Monthly Archives - March 2013

How to stop smoking tips 1

How to Stop Smoking Tips 1

There are many articles offering ‘how to stop smoking tips’. In this article, these ‘how to stop smoking tips’ are based on my experiences using hypnotherapy as a successful smoking cessation method. Hypnotherapy uses techniques that help the patient’s mind to be more receptive to positive suggestions and visualisation. When this is combined with an awareness of central issues that drive the smoking habit, the hypnotherapy patient is ready to stop smoking. They can then go through a re-learning process of how to stay “stopped”.

These three ‘how to stop smoking tips’ are part of that early journey. Your mind and body moves from being a “smoker” to “ex-smoker”. Once you have stopped smoking, you can then ultimately embrace the belief system and lifestyle of the “non-smoker”. In this lifestyle change, you lead your life naturally without the want or need for a cigarette. This is how to stop smoking.

If you are seeking professional help to stop smoking: Stop Smoking Cardiff

How to Stop Smoking Tips #1:

Recognise that the nicotine cycle is just cravings fooling your mind

In my view, the first of the ‘how to stop smoking tips’ is the most fundamental tip of them all. If you smoke on a regular basis, then you are likely to be addicted to nicotine. Being a very addictive drug, it serves a simple purpose – once addicted, it wants to keep you addicted.
Nicotine cycle
How to stop smoking tips: recognise how cravings are part of the nicotine cycle (click to enlarge)

When your blood-nicotine level falls, your brain registers this depletion. You begin to feel “incomplete”. Symptoms include irritability, edginess, poor concentration and physical tension. In many ways it is similar to mild anxiety. These feelings sweep through you in waves until you are able to smoke a cigarette. When you smoke your next cigarette, you are increasing your blood-nicotine levels. Your brain registers this increase and the irritability symptoms begin to subside as you feel “complete” or “relaxed” again. The blood-nicotine levels are normalised and for how long this equilibrium lasts depends on the severity of your addiction. It can be a few minutes to a few hours.

Consider the nicotine cycle as purely an addictive drug cycle that wants to keep you on the inside. All other reasons for justifying smoking are superfluous to that cycle. If you are using those excuses of “but I like it” or “it helps me to feel better...” recognise that it is just the nicotine cravings that are deceiving you. Those who say that they “like” smoking have gone way past the initial nausea stage. You have dragged yourself through this stage, using another ‘value’ to keep you firmly on the smoking path e.g. “I want to look grown up”. As the nicotine cravings and smoking habits changed you, you will have suddenly realised that you are struggling without them. In my stop smoking hypnotherapy consultations, when my patient can recognise that they are stuck in the nicotine trap, they can then throw out all of the other excuses that justify the need to keep smoking. Hypnotherapy is a useful way of communicating this to the patient’s unconscious mind. It facilitates an important dissociation stage.  

How to Stop Smoking Tips #2:

Appreciate how anxiety and stress are connected with smoking

How to stop smoking tipsanxiety is part of smoking
How to stop smoking tips: Anxiety is part of the smoking habit
In my stop smoking hypnotherapy consultations, the majority of my patients tell me that they smoke more cigarettes when they are anxious or stressed. Does this mean that smoking a cigarette reduces anxiety or stress? Does it relax you? Since stress and anxiety is individual, what you say is helpful, will be helpful (up to a point – and we’ll come back to this in how to stop smoking tips #3). If smoking cigarettes actually did this, I would have thought the cigarette manufacturers would have jumped onto the bandwagon by now and would have marketed this selling point. They simply don’t promote cigarettes as an anxiety or stress reliever. They don’t promote it as a relaxant. Which brings us back to ‘how to stop smoking tips #1’; it’s all about the nicotine. When blood-nicotine levels drop, the craving symptoms create irritability, loss of concentration and physical tension (amongst other personal symptoms) that are very similar to symptoms of anxiety and stress. But over the years of smoking, you will have forgotten the difference. So when you are genuinely tense about something, your brain associates the anxious feelings with depleted blood-nicotine levels. You need to smoke a cigarette to release the anxious feeling (this point relates to ‘how to stop smoking tips #3).  You are in pursuit of a relaxation response and the cigarette is “artificially” giving you this to you. Over the years, the smoking habit confuses your handling of stress and the recognition of low blood-nicotine levels. Which issue it relates to no longer matters because you’ll smoke anyway. This point leaves a very strong imprint on your brain. The ex-smoker, who tells you years later that the cravings don’t go away, is still fooled by this issue. Physical dependency subsides after one week. Psychological dependency will persist and keep you in the mindset of an ex-smoker if you haven’t embraced this difference. Smoking cigarettes does not help to reduce anxiety and stress. They don’t relax you, they just keep you dependant on the nicotine drug. In my hypnotherapy consultation, dealing with the nature of your stress and creating new solutions increases your confidence to let go of your smoking habit. Many hypnotherapy patients underestimate the impact that stress can have on their smoking cessation goal.  

