "What do I really want?", "What am I willing to do to obtain that which I want", "What can I do in the moment?" and perhaps even more importantly, "How do I feel?" Once we understand how we feel, we can direct ourselves to more satisfying responses or at least avoid making choices that we'll regret later.
The psychology of food has EVERYTHING to do with how we feel, especially in the United States where for many decades, immediate gratification has defined our culture and way of life. We often live in a downward spiral of feel bad/distract - feel bad/distract - feel bad/distract, etc. Food is one of our biggest distractions and ranks right up there with smoking, drinking, drugs, shopping, tons of TV-watching, Internet surfing, video games, relationship rebounding and much, much more.
How can we get a handle on these "too-much" behaviors? Hypnosis is designed to provide relief when everything else has failed! Hypnosis helps people become aware of their emotions in a safe, effective and natural way and even more importantly, very quickly. Generally speaking, in about 4-6 sessions, "too-much" behaviors are eliminated and someone who has spent a lifetime waging the war of weight, nicotine, alcohol, etc., now enjoys the life of a truly free individual. This is transformation at its best.
In support of anyone seriously interested in becoming free of their weight monsters, I've added a brief outline of the four cardinal rules of weight maintenance. This is something you can begin today as you contemplate the exciting new version of you with hypnosis.
1. Eat ONLY when you are hungry
How do you know when you are actually hungry? It’s so simple. Do the broccoli test, called, “TBT”
The broccoli test is this:
If you are truly hungry, go ahead and eat that delicious broccoli in your refrigerator.
If you do not want the broccoli, then what you are experiencing is not actual hunger, but rather emotional hunger. What that means is that you are seeking a satisfying response to something that your body is trying to tell you. Maybe you are actually feeling bored or lonely or frustrated or or stressed. If you recognize that you’re bored, then how about going into your studio and making a clay project, listening to that new audio book, learning about a new marketing technique?
If you are lonely, then it’s time to seek out a meaningful interaction, one that leaves you feeling satisfied. If you’re frustrated, then what was the trigger that caused your frustration because you are going to need to find a more creative way to handle that situation.
2. Eat within 30 minutes of determining that you are physically hungry
Research shows us that if we wait more than 30 minutes to eat something, we will eat DOUBLE the amount of food we would normally eat and our choices will be not as healthy
3. Take ½ of what you normally would put on your plate. (You can ALWAYS go back for more)
Start out with ½ because as Americans, we have been taught to overeat and overeating seems to be the norm for the United States. Restaurants serve HUGE portions of food because after all, we want our money’s worth! (Think Claim Jumper). Advertising says: “Buy one, get one FREE or half off”. Go ahead and have that cake, but cut it in half. By all means, have more meat, but make it a smaller portion. Want a third slice of prime rib? Sure, but make it smaller than the last slice
4. Have healthy alternatives
- Make sure that you have plenty of your favorite veggies around (if you like veggies)
- Stock your refrigerator with hard boiled eggs
- String cheese is a great option. Walmart or Costco always have packages of string cheese, individual packages of cheddar cheese or mini packs of Bonbel (yummy)
- Trail mix is awesome. Make a trip to Trader Joes, Sprouts, Whole Foods, Safeway or any store with bulk foods
- Almonds are the best in terms of just having nuts around
- Fruit and nut bars come in all different kinds and flavors. Pick one with a low sugar content
- Flavored seltzer water with zero calories
Notice that the word sugar was only mentioned once in this article. Although sugar is a culprit because of our culture's emphasis on immediate gratification, it is not the culprit. The real bandit is our emotional eating.
Do you want to really slow down your appetite?
Here’s a very simple Two Breath Relaxation Technique that you can do in under a minute:
By learning and implementing this technique, you’ll be able to de-stress and unwind quickly
You’ll notice that this will help you feel more calm, happy and focused throughout the day
1. Make a note of where you are on the Relaxation Scale with 10 being completely relaxed and 1 being highly anxious and stressed
2. Choose a color that represents peace and tranquility and make a note of it
3. Choose a different color that represents stress, tension, anxiety and everything you no longer want; make a note of it
4. Close your eyes and take in a nice, deep breath of the color of peace and tranquility – all the way down to your toes and exhale the color of stress, tension and anxiety
5. Repeat the breath and exhale two times
6. Make a note of where you are on the Relaxation Scale and notice the improvement in this short amount of time
7. Repeat as often as you like
Do you know someone who would like to lose weight? Of course you do. Refer that person to Northwest Hypnosis Center and they will receive a $100 discount in your name. What a fantastic way to pay it forward. Here’s to the new version of you!