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Take Baby Steps to Weight Loss

Mar 20 2016 by Step2Change.

Take Baby Steps to Weight Loss

Guilty woman raiding fridge

As with so many things in life, when we’ve spent most of that life, or many years of it at least following bad habits or practises, changing things can seem just too big a challenge. This is equally true when it comes to losing weight.

I see many clients who come to me for weight loss hypnotherapy who have spent years either over eating or eating wrongly and or under-exercising, but who want instant weight loss. Many think of hypnotherapy as a ‘silver bullet’ that will magically do all the work for them.

Sadly for them, this is not the case.

Good health practice recommends that weight loss should be no more than 2 lbs or 3 lbs per week. Expecting dramatic weight loss, whether through hypnotherapy or any other dietary regime is plain unsafe.

It also sets you up for disillusionment and ultimately, failure as you find it difficult, or even impossible to maintain. At the end of this post are links to some other posts that explain why this happens.

How do you set yourself up for success?
There is a saying that goes something like “Motivation gets you started, habit keeps you going.” So let’s create a few simple steps that we can take to bring about small but positive changes that build up over time.

Now the trick is not to try to do everything at once. Successful change and improvement comes from making a number of small changes one at a time so that you see the beneficial effects. Maintain that small change for a month and that creates a small habit. If it doesn’t work for you, you don’t then have to throw in the towel, but work on the next one. This helps avoid demotivating yourself and improves your overall likelihood of success.

After you have made that a habit, move on to another small change and work that into your lifestyle until it too becomes a habit. Then rinse and repeat. And so, over a relatively short time, you have adopted a number of healthier habits that will help you master your weight.

1. Drink more water.
I know you’ve heard it before and there’s only so much water you can drink and enjoy, but it’s a fact that thirst is often mistaken for hunger. If you think you feel hungry, have a glass of water. If you still feel hungry, then you are so eating is ok. It’s also good practise to drink water before every meal. Apart from the beneficial effect of keeping you hydrated, it will add some volume in your stomach that will make you feel full faster and want less food to satisfy that hunger.

Apart from that, you need water to function properly and that includes your digestive function.

2. Eat Mindfully.
That is take time to focus on:
a) How you are eating. Eating slowly, making sure that you chew carefully and thoroughly. Put your knife and fork down between each mouthful and wait until you have swallowed before picking them up to deliver the next forkful. Take a breath before you do it too.

You will notice that by eating slowly, you become more aware of the messages your stomach is sending to your brain telling it that you are full and don’t need any more, so you end up not clearing youir plate, thus eating less.

b) What you are eating. Take time to notice the tastes and textures. Really appreciate the aromas and flavours of the food you are eating. Meal times should be an enjoyable experience, not a quick ‘pit stop.’

Don’t be surprised if you become more conscious of your food choices Become aware that the food you eat is there to nourish you, to provide all the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy and meet the physical and emotional demands of your day to day life. You might find yourself becoming more choosy about the food that you buy.

3. Get Enough Quality Sleep.
Apart from the fact that the body uses this period for much of its repair and maintenance, again both physical and emotional, it is also a well known fact that weight gain is linked to poor sleep. One of the reasons is that people with poor sleep patterns tend to eat more simple carbohydrates, which turn very quickly into sugars in the digestive process. Sugars not required to support energy expenditure are stored as fats.

If you wake up still feeling tired, it is likely that the restful quality of your sleep is lacking. There may be many causes, from domestic or work worries, emotional upsets, eating too late so going to bed on a full stomach, using your computer or tablet just before going to bed. There are strategies for countering these that are beyond the scope of this blog post, but if you would like to learn more, book a free no obligation Clarity Call with me so that I can give you tailored advice.

One simple way to improve sleep is to have a relaxing routine for the final 30 minutes before going to bed. This not only has a calming effect, it starts a conditioning process where your subconscious is being prepared for sleep. If you want, get a relaxation CD or mp3 and listen to that.
Follow the link RELAXATION RECORDING to download a free mp3, but DO NOT use while driving or doing anything that requires your full attention and concentration.

4. Portion Control.
It is true that a smaller meal on a smaller plate looks as much as a bigger meal on a bigger plate. There is a tendency that once we have loaded our plates, we must eat everything on it. In my day, I was told to “Think about all the starving people in Africa or wherever, so to eat all my food and not waste it.” As if eating all my dinner would help them somehow. But this sort of conditioning as a youngster tends to stay with us, so we perpetuate the myth.

Think about the size of your stomach.

Drawing of two fists as stomach size

As a guide if you clench both fists with your thumbs lying along the index fingers and put them together side by side with fingers touching, this is about the size of your stomach. It’s not really that big is it? So think about how much, or little food it needs for it to be full.

In summary then, make small changes one at a time. Practise them until they are a habit and incorporated into your way of life then adopt another, then another. Don’t always be in such a hurry, after all you may have spent years putting that weight on; you can’t expect it to disappear in a couple of weeks or months.

Remember that food is about nutrition (quality not quantity) and that being thin doesn’t always equate with being healthy – ask someone with anorexia nervosa!

And of course, if your weight problem is caused by other things, such as emotions or stress or you really do need help, then hypnotherapy can support you and your Hypnotherapist can be your guide, mentor and coach as well as a therapist helping you deal with the underlying causes.

You can also download my free checklist and guide The 4 Cornerstones of Successful Weight Loss by clicking on the banner below.

Image of leaning tower of Pisa with no firm foundations

Related Blog Posts
How to Lose Weight Fast<
Am I Fat Because of a Slow Metabolism
How to Lose 10 Pounds in a Week
No Quick Fix to Being a Healthy Weight
Lose Weight Fast? Do the Maths
Dieting Alone Isn’t Always a Long Term Fix.

Mike Rogers, Clinical Hypnotherapist,
Step2Change Hypnotherapy, Edinburgh.

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