How to Stop Smoking Tips #3:

Identify how relaxed breathing is part of your smoking habit

In my view, the reason that cigarette manufacturers have kept trapping people for so long is because smoking involves the process of deep breathing. Any habit or ritual that incorporates deep breathing techniques will succeed because it involves the very natural relaxation mechanism that you all have. It is a technique that is so under-used.  You will probably have heard the advice to “take a deep breath” to release stress. Non-smokers who cope with their stress effectively will use this breathing technique. It is used in yoga, meditation and hypnotherapy. Most smokers take up their habit as a teenager. Teenage life has many anxiety issues and finding a reliable way to cope independently with this period of life is very important; you are effectively setting up a template of coping for your adulthood. The best time to learn relaxation skills would be around (or just before) teenage hood. If cigarettes are introduced during this period and before any independent skills have been learned, the smoking-breathing habit becomes the crutch. So if these skills are learned too late, you may already have become hooked on cigarettes and believe that they help you to “relax” when tense. Over the years as a smoker, you forget about this natural ability. When stressed, and in a place where you can’t smoke, you are left gasping for air. It’s as if only smoking the cigarette gives you the permission to breathe deeply and relax. It has become your stress management prop. Nicotine and smoking has deceived you over the years. So when ‘stressed’ and you smoke more cigarettes, it’s your ‘breathing’ technique that is relaxing you, helping you to feel better. It is the breathing that is reducing your anxiety and stress, not the cigarette (point made in ‘how to stop smoking tips’ #2). For the ‘ex-smoker’ to convert to the belief system of the ‘non-smoker’, these relaxation skills must be embraced. Without these relaxation skills, the ex-smoker goes through life as if something is missing. They fear a stressful event and their ability to cope independently. It’s more than just will-power that makes this conversion; the smoker must be aware of how your habit has changed your life. In my hypnotherapy consultations, learning breathing and relaxation techniques are part of the hypnotherapy treatment. They help you with the immediate cravings and cope with stress and anxiety once you have stopped smoking.  

How to stop smoking tips: summary

How to stop smoking tips to kick the habit
How to stop smoking tips that will help you to kick butt
These are my three fundamental ‘how to stop smoking tips’. They connect the important issues of nicotine, stress and breathing. Understanding these connections and learning how to breathe for relaxation will help you to cope with the cravings and cope with stress. This will help you to recognise the cravings for what they are – a physical withdrawal from nicotine. Other ‘how to stop smoking tips’ will need to be considered to complete your transformation. Hypnotherapy ensures that the deep learning of these issues and the ability to replace them with coping techniques can be done whilst your mind is receptive to change. Each smoker’s psychology and behaviour is personalised. My stop smoking hypnotherapy course deals with your personal issues that can help convert you from a smoker to an ex-smoker and then into a non-smoker once again. (Stop smoking tips 2.) Professional help to stop smoking: Stop Smoking Cardiff  

For further information on how to stop smoking tips in Cardiff, and stop smoking Cardiff hypnotherapy courses contact Hypnotherapy Cardiff


Breathing techniques to relieve stress

Breathing Techniques to Relieve Stress & Anxiety

When the pace of life is taking over, there is a helpful solution: you can use breathing techniques to relieve stress and anxiety. Once learned, they can be used in a variety of situations e.g. before an exam or interview or prior to a performance to reduce anticipatory anxiety or panic attacks. Breathing techniques can control anxiety “during” an event or can be used naturally throughout the day. Breathing techniques can also help with insomnia when the mind is racing and needs to slow down before the sleep response can take over. Hypnotherapists commonly teach breathing techniques to relieve stress and anxiety in the early stages of a hypnotherapy treatment. It often forms the first stage of the hypnotherapy induction. Progressive relaxation and visualisation are also used to create a deep state of “inner focused awareness”. This helps the client to become more receptive to hypnotic suggestions given by the hypnotherapist. During the early part of the first hypnotherapy consultation, I like to ask my patient about any prior learning of breathing techniques to help them relieve stress. By ensuring that you are using the full potential of each breath, it can facilitate a more rapid hypnotic induction. The benefits of learning breathing techniques can also help you relieve stress outside of the hypnotherapy consultation. You can then practise these breathing techniques independently or use them with the assistance of a hypnotherapy relaxation CD.  

