How to avoid the festive season food trap

Words: Andrea Kellerman, Educational and Sport Psychologist

Going into the festive season means you'll probably indulge in more food than usual, which could result in putting on a few extra kilos. So let's look at the best way to lose those kilos.

How to avoid the festive season food trap

As much as we want to lose weight fast, the most effective weight-loss method is long term, slow, and gradual reduction. Some of the star-led and trendy crash diets can be dangerous and lots of doctors warn against sudden and drastic approaches to weight reduction. If you have a weight problem, you may already be aware of the pattern ‘lose fast, gain fast’.

Many people have been on diets recommended by friends or magazines and have not found success. There is no mistake why DIET is a four-letter word! Diets are hard to stick to; they make you feel like you’re depriving yourself, they cost a lot of money, and most of the time they just don’t work. You try diet tablets, diet drinks, diet programmes. And the weight stays on. Many diet pills and shakes also have terrible side effects and are not healthy at all!

The biggest problem though is that each time a diet fails, you feel at more of a loss with your struggle to lose weight, thus making you feel even more of a failure because you cannot control your craving for food. Each time a diet fails, this feeling gets worse and the obsession with weight and food and getting slim grows.

So how would you feel if there is a natural diet solution that could really help you? A solution that ensures you wake up every day feeling in control around food? A solution that will free you from your food obsession so you can start to really enjoy living?

There is a solution, and it is all to do your mind. You will never resolve your problem with losing weight unless you understand what in your subconscious mind is motivating the behavior that causes you to overeat or not exercise, and therefore never lose weight. So let's look at this in more detail.

Why do diets fail at helping you lose weight?
The reason most people fail at dieting or exercise is because they resolutely use will power. Will power is part of your conscious, analytical mind and is great for short-term results. But there is a stronger part of the mind called the subconscious or unconscious mind. This is what sabotages all of your attempts at dieting. Hypnotherapy recognises this and uses the subconscious mind to treat the cause of your weight problems.

How does your subconscious mind support behaviours?
Your craving and urge to eat is because of 'conditioning'. When you associate consuming food with any other behavior, the other action will trigger cravings for food and a feeling of urgency to eat. This is called a conditioned response. For example, as a child you always got a chocolate when you did something well. As an adult, you are now conditioned into seeing chocolate as a reward. You start a diet and you’re keeping to it very well! What pops into your conscious mind from your subconscious? “You are doing so well, you deserve a chocolate!”

Some people are compulsive eaters - they have an 'irresistible impulse' to eat. This seems strange as our subconscious mind will only encourage behaviors that benefit or protect us in some way. Therefore, how could being fat be a beneficial behavior? Why would the subconscious mind allow this to happen? Here's a classic example. A person gets their heart broken in a relationship. So to protect the self from getting the heart broken again, the unconscious motivates the self to become fat, to keep the self out of relationships and prevent another broken heart.

You may think that the conscious mind is in control, but it is your subconscious mind that drives your behaviour. This part of your mind stores all your experiences, desires, dreams, emotions, and habits.

So if you are keen to lose weight the right way, why not talk to a specialist who can help you delve into your subconscious mind to find out what drives your behaviour and how to change those triggers.


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