Reprogram Your Weight
eBook - ePub

Reprogram Your Weight

Stop Thinking about Food All the Time, Regain Control of Your Eating, and Lose the Weight Once and for All

Erika Flint

  1. 168 Seiten
  2. English
  3. ePUB (handyfreundlich)
  4. Über iOS und Android verfügbar
eBook - ePub

Reprogram Your Weight

Stop Thinking about Food All the Time, Regain Control of Your Eating, and Lose the Weight Once and for All

Erika Flint

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Über dieses Buch

Hypnosis techniques to get you to a healthy weight once and for all. In Reprogram Your Weight, award-winning hypnotist Erika Flint combines insightful, leading-edge hypnosis techniques with client success stories of weight loss. She understands that many people don't know what to do to lose weight—and often have a hard time consistently following through. Some people feel like there's something deeper going on inside that's keeping them from achieving their weight loss goal. Here, Flint shows how to bring these issues to the surface and combat them in a healthy, mindful manner. Within these pages lies the roadmap to a healthier, happier you!

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The Power of the Mind

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see
- Henry David Thoreau
Mary came to me not just because she wanted to lose weight, but also because she was feeling so out of control that she wasn’t enjoying any part of her life anymore. She was questioning the validity of her existence - the daily grind of going to work at a job where she wasn’t appreciated, where she worked too hard to make other people money, in a relationship with her husband that was good but not great, and had been struggling to lose over 100 pounds for the better part of her adult life, at least 30 years.
Mary was a typical client in that she had tried everything on her own to lose weight that she could think of that seemed reasonable to her. There is certainly no shortage of weight loss plans and programs to be on, and she had tried all of them.
She knew how to lose weight. She’d done it plenty of times before. But she always gained it back. And she was tired of thinking about it so much. She was frustrated about trying to “solve” this problem and spending so much of her time dedicated to this one area of her life that seemed to have been her entire life focus.
Mary is good at her job, and knows how to problem solve. She’s successful in practically every other area of her life, but this one thing, losing the weight, just eluded her. It always had. And she was so frustrated and tired of it that she didn’t know if it was worth even trying anymore.
Mary’s story had similarities to other clients’ stories, but also differences. Each client has unique challenges and strengths they bring with them, and to a large extent hypnosis works by revealing what really needs to happen in order for each individual to be successful. But there are many aspects of how hypnosis works that are universal, because the truth is that hypnosis is just a word we use to describe a natural process - a way the brain can focus and become self-aware, that’s been around since human existence. So it’s not the hypnosis specifically that is helping - it’s what the hypnosis is able to reveal paired with an understanding of how the mind and body can work together to more easily achieve desired outcomes. In this chapter we’ll be looking at how our mind can hold us back from losing weight, and how hypnosis can help shift the mind away from bad habits and negative thought patterns into more positive ones.

Overwhelmed and Out of Control

“I’m always thinking about food and trying to lose weight”, Mary said during her first session. “It works for a while, but then I get tired of it. Something always happens and gets in the way. Then I gain all the weight back, plus another 10 pounds usually. I make stupid mistakes, and I’m lazy. I just don’t feel like working out. It seems like I sabotage myself. I don’t know what else to do.”
This type of thinking is very common for people who struggle to lose weight and keep it off - the negative self-talk, thinking they’re self-sabotaging, or there’s something wrong with them - and who can blame them? In most cases they’ve followed every plan, done everything they “thought” they were supposed to do - and it still didn’t work.
What they don’t realize is that there are aspects of biology and how the mind actually works at play here, and by learning more about how the mind actually works, the things that once were holding them back, can now help them be successful.