How to use breathing techniques to relieve stress

Even for those who have had some previous relaxation training outside of hypnotherapy, I am often surprised at how much emphasis is given to counting as the most important feature of breathing techniques to relieve stress. Leave out the numbers; each person’s breathing rate is different. When working with my private patients to relieve stress and during stress management workshops, I teach breathing techniques using the following stages: 1. Breathe in through the nose: With the aim being to slow down breathing patterns, I prefer the inspiration of air to be drawn in through the nose. The nostrils have a smaller surface area compared to the opened mouth and so help to ensure that the duration of inspiration phase is lengthened.
Breathing techniques hand placement
Breathing techniques: Hand placement to feel the abdomen move.
2. Breathe out though the nose: Whilst there is some flexibility with where you breathe out, my preference is still through the nose rather than the mouth. Unless a client has some prior learning and is proficient with several of these stages, I won’t make too many changes for them. Again, the smaller surface area is the advantage and keeping the focus in one place is just easier to remember for the novice student. 3. Hand placement: I demonstrate and instruct the client to place one hand on their abdomen and the other hand on their chest. I ask them to look down at their hands to provide visual and kinaesthetic (feeling) feedback at this stage. 4. Abdomen before the chest: In relaxed breathing, the abdomen (lower hand) moves before the chest (upper hand). This ensures that the important diaphragm muscle (the sheet of muscle that lies horizontally between the thoracic cavity and the abdominal cavity) is active in the breathing process. breathing diagram psd 5. Let the inspired breath expand the abdomen: This stage usually causes the novice (anxious breather) to push their abdomen out forcefully because it can feel unnatural to the untrained. What is paramount at this stage is that the air being inspired (by the movement of the diaphragm) is creating the abdominal inflation. A picture of the diaphragm and ribs moving during breathing can help visualise this process. I also ask my student to imagine feeling that the inspired air is expanding the abdomen. This image usually creates the desired effect. 6. The chest inflates after the abdomen: With the abdomen (diaphragm) now responsive, the second stage of the inflation involves a fuller breath by expanding the ribcage (chest). The untrained anxious breather instinctively finds this easier, hence the inclusion of stage 5 which is aiming to change a bad habit. I identify any unnecessary mechanisms at this stage now, like lifting the shoulders which play no valid part in breathing. With these mechanisms in place, I then progress onto the speed of your respiration. 7. Slow-motion breathing particularly with expiration: Since each person’s vital capacity (the maximum amount of air that can be inhaled or exhaled from the lungs) differs, emphasising a “one-fits-all” number system would create an unnatural count for those on the upper and lower limits. My approach is to individualise this stage by just prolonging each inspiration and expiration. This is a form of “hypoventilation” that makes each breath more efficient for relaxation. It may take a few breaths to settle this pattern but that is completely acceptable. Particularly with the inspiration of breath, the odd forced inhalation can seem like an “awakening” for some of the new muscles being used in this way. For the expiration however, I liken this stage to gently squeezing a balloon with the tiniest air-opening that lightly resists the pressure just enough to keep the air being constantly expelled. Extend the exhale for as long as possible, ensuring that the slow pace is maintained from the very start of your breath. Trust that your body has enough oxygen in each breath. With the diaphragm actively involved, the body can cope sufficiently by simply slowing these processes down. Exhaling with a slow, deep audible “sigh” is important because it enhances the release of tension and relaxes the respiratory system. Only a few, slow deep sighs are necessary and the breathing mechanisms naturally adjusts. The awareness of breathing can go into the background and become more unconscious. 8. Pause rather than hold: With the breathing now in constant flow, I emphasise a pause rather than a breath-hold. Create this pause at the end of each inspiration to stretch the diaphragm. Pause after expiration to ensure that the oxygen/carbon dioxide levels are rebalanced following hyperventilation often caused by high anxiety or panic attacks. Anxiety can cause breathing muscles to tighten, so a natural pause encourages continuity between each stage rather than a segmented “stop”. Imagine these stages akin to a large, slow-moving swing that has a huge momentum as it swings effortlessly in and out, almost delaying at the end of its swing, yet it is gathering momentum ready for the next slow swing return.
Breathing techniques with eye closure
Eye closure helps you to focus on your breathing techniques
9. Eye closure: If it hasn’t happened naturally by now, many clients are innocently entering lighter stages of hypnosis and closing their eyes by themselves. As the client or student begins to access these breathing dynamics, mentioning eye closure helps to bring in more of their imagination and the internal awareness of their relaxation responses. A suggestion to remove the hands from the abdomen and chest and lay the hands comfortably on their lap can be a suitable progression for the progressing learner because you can now feel the internal movement of the breathing organs.  

