All hypnotists work slightly differently. We’re trained by different people (for me, that includes a course run by Paul McKenna) and then as we practice hypnotherapy our style evolves.
It’s important that you choose a hypnotherapist who works in alignment with your onjectives and your style.
Some people find that they can get 95% of the benefit from hypnosis for weight loss just by listening to an MP3 recording every now and then. If that’s something you can get away with, it’s far and away the cheapest and most convenient solution as you don’t need to book an appointment for a specific time on a specific day.
But in the real world a lot of people find that part of the weight loss conundrum is lack of will power and that includes making the time to listen to an MP3.
If that’s the case for you, booking a hypnosis session to help you reduce your weight is a good idea.
Here’s what to expect in a hypnosis weight loss session when you visit me in Cheltenham.
We’ll start by just chatting.
That’s because everyone is different and that’s especially so with the reasons we pile on the pounds.
Depending on your definition, agriculture has been around for about 12,000 years. So we’ve had potential access to a fairly steady supply of food for that time in our evolution.
That’s about 6% of the time (about 200,000 years) that we’ve been recognisably human.
It also means that for most of the time that we’ve been human, food wasn’t plentiful and wasn’t in regular supply.
It’s only in the last handful of years that shops are open around the clock every day of the year.
But our survival instincts don’t see it that way.
We store fat for the times when there’s no food on the table.
And we don’t expend vast amounts of calories when we’re hunting food. If you’ve ever run a calorie counter app on your phone you’ll know the depressingly low amount of calories you burn in an hour’s walk.
Depending on the speed and a few other factors, it’s about a chocolate bar’s worth of calories.
An hour of cross country skiing (probably not something you do every day in Cheltenham!) gets rid of the calories from that 60 gram grab bag of crisps you just snacked on.
So the odds are stacked against you.
There’s food everywhere.
And a lot of it is processed and – despite the labels – isn’t necessarily good food.
Food manufacturers are good at manipulating the figures in their favour. To their credit, Fry’s don’t label their Turkish Delight bars as being low in fat but at only 6.7 grams per 100 they probably could.
In other markets such as chilled desserts that kind of manipulation isn’t unusual.
Which means that part of our initial chat will be a suggestion to read the labels before you buy.
If you’re pressed for time, just look at the length of the list. If there are 5 or fewer ingredients then by definition there’s less room for nasties to get on the list.
But if the ingredient list is longer that your shopping list or if it’s the equivalent of a spammer trying to fool Google by using next to no contrast between the ink and the background colour or a font size that you need an electron microscope to read properly then that’s a quick and easy signal to leave the product on the shelf.
If there’s nothing to hide on the ingredients list, why would a manufacturer go out of their way to hide it?
Hidden sugar is another big factor in keeping your weight higher than you’d like.
We’ll talk about that as well.
Fruit juice is a big culprit.
That glass of “healthy” orange juice you neck at breakfast contains the juice of at least 2 oranges according to Tropicana: 16 oranges in one 59 ounce pack.
Yes, I know that’s their USA site but I couldn’t easily find the information on their UK site.
But it means that an 8 ounce glass of juice contains more than 2 oranges worth of juice.
Think about that next time you decide to have another glass because it’s good for you.
There are lots of other places that sugar hides.
This list has 257 names that are used to disguise it on labels to stop you freaking out when you find sugar on the ingredient list 5 or 6 times.
Weight conspiracy theorists would have a field day with that list.
Once we’ve gone through the general side of things, we’ll move on to chatting about your specific weight loss problems.
Notice that the “proper” hypnosis session still hasn’t started at this stage of the process.
That’s because it works best when I’ve done all the background stuff with you.
That way I can tailor the session 100% for you.
Which exponentially increases the chance of it working with just one session, which is my aim.
It might be one of these common issues or it could be a different one:
Eating without thinking
If you’ve ever watched a television program and by the end of it a large bag of Doritos or a “sharing” bar of chocolate has vanished with no help from anyone else, you’ve eaten without thinking.
Too often, we eat without thinking about the food.
We’re too busy watching television or whatever else to even notice the food on our plate. Always assuming it’s even on a plate.
Ask us a few minutes later what we’ve eaten or what it tasted like and we’re immediately in deer in headlight mode. We’re clueless.
That one is easy to sort out and you may not even need to book an appointment with me to get it fixed.
Treat every meal as though it was a restaurant meal.
And I don’t mean a fast food restaurant either unless you’re one of those rare people who savour the food at McDonalds orKFC.
Food in a restaurant is often mixed with theatre.
It’s served carefully.
It takes centre stage.
And, because of that, we pay attention to it and enjoy it more.
You don’t have to light candles at home to do this.
But you do need to spend quality time with your food and give it your full attention as you eat.
You’ll be amazed at how much nicer even some of those cheap frozen ready meals taste when you do this. Or you’ll decide to spend a few more pence and get something decent.
Food is often used to de-stress.
On the odd occasion – maybe after a particularly fraught drive home or a long day at work – that’s acceptable.
But on a regular basis, it’s bad news.
Partly because of the ever expanding affect on your waistline.
But more because it’s sticking a plaster on the real problem.
Which is the reason we have these chats before a weight loss (or any other) hypnosis session.
Because the real reason may not be the one that’s sticking its head above the parapet.
In this case, I’d get your agreement and we’d almost certainly turn the session round to how you cope with stress.
That’s something an MP3 download can’t do – it takes your request at face value.
But it’s why I’ll be jotting down notes during the introductory chat.
