You may have heard about hypnosis as a method of helping you lose weight; it works on dealing with the psychological reasons why you're eating too much. So in theory it could be a lot more effective than simply cutting down on calories, as it should help you get into good long-term habits. But what if you can't afford to see a practitioner? Try self-hypnosis …
1. Choose a Comfortable Place
Start by picking a comfortable place for your self-hypnosis session. It needs to be a place where you won't be disturbed, so warn everyone you're having time out and switch your phone off. Pick a comfortable chair that supports your head and neck, or sit straight so that you're not slumping. You can also lie down.
2. Background Music
Music can also be helpful in putting yourself into a relaxed state. Any kind of relaxation music will do; you need instrumental music so that you won't be distracted by the words. It will also need to be long enough so that you won't interrupt your session to put on more music; look for a CD or piece of music that lasts at least 30 minutes.
3. Slow Your Breathing
The next step into self-hypnosis is to slow down your breathing. You may find it helpful to place your hands on your belly. Concentrate on correct breathing; your belly should expand as you breathe in, and go in as you breathe out. This will help calm you and start to put you into a more relaxed state.
4. Relax Your Entire Body
Now work on relaxing your entire body. Start with your face and work your way down your body. Imagine each part of your body letting go of any tension and becoming more relaxed. You should then move onto deeper relaxation. Imagine yourself at the top of a flight of steps, and as you walk down them count from 10 to 1. Reach the bottom of the stairs as you count 1.
5. Imagine Your Ideal Weight
You should now be in deeper hypnosis. Imagine what your ideal weight should be (do make it a sensible weight goal - you shouldn't aspire to be too thin). See yourself at that ideal weight and feel how happy you are to have achieved that healthy weight. Feel positive and proud of yourself.
6. Repeat Some Mantras
Also repeat some 'weight loss mantras'. Think of a few affirmations that will help you. You want to say or think things like 'I am happy to achieve my weight-loss goal', 'Healthy food makes me feel good', or 'I no longer need cakes/alcohol/takeout (whatever is making you gain weight).
7. Slowly Come Back
End your self-hypnosis session by slowly coming back to full awareness. Slowly stretch your body and be aware of how good you feel. Bring your awareness back to the room. Open your eyes when you're ready to return to a fully awake state. Hold on to the positive feeling you've created during your session.
Repeat your self-hypnosis every day if you can; it will take time to retrain your subconscious to work for you. It's a really positive way of changing your relationship with food and learning to eat a healthier diet. Hypnosis can be a very powerful way of working on self-improvement, so make it work for you!