Breathing techniques: continuation exercises to help relieve stress

10. Posture and general tension: A general observation of the client’s posture is natural for the hypnotherapist. For the novice who is learning to relax, freeing areas of tension can be facilitated when the mind is engaged into your internal state. Gradually work through the body from top to toe (or from toe upwards), releasing of any tense areas. Visualise each body part feeling helplessly heavy. Choose a place to practise at home where the head and body can be supported e.g. a high-backed chair, recliner or lying on the bed. 11. Visualising a calm place: These are the latter stages of relaxation training in which the topic can be an article in itself! In my hypnotherapy consultation, I discuss how my patient likes to relax. I then integrate this imagery into the hypnotic induction. 12. Using hypnotic suggestions You can use hypnotic suggestions to help you achieve your relaxation goal or any other goal that you may have. There is more information in this practise self hypnosis article. Click the following link if you want to know more about the differences between self hypnosis, meditation and mindfulness.  

Practise your breathing techniques to relieve stress

Being mindful of your breathing techniques is an important part of relieving stress and anxiety. Your autonomic nervous system controls all of the unconscious bodily functions like gut functioning, heart rate, breathing and the release of hormones like adrenaline. By controlling your breathing, it gives you an opportunity to take back some conscious control over what your unconscious mind and body is doing. In effect, your breathing can be your “doorway” into slowing down some of the “fight or flight” responses that are triggered by modern living stress.  

Evidence of the benefit of relaxed breathing techniques

Is there any evidence that if you practise breathing techniques to relieve stress that it actually has a physiological benefit? Yes, there is a strong connection between breathing and brain control. Evidence linked to this article suggests that the brain’s “pacemaker” can be altered by changing your breathing rhythm. Rapid breathing (common in highly anxious states) increases the activity in the brain’s circuit, whilst slow deep breathing reduces the brain’s circuit activity. Relaxed breathing can benefit some of the unconscious physiological functions controlled by the brain’s parasympathetic “calming” nervous system. These include better regulation of your blood pressure, improved emotional control, increased memory capability, immune system resiliency and energy metabolism efficiency. So perhaps there is much more behind the cliché “take a deep breath” than previously thought!  

Breathing techniques to relieve stress: conclusion

This article has outlined how to use breathing techniques to relieve stress. As a practising hypnotherapist, my teaching points are built on a collection of numerous consultations with past hypnotherapy clients. I do not advocate that this is the only way to teach breathing techniques to relieve stress. Being responsive to your hypnotherapy client and observing where to focus help is part of being a successful hypnotherapist and creating therapeutic change.  

For more information on practising breathing techniques to relieve stress contact Richard J D'Souza Hypnotherapy Cardiff


Gastric Band Hypnotherapy

Gastric Band Hypnotherapy – Just another fad!

Over the years in practice as a registered hypnotherapist, I have witnessed a number of “new” treatments that have come and gone. Gastric Band Hypnotherapy is the latest catch phrase when you want to lose weight. “New” hypnotherapy treatments can be created as a response to a new development or invention. In this case, the medical development is Gastric band surgery, an operation that limits the amount of food you can consume by reducing the capacity of your stomach. Rather than having this intrusive (and costly) medical procedure, you can have your “mind” taken through the process, in a course of gastric band hypnotherapy and live your life as if your stomach has been reduced in size...well, in theory anyway! Does gastric band hypnotherapy offer anything more credible for weight loss than other personalised courses of hypnotherapy administered by an experienced practitioner? In my view, it does not. When you delve a little deeper into what is being offered in a gastric band hypnotherapy course, it is little more than a re-hash of common methods, disguised to look new and more effective under a catchy phrase. What are the shortcomings?  