So if you deal with stress by loosening your belt buckle and pigging out, we’ll work out whether the session needs to be about your comfort eating or how you’re dealing with the things that cause you to get into that state.
Late night eating
There are lots of different reasons for this.
One is too much alcohol, otherwise kebab shops wouldn’t be in business (kebabs just don’t taste the same when you eat them sober).
But it could be as simple as the fridge being full of tempting things and you get drawn to it like a moth to a light.
This is another place where there is often another, deeper, reason for the problem.
And another reason why the preliminary chat is so important.
Even if you can’t vocalise why you’re raiding the fridge late at night we can deal with it.
When a second plate of food just isn’t enough.
You need a third or fourth.
Some of this comes back to how food is packaged and processed.
As a general rule, the closer food is to its natural state the harder it is for us to eat too much of it.
But the more processed it is, the easier it is to eat more than we intended.
Food manufacturers know this and work hard to make sure that we can eat more without feeling full and bloated.
Portion sizes have grown over the years – 6 ounces (about 180ml) was the original size of a bottle of Coke. A regular can is almost double that, a 500ml bottle nearly triple. And it’s not exactly hard to get through a bigger bottle in one evening.
Yet again, binge eating is often the outward manifestation of something deeper.
So don’t be surprised if I delve around to find what triggers you use that cause you to wolf down as much food as possible.
Other weight gain causes
There are lots of other possible reasons for gaining more weight than you’d like.
The preliminary chat will help us to find out which one(s) are conspiring against your waist line.
The hypnosis session itself
We’ll start with you taking some long, deep, breaths in.
That will help you to get into a more relaxed state.
Long deep breaths are a very simple way to relax and because no-one questions you breathing they’re possible to use anywhere whenever you need to unwind and relax.
Gradually, you’ll let your eyes close.
I’ll then start a relaxation exercise.
I’ll get you to imagine that you’re in a clearing in a woodland.
It could be anywhere but even though you’re the only person there, it’s perfectly safe and relaxing.
You’ll notice the feel of the grass beneath your feet, the last few traces of dew cooling your toes.
You’ll notice the way the sun shines through the trees above you and plays on your skin, warming it ever so slightly.
Most of the time there’ll be a rabbit hopping past, giving you a passing glance and then carrying on hopping around.
There’ll also probably be a babbling brook, close enough for you to hear it but far enough away that you’ll stay perfectly safe and dry. Chances are that you’ll notice some fish in the brook, maybe occasionally leaping out of the running water.
All this time, you’ll still be taking long deep breaths.
Then, once you’re showing signs of being relaxed, you’ll notice a set of 10 steps at the edge of the clearing.
But that doesn’t matter.
This isn’t real life at this point of the hypnosis session.
It’s just a ploy to get you more relaxed.
Which will happen as I gradually take you down those steps in your mind’s eye.
As you take each step down, you’ll become more and more relaxed.
A lot of people say it’s the most relaxed they’ve been for more years than they can remember.
A few people say they are still almost awake at this point. That’s because every hypnosis session is different.
But wherever you are on that spectrum of relaxedness, the next part of the weight loss hypnosis session will start once you reach the bottom step.
At the foot of the steps, there’ll be a comfortable sofa or chair (your choice, it’s your mind) that you’ll sink into.
Then I’ll start talking to your subconscious mind – the part of you that does most of the housekeeping in your body including the amount of food it deems necessary for you to eat.
I’ll ask the part of you that is responsible for your waistline expansion to come forward.
Then I’ll ask you to acknowledge and thank it.
It doesn’t matter how much of a sense you get of this part of you. Because it will have come forward for a chat anyway.
The thanking part is important.
It doesn’t matter that the outcome (a fatter you than you’d like) isn’t ideal.
Because your subconscious has been doing this to protect you.
And that could be for one of umpteen reasons.
And it’s worked.
So the thanking is part of the process.
Then I’ll ask your subconscious to come up with a few other ways that it could achieve at least the same degree of protection without making you ever-bigger.
You may get an idea of what these ways are. Or – more commonly – you may not.
Again, that’s not important.
Because your subconscious will be buzzing with ideas that it can experiment with to achieve at least the same level protection without needing to store excess fat in your body.
Then I’ll ask your subconscious to put the best ideas into practice over the next few days.
Chances are you won’t notice these when they happen unless you’re the kind of person who notices when their eyelashes grow another micron in length (and I’ve yet to meet anyone who does that).
But they’ll be happening.
Once that part of your mind is doing its background processing, we’ll move onto something called future pacing.
You do this all the time when you run through all those “what if’s” when you worry about something.
This is more controlled.
I’ll take you forward in time by about a week and get you to notice how the subtle changes we’ve introduced will be postively working for you. Maybe your clothes won’t feel quite as tight or maybe you won’t be as out of breath walking up the stairs as you were. Or maybe you’ll actually want to walk a bit more.
Everyone is different but these subtle changes will be taking place.
I’ll then repeat that process but each time slightly further into the future. Usually a month, 3 months and 6 months. But if there are memorable events at slightly different intervals then I’ll use those as hooks for your mind instead.
Finally I’ll bring you fairly quickly back to the waking world.
A reasonably quick count from 5 up to 1 works well and doesn’t normally take very long.
You’re eyes will open again, you’ll have a stretch and maybe shake away the tingling feeling that a lot of people get.
Then we’ll cover any final questions you’ve got, you’ll pay me (of course!) and you’ll be on your way to being a new, lighter, you.
All that remains is for you to contact me to book your weight loss hypnosis session.