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Best Sleep Hypnosis Techniques for Effective Weight Loss

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People often question, “Does it work” when I explain that I earn a large portion of my income as a psychotherapist hypnotizing obese clients. When I answer, their eyes usually light up with something between excitement and surprise.

Most people need to know that incorporating trance into your weight loss attempts might help you lose more weight and keep it off longer. Even my coworkers at Harvard Medical School, where I teach sleep hypnosis.

Sleep Hypnosis has been around for a few hundred years longer than counting carbs and calories. But it has yet to be fully accepted as an effective way to lose weight.

Until recently, there wasn’t much scientific evidence to back up the claims of respected hypnotherapists. The fact that stage hypnotists make many unrealistic claims hasn’t helped.

Even after a convincing reanalysis of 18 hypnotic studies in the mid-1990s. Self-hypnosis training clients gained twice the weight of those who didn’t. Weight loss is one of the best-kept secrets in hypnotherapy.

It may be difficult to imagine that this mind-over-body strategy may help you gain control over eating once hypnosis has successfully induced you or someone you know to purchase an article of new, smaller clothing.

Seeing is certainly believing.

So go ahead and look. You don’t have to be hypnotized to learn important weight loss lessons that sleep hypnosis offers. Some of the diet-changing ideas I give my clients in group and individual hypnotherapy for weight loss are in the next ten mini-concepts.

To believe is to see.

People usually do what they believe they can do. That’s true even for hypnosis to help you sleep. When people were tricked into thinking they could be hypnotized (for example, when the hypnotist told them they’d see red, he turned on a hidden red bulb), they were more receptive to hypnosis. It is important to expect to be helped. You should expect your plan to help you lose weight to work.

Focus on the good things.

Adverse or unfavorable recommendations, such as “While doughnuts can temporarily make you nauseous, if you want a permanent transformation, you should think positively. The most popular positive hypnotic suggestion was made by a father-son hypnotherapy team, Drs. Herbert Spiegel and David Spiegel: “My body gets hurt when I eat too much. I can’t live without my body. Need to take care of and respect my body. I tell my clients that they should write their positive mantras. One 50-year-old mother who lost more than 50 pounds says daily, “Food I don’t need weighs me down.” I’ll get rid of the things I don’t need.

You will experience what you envision.

Visualizing victory gets you ready to win, just like how athletes prepare for a game. Imagining a day where you eat well helps you see the steps you need to take to get there. Too hard to imagine? Find a picture of yourself when you were at a healthy weight and think about what you were doing differently back then. Imagine bringing back those habits. Or, she could imagine getting advice from an older, wiser version of herself once she’s reached her goal weight.

Make people want to eat.

Hypnotherapists often use the power of symbolic imagery, asking their clients to imagine their desires for certain foods floating away in hot air balloons or on white fluffy clouds. Hypnotists know that if McDonald’s golden arches can get you off your diet, a counter symbol can get you back on it. Let your mind flip through its Rolodex of images until one stands out as a way to eliminate cravings.

It’s better to have two plans than just one.

As well as weight loss and maintaining it off, hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps modify harmful attitudes and habits, are successful. When clients learn both, they lose twice as much weight and don’t fall into the dieter’s trap of losing some weight and putting it back on. The CBT method has already been tried by anyone who has kept a food diary. Before they learn hypnosis, my clients write down everything they say for a week or two. Good hypnotherapists know that raising awareness is a key first step toward long-term change.

Adjust

The late Milton Erickson, MD, a pioneer in hypnosis, stressed the importance of using existing patterns. To change a client’s pattern of losing weight and gaining it back, then losing it again, Erickson suggested she gain weight before she lost it. This is hard to sell these days unless you’re Charlize Theron. Easier to swallow: Change what you crave that has the most calories. How about a cup of frozen yogurt instead of a pint of ice cream?

The strongest will survive, whether you like it or not.

No idea is strong enough to beat the instinct to stay alive. Even though we like to think it’s survival of the fittest, our bodies are still set up so that the fattest will win in a famine. For example, I had a client on a starvation diet who wanted me to help her stop eating gummy bears. I tried to explain that her body thought the chewy candies were essential to her life and wouldn’t let her stop eating them until she got enough calories from healthier foods. She insisted that she didn’t need anything more than a suggestion. I wasn’t shocked when she quit school.

Practice helps you get better.

One Pilates class won’t give you rock-hard abs, and one hypnosis activity won’t help you change your eating habits. But silently repeating a positive suggestion for 15 to 20 minutes a day can change the way you eat, especially if you do it, along with slow, natural breaths, which are the foundation of any program for changing behavior.

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