Gastric Band hypnotherapy: Where’s the evidence?

Gastric Band Hypnotherapy lack of evidence
Gastric Band Hypnotherapy: Where's the evidence?
Until Gastric Band hypnotherapy research is published in reputable journals e.g. European Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, its claims to be any “more effective and long lasting” than weight loss hypnotherapy is nothing more than marketing tricks. Where is the evidence? What sample was used in the research? How was the trial controlled? These are some of the questions that when posed to a hypnotherapist offering Gastric Band hypnotherapy courses, they will be honest enough to admit that it has no evidence to be any more successful than traditional hypnotherapy. So, unless something has been published since writing this article, I would view the claims with scepticism.  

Gastric Band hypnotherapy: If the Gastric Band hypnotherapy treatment is that successful, there wouldn’t be a need for the surgery.

When a treatment is consistently effective, the NHS is quick to establish where money can be saved. Gastric band surgery can cost about £5000 and if there was a more efficient method that can save the NHS funds, they would promote that treatment which is cost-effective and reliable. At the time of writing, patients who are eligible for gastric band surgery must have (amongst several criteria) tried and failed with other weight loss treatments. I’m not aware that the gastric band surgery is in decline because of the success of Gastric Band hypnotherapy courses.  

Gastric Band hypnotherapy: Does one story of success mean it’s good for everyone?

When you desperately want something, you are vulnerable to believe anything that might confirm your ambitions. You can over-generalise one incident and take it as a fact that it will apply to everybody, in every situation. So when you see an article with a celebrity who has lost weight with Gastric Band hypnotherapy, it’s easy to believe that “if it worked for’ll work for me”. Unfortunately, one incident of success can disguise some major issues that either wasn’t reported or just didn’t come to light in that treatment. So you go into it with an inflated expectation only to be disappointed when the hidden issue blocks the success of your treatment. In my hypnotherapy practice, you would think that when a patient makes a rapid change, the “word-of-mouth” success story referrals would be great for business. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. It can be quite harmful to business. Those referred patients arrive with that same inflated expectation and want to benefit in exactly the same way that the original patient did. Every patient is different. When those patients haven’t had their miracle cure, they leave with a feeling of disappointment. Expectation is important in therapeutic change, but inflated expectation can create unrealistic demands and disappointment.  

Gastric Band hypnotherapy: Regardless of what you visualise, are you just having fewer calories?

When a newspaper article headlines that hypnosis was the cause of an 8 stone weight loss, you are likely to believe that it was the Gastric Band hypnotherapy suggestions that caused the change. It’s as if a magic wand was waved and from that point forward, the patient lives the life of a gastric band surgery patient. In a Daily Mail article published on 30th August 2011, the patient followed the same extreme diet as that given to a gastric band surgery patient. They started on an all-liquid diet and then proceeded through to pureed foods and then on to solids. The article failed to mention the number of calories being consumed during this period of the programme. What is common understanding with weight loss is that if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight.  

Gastric Band hypnotherapy: It’s more than just visualising that you have had the surgery in hypnosis.

Gastric Band Hypnotherapy it's more than visualising surgery
Gastric Band hypnotherapy: it's more than visualising surgery
In the same newspaper article, the Gastric Band hypnotherapy patient had ten sessions of hypnotherapy altogether. The programme was aimed at three consultations. She had seven continuation consultations that supported or motivated her to keep on the programme. There must have been a number of other issues surrounding the patient’s weight loss that aren’t mentioned in the article. So you can assess that it was not all down to gastric band suggestions alone. It’s likely that she will have paid between £700 and £900 for the total cost of her treatment. Losing eight stone over this period is certainly an achievement and the therapist in question deserves credit for having treated those other issues. Those other issues aren’t emphasised in the article. With weight loss programmes, if independent lifestyle changes haven’t been internalised over this period, a patient can easily slip back into old habits.  

Gastric Band hypnotherapy: Is it necessary to visualise anything different from a traditional weight loss hypnotherapy course.

When you read weight loss hypnotherapy scripts, they commonly use suggestions that help you visualise that “your stomach feels smaller and tighter and you feel fuller and satisfied on less food”. This is a common direct suggestion building block that focuses the patient towards their goal. Helping to alter what they are eating and how they are eating it is also part of the treatment. Imagining that your stomach has shrunk in size can be a beneficial visualisation that creates the same effect – thereby feeling fuller and satisfied on less food. If the patient can imagine this, it will have the same effect as a Gastric Band hypnotherapy treatment. Going through the process of imagining gastric surgery is just not needed.  

