In most cases of weight loss, there’s a really simple piece of advice that, if followed, will help a person lose weight. It basically comes down to ‘calories in vs. calories out’. If you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning, then you’re going to gain weight, if you’re consuming less, then you’re going to lose weight. The problem is, there are often many different factors at play that can stop people from burning more calories than they eat. There’s emotional eating, comfort food, social expectation, habitual behaviour, boredom eating, to name just a few…
Often, people will try to lose weight using diets alone, but after a few days or weeks, they find that it becomes tricky to stick to the program. This can often come down to the fact that many diets are highly restrictive (and people feel like they’re missing out), or there may be underlying emotional/lifestyle issues around eating that keep people yo-yo-ing back and forth between dieting and over-eating. The problem with a great majority of diets is that they’re not sustainable. Lots of diets promote extended periods of time eating at a ‘calorie deficit’ (eating less than your daily recommended calories). This is not sustainable, because by eating just 600 calories a day (for example) instead of the recommended 2,000-2,500, your body is going to start feeling pretty drained pretty quickly. As well as that, some diets promote eating a specific type of food or foods and are very limiting in what you can/can’t eat. Firstly, this can cause resistance (not being allowed something you want), but also it can cause nutritional deficiencies by not being allowed things that you need!
As well as dieting, many people attempt to lose weight by adopting a new exercise regime, working out at the gym or in the park to burn off their excess calories. Now, exercise is a great weight loss tool, there’s no denying that. However, sometimes people that start exercising to lose weight can end up overindulging in food to ‘reward’ themselves for exercising (which kinda defies the point), or they think that because they’ve expended more energy than normal, they need to eat more calories to fuel their recovery. Unfortunately the old adage is true and you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. So, this lack of balance between exercise and calories consumed can often result in people exercising for hours on end, only to eat more calories than normal, which makes all of that exercise pretty much pointless! Obviously this leads to poor progress, and when people get tired of making little-to-no progress, they tend to just quit.
If you (or your hypnotherapy clients) can find a way to more easily control calories in vs. calories out, and in a way that is sustainable in the long-term, then successful weight loss is much more likely. In fact, it’s almost inevitable! This blog is going to outline exactly how you can do this, by using hypnotherapy techniques alongside something called ‘intermittent fasting’.
Intermittent fasting is not a ‘diet’ (as it doesn’t involve changing the types of food you eat), however it is often lumped in with ‘dieting’ because it is a great weight loss tool. The basic concept is to limit the amount of time each day that you allow yourself to eat, often aiming for a period of around 16+ hours where you eat nothing at all. By spending a longer time in this ‘fasted state’, the body has an opportunity to actually use the fuel (food) that you’ve put in it, rather than storing it as fat. Also, because fasting promotes eating less often, a byproduct of that tends to be eating less in general.
As an example, rather than having breakfast at 7am, lunch at 12 noon and an evening meal at 7pm, which would give you a ‘fasting time’ of just 12 hours (assuming you didn’t snack after your evening meal), instead you could skip breakfast and just have lunch and your evening meal. As you’ll probably have noticed there, by fasting, 1/3rd of the days calories are automatically cut out by removing breakfast (which is pretty handy). Also, by simply skipping breakfast, the fasted state is extended to the point where the body will actually start to benefit from the positive effects of intermittent fasting, and will start burning more fat. The effects of fasting only start to happen after around 16 hours, which is why this is the most common amount of time it’s recommended that you fast for. Although 16 hours might sound like a lot, you have to remember that a lot of that time will be spent sleeping! So, if you sleep for 8 hours, it’s actually more like just 8 hours fasting, which is much more manageable.
Now, you might think, ‘what happens about all of the potential emotional-eating issues that can stop people from dieting? Won’t that stop people from fasting too?’ and yes, they could. However, this is where the hypnotherapy part comes in…
The great thing about hypnotherapy as a weight loss tool, is that it is a truly complementary therapy. Basically, this means hypnotherapy compliments other weight loss approaches really well. By using intermittent fasting, someone looking to lose weight is able to change their eating patterns and eat less calories, yet they can still eat enough calories and get good enough nutrition for it to be a long-term sustainable solution (physically). By adding hypnotherapy to the mix, they are then able to address other issues that might ordinarily sabotage the weight loss process, ensuring that they can also psychologically and emotionally commit to the process for a long period of time. When something is both physically and psychologically sustainable, there is much a higher chance that people will be able to stick to it.
Hypnotherapy can assist weight loss clients and people using intermittent fasting in many different ways. A hypnotherapy session can help people work on changing their unhelpful or unhealthy beliefs and thoughts. Things like feeling a need to buy more food just because it’s on offer. Not wanting to waste food because ‘there are children starving in other countries’. Feeling like you deserve a food-based treat for completing some unrelated task. Eating because someone else expects you to, and perhaps most commonly, eating out of boredom.
As well as dealing with beliefs, hypnotherapy can also create (or enforce) changes in behaviour. So, aside from enforcing the fasting process generally (which is useful), a hypnotherapy session might also include work on eating more mindfully. Meal planning can be useful to set up in hypnosis too, as can removing ‘trigger foods’. Simple supportive behaviours like drinking more water and getting more sleep can be seeded during the hypnotherapy session too, in order to help individuals get the most out of the intermittent fasting process.
Finally, hypnotherapy can give a weight loss client the resources needed in order to help them deal with the weight loss process. Setting realistic and achievable goals is an integral part of losing weight for many people, this is likely to be done out of hypnosis, but reinforced whilst hypnotised. A hypnotherapy session can also help someone work through any resistance to change, negative ‘self-talk’ and learn how to deal with ‘ups and downs’ that they might experience whilst working to lose weight. As well as that, ego boosting techniques can help people to feel more able to stick with the intermittent fasting process and willpower-boosting techniques and suggestions can be given to help with that too.
There are many different tools that can be used by a hypnotherapist to help people lose weight. Coupling hypnotherapy with intermittent fasting is certainly a different combination of approaches, however it is a highly effective pairing. This blog has just scratched the surface of how the ‘Hypno-Fasting’ process works. However, there’s a really simple way to learn, in a lot more detail, about how you can use this process yourself (or with your hypnotherapy clients)…
This highly effective weight-loss combination of hypnotherapy techniques and intermittent fasting is laid out in full detail in my best selling book, Hypno-Fasting.
As well as learning more about why ‘conventional diets’ don’t always work, this book also covers the science behind fasting and all about the positive benefits that fasting can give you (it’s more than just weight loss)! It explains exactly how to fast, and actually includes 3 different fasting programs, that can fit any type of lifestyle. There’s also a huge section about ‘programming your mind for success’, which goes into full detail about all of the hypnotherapy applications that I mentioned above, and how to do them. There’s even a free hypnotherapy MP3 download that you can either use yourself or use as a template in order to create your own Hypno-Fasting hypnotherapy sessions for your clients. Finishing with masses of information on how to eat healthier and how to exercise, this book gives you all the tools you need in order to get the most out of intermittent fasting, and has helped a great many people lose weight and keep it off, whilst still eating the food they love.
Hypno-Fasting is now available on Amazon in paperback and kindle versions:
We hope that this blog on the topic of hypnotherapy and intermittent fasting has been helpful to you. If you have any more questions about this topic or anything else for that matter, do please get in touch, because we’re always happy to help!
– written by Rory Z Fulcher