Gastric Band hypnotherapy: A good reason to be cynical about its effectiveness.

When you keep hearing that “in order to lose weight, eat fewer calories than you burn”, there must be something authoritative in that information. There are many ways that you can achieve that goal. Gastric Band hypnotherapy attempts to treat weight loss in a specified number of sessions. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it can treat your weight loss successfully in that number of sessions. The psychology and behaviour of weight loss has a number of issues that can affect whether you ultimately eat or drink fewer calories. A personalised approach (rather than an unconfirmed “one treatment fits all”) takes into account your personal weight loss issues. It has the best opportunity to guide you further into achieving your goal.  

For further information on choosing personalised weight loss programmes instead of Gastric Band Hypnotherapy in Cardiff, contact Hypnotherapy Cardiff


Weight loss tips 2

More Weight Loss Tips

If you have read my first article on weight loss tips, the majority of the weight loss tips focus on eating patterns, habits and rituals. How you approach your food will influence what you eat. From my weight loss hypnotherapy courses, the majority of my hypnotherapy patients know what they need to eat to lose weight. They struggle to lose weight because they are using a dysfunctional belief system, clouded by stress, anxiety and bad habits. They end up eating too much or lose control of their eating intentions. Changing your approach and belief system to anything can take time. When you allow these weight loss tips to fall into place, you will be able to make clearer choices about the food you want to eat and then stick to your intentions. These weight loss tips focus on making lifestyle changes that become a natural way of healthy eating.  

Weight Loss Tips #1: Relax before you eat

weight loss tips Relax before you eat Weight loss tips: Relax before you eat
Your awareness of “fullness” can be affected by your emotions and a feeling of tension. A negative emotion like anxiety can cause you to lose your appetite and (at the other end of the scale) comfort eat. Positive emotions can also affect your gastric awareness. By relaxing before you eat, you can stabilise some of these emotional connections. Relaxation can simply be in the form of using three slow, deep diaphragmatic breaths when you have sat down and are about to eat. Diaphragmatic breathing involves the use of the abdomen when you inhale. Then pause before extending your exhale as is giving off a slow, deep sigh. This form of relaxation places your mind in the “here and now” i.e. how you want to approach your food. It also helps you to naturally incorporate some of the other weight loss tips. Relaxation training is an essential part of a typical hypnotherapy course. It is a fundamental technique for centring your mind. When relaxed, you can be internally more aware of signals like a feeling of fullness.  

Weight loss tips #2: Eat consciously

Eating consciously is about devoting some attention to the eating process rather than focusing on what is happening around you. It includes what you are eating, how quickly you are eating, having a sip of water at regular intervals etc. It’s too easy to get drawn in to the emotions of the environment and lose the awareness of your eating style. Try eating finger-food with a blindfold on. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that you eat less food, eat slowly, chew more and notice a feeling of fullness much earlier. Like so many routine and repetitive activities, like driving the car to and from work, your “mode” of eating is influenced by your emotional state. When feeling anxious, there is the tendency to increase your pace. Have you noticed the way some people unconsciously eat popcorn when they are watching a thriller or horror film at the cinema? They take bigger mouthfuls and chew quickly, often unaware of the quantity they are consuming until the box is finished. Stress influences “daydreaming”, a natural occurrence where your mind is dealing with problems internally. It can cause you to lose concentration when you are doing something that is low intensity like eating. When stressed, you are more likely to eat unconsciously as if distracted, unaware of the quantity, pace and internal fullness signals. Using weight loss tips #1 (relax before you eat) will help you to eat more consciously. Sometimes the stress can be deep-rooted and hypnotherapy can be used to manage and release your stress. Even when “actual” situations can’t be changed, how you are coping with them can ease some of the symptoms, and that includes comfort eating.  

Weight loss tips #3: Stop eating when you are full

weight loss tips stop eating when you are full Weight Loss Tips: Stop eating when you are full
Feeling full is not a visual response i.e. it is not about seeing that you have finished everything on your plate.  But this is the common marker used for when you have “finished” your meal. Understandably, this is a deep cultural issue to “only leave the table when you have finished your food”. It’s likely that you will have been told this as a child and you will have guided your own children gently towards this aim. You don’t want to waste food if possible and you don’t want your children to “give up” on broccoli too easily when they know dessert is next and tastes much sweeter! Prioritise losing weight over the guilt of leaving a small amount of food. It won’t make you a wasteful person. Social pressure can also “force” you to keep going until you have finished everything on your plate. This is to avoid offending the host who has gone to so much trouble to prepare the food. You eat everything on your plate and then find it difficult to refuse an offer of a second helping in case it offends. You can see that there are situations that put pressure on you to override your internal “fullness” response. Another harmful situation is going to an “All you can eat for £...” meal. Unless you have disciplined yourself to feel your internal responses, you will keep going until just short of bursting point. Not good for the diet or the digestive system. Weight loss hypnotherapy courses aim to identify your vulnerabilities and then help you develop the confidence to deal with these situations more assertively. Some excessive eating issues are very individual.  

Weight loss tips #4: Eat a variety of food

Weight loss tips eat a variety of food Weight loss tips: Eat a variety of food
As you move through these weight loss tips, you are becoming more psychologically prepared toapproach your food with choice. Begin a plan of eating different food types. Try not to eat the same type of food too frequently. This can ensure optimum nutrition from a variety of food sources e.g. different types of meat: chicken, red meat and fish and another day go vegetarian. Aim to eat a variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables. Vary the carbohydrate sources: potatoes, pasta, rice, couscous etc. Also vary the ways the food can be cooked: boiled, roasted, steamed, baked etc. Food phobias can limit the ability to eat a varied diet. In my weight loss hypnotherapy courses, part of a hypnotherapy patient’s goal can be to remove food phobias. Being sensitive to certain strong tastes and textures can be treated easily with hypnotherapy, so that you can learn to eat more healthily.  

Weight loss tips #5: Have the occasional “treat”

Give yourself some freedom with what you eat. When you are too strict with your eating plans, a small lapse can lead to a collapse! By allowing some freedom, you prevent an over-reaction in the form of a binge. When you are making gradual changes, the odd calorie-laden food won’t seem like a disaster. If you want to have a piece of chocolate, have it! In my weight loss hypnotherapy course, I help my weight loss patient set realistic goals that will become part of your lifestyle. Being relaxed about your food choices neutralises the “power” that food may have previously had on you. You can control food, rather than food controlling you.   After following this second series of weight loss tips, you will be able to approach what you eat with confidence. There will be very few occasions where your emotions throw you off track. If you are still finding that you are vulnerable in any situations, a short weight loss hypnotherapy course will further break any over-eating responses that still remain. More information on how to diet and lose weight.  

For further information on weight loss tips in Cardiff, eating habits and emotional eating, contact Hypnotherapy Cardiff


Weight Loss Tips 1

Weight Loss Tips 1

There are numerous articles written on the topic of weight loss tips. It can be useful to refresh your knowledge, particularly when you slip back into old habits. My article on weight loss tips shares a wealth of experience dealing with weight loss hypnotherapy patients. These weight loss tips consider some of the emotional issues and eating habits that can knock you off your desired weight loss path.

Weight loss tips #1: Make time to eat

Weight loss tips make time to eat Weight Loss tips #1: Make time to eat to prevent skipping meals
Making time to eat is about making your eating plan a priority in your life. It’s about you valuing YOU, your weight and your health. Without this, your other priorities will eat you up! At the start of this process, it will seem like eating is at the forefront of your mind. But that is only natural when you want to make a change. Aim to do this in a series of small steps. As you gain momentum through this series of weight loss tips, it will then feel natural and happen more unconsciously. In the absence of making time to eat, you are likely to skip meals. This is an absolute no-no! Low blood-glucose levels and fainting or bingeing are your mind and body’s attempts to compensate when there is no food. When I treat a new weight loss hypnotherapy patient and offer them weight loss tips, I find that they have usually failed because they have tried to give food less importance in their life. I use hypnotherapy to help them explore their strategies, beliefs and values related to food and the rituals that surround eating. I help them embrace the new habits that will create healthy eating lifestyle changes.  

Weight loss tips #2: Eat regularly

Eat meals regularly. Ensure that you have some food at least every four hours. This prevents you from feeling too hungry and then compensating by overeating. When you get too hungry, there is the temptation to binge on food. This is when you eat in excess without the usual satisfaction or fullness responses limiting the quantity. Some people live by the belief to “eat when you are hungry.” This can ignore the way that emotions can affect your awareness of hunger. Many people suffering with anxiety or depression are vulnerable to rapid unhealthy weight loss (or weight gain) because stress hormones interfere with the functioning of the digestive system. Your mind’s perception of hunger and “feeling full” can become distorted. When I treat a new weight loss hypnotherapy patient and offer them weight loss tips, I find that the majority of my patients seek my help because they have lost control of that "full" awareness. Suggestions are used in the hypnotherapy induction to create a clear path of communication between your mind and your digestive system, putting you back into control. By eating regularly, you are helping yourself to reduce those binge episodes.  

Weight Loss Tips #3: Eat food slowly

Weight loss tips eat food slowly Weight loss tips #3: Eat food slowly to appreciate a feeling of fullness
Eating food on the “go” or eating in a hurry can cause you to overeat. When eating slowly, a swelling stomach gives “gastric feedback” to your brain telling you that you are now full. But when you eat quickly, this signal has not yet been communicated and more food is still on route. This situation is made worse when you are eating “buffet style”.  You can lose the awareness of your portion size because you re-fill a partially full plate and continue eating. When you make time to eat, you can chew your food slowly and more frequently per mouthful, reducing the chance of indigestion. You can appreciate your feeling of fullness and are more likely to enjoy the taste of the food.  When you eat food slowly, you will eat less food because you will feel fuller earlier. When I treat a new weight loss hypnotherapy patient and offer them weight loss tips, I help the patient visualise turning down their “meal pace-setter”. Ultimately, this is about being relaxed enough so that you can take your time to eat. Use breathing techniques to help you relax. Any deeper past issues that resist these changes are identified and re-framed (using hypnotherapy regression techniques) so that slowing down at meal times can feel like a natural choice.  

Weight loss tips #4: Keep hydrated

Drink fluids regularly is important on most expert's list of weight loss tips. During meal times, ensure that you have a glass of water. It will slow down the pace of the meal and help to fill you with zero calories. If you prefer something with more taste, chose something that is low calorie. Reduce your intake of any drinks that can be harmful if drunk in excess e.g. reduce tea and coffee to reduce your intake of caffeine. But still enjoy these drinks in moderation. If you severely deprive yourself of something, you can build up a binge response. In between meals, keep the fluids up. Quite often the temptation to eat more food following a meal is an indication that you are still thirsty.  This can be in the form of having plain water or low calorie drinks. If you have a small healthy snack, have a low calorie drink with it. Keep a glass of water with you if your work situation allows it. Reaching for a drink can give your mind a welcomed mini break. Use water or a low calorie drink during those vulnerable times when you are likely to snack but don’t need to have it e.g. when relaxing in the evening. You may have an eating association with a certain time of day, an activity or an emotion. In my hypnotherapy consultations, many patients associate (confuse) hunger with boredom. So when you are trying to fill your time at home, eating food becomes “an activity” rather than something you are doing because you are genuinely hungry. Ensuring that a drink is available can help break this association.  

Weight loss tips #5: Clear out the junk food (to begin with)

When you want to change your eating habits, keeping those unhealthy snacks available in the cupboard will play on your mind and reinforce the strength of that habit. In the way those habits have been learned, they can be re-learned simply by eating something healthy. If you justify keeping those snacks available, it signals that you’re using food as a comfort or a reward. I’ve heard many hypnotherapy patients justifying keeping unhealthy snacks available in case guests arrive, so that they have something to offer them. The problem is that the majority of the snacks don’t get eaten by the guests, so you buy more unhealthy snacks just in case. Justifying keeping it for the children or the partner only encourages them to eat unhealthily too. It’s those food associations or habitual eating patterns that remove the feeling of “choice”. When you slowly change the eating response, your mind gradually accepts that food can be something that you just “eat.” It may take a few weeks to re-learn this food dissociation in this way, but when your mind has accepted this change, eating the occasional snack will seem like a “free” choice once again. That’s the time to re-introduce a small amount of those unhealthy snacks into the cupboard so that you don’t feel deprived and it prevents you bingeing. As far as weight loss tips are concerned, this often surprises most patients to structure their weight loss plan in this way. By starting your weight loss programme slowly, these and other weight loss tips will change some of your rituals that pre-dispose you to eat more and to feel out of control when stressed. A weight loss hypnotherapy course will help personalise your treatment to your specific issues. You all relate to food in different ways. More information on how to diet and lose weight.  

For further information on weight loss tips in Cardiff, eating habits and emotional eating, contact Hypnotherapy Cardiff