Trained to Eat Wrong

We are trained from a young age to treat food in a particular way. When we’re young children we’re often told to “finish all the food on your plate”, or “don’t you want to grow up big and strong”? Many of these well-meaning statements made by adults are actually working against our biology - because if you notice how children eat you’ll see they’d often rather play than eat. They’re more interested in exploring the world around them, playing with their toys and other kids, than eating if they’re not actually hungry.
Then as we get older, we’re taught that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and in many cases we’re not allowed to leave home without eating a “good breakfast”. Lunch is at a specific time every day, so we have to eat then or not at all. This often continues into adulthood where at work we have a certain timeframe to eat lunch, and are still eating breakfast in the morning, whether we’re actually hungry or not.
We’re taught that food is there to help us feel better “eat something and you’ll feel better”. We go out for ice cream when we win the softball game, and go out for pizza when our bunny dies. Without realizing it, our social responses to food are teaching us to emotionally eat.
The problem with all of these elements that are part of our society is that it’s not actually how we as humans are designed. We have something called an appetite. Our appetite is the body’s natural way to tell us when it’s time to eat, or when it’s time to stop eating. And we’re trained out of using our appetite at a very young age by being forced to eat at specific times, or eat specific amounts of food when we’re not hungry.
Compare that to other common bodily functions - like knowing when to go to the bathroom for example. Ask yourself - how do you know when it’s time to go to the bathroom? Do you schedule it? Do you plan it, and think about it all day long? Probably not.
One of the best ways we can get control back when it comes to eating is to give the job of knowing when it’s time to eat and how much back to the body, and away from the thinking process. This is about reverting back to the true power that we’re born with - our bodies’ own wisdom built into an important aspect of our body called our appetite, and start eating when our body tells us it’s time to eat and stop when we’re satisfied or full. It’s called Mindful Eating, and it’s possible to start using our appetite again to help us achieve the weight loss we desire. Even if you don’t think you have an appetite - you may surprise yourself. Many clients have reported some trepidation when it came to using their appetite to help regulate their food intake because they say they don’t actually have an appetite and aren’t sure if they know when they’re satisfied or full. And it may be true - medications and illness are two things that can impact our sense of appetite. But I always ask them to just try it - wait until they’re hungry to eat and see what happens. And in every case, clients are surprised to learn they do in fact have an appetite and it can help regulate their food consumption. Mindful Eating means you use your appetite to eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full, eating healthy food in healthy portions.

The Brain Cares How You Feel

The other element keeping people trapped in weight gain is the brain’s natural tendency to turn away from pain and toward pleasure. There’s plenty of scientific background on how this works, but to simplify it there are two competing parts of our brain that are always working to help keep us safe and happy.
One is the limbic system. It’s an older, more primitive part of our brain. The primary focus of this part of the brain is to keep us safe. It responds to emotions and motivation, is responsible for long-term memory, and it does not like to feel unsettled or unsure because those feelings are unsafe.
However, we all know we live in a world of uncertainty, so the limbic system is often unhappy. When something happens to us that we don’t like - for example, we’re bored, or sad, or upset, this part of the brain feels uncomfortable, and the natural tendency is for this part of the brain to get us to do something pleasurable to feel better.
This is where many people get into trouble, because when feeling bored or stressed, food will often work as a very good distractor to take the edge off. The brain is happy - momentarily, because food provides immediate gratification. The problem is that it’s also short-lived, so in order for you to actually feel better, you’ll have to keep eating. This is how an entire bag of cookies disappears and how we eat more than we want, which in turn can cause us to gain weight.
The other part of the brain at work here is the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is the newer, executive function part of the brain responsible for long-term planning. This is the part of the brain that knows it’s not good to eat an entire bag of cookies and doesn’t want to eat the entire bag either.
So the problem is that with these two competing parts of our brain at play, we often feel conflicted - with part of us wanting to eat the cookies to feel better now, and part of us knowing we’ll regret it later.
And the real challenge comes in because the food actually does make us feel better. In general, the limbic part of the brain is actually soothed by the food. So the truth is that the food works to help us feel better - but it’s only a temporary solution - we feel better only while we’re actually eating. In the long run eating for emotional reasons turns into an unhealthy habit and causes weight gain.
The reason that this is important to understand is that there is a better way. The limbic system doesn’t actually need food - it just wants to feel better, and there are many other things that will make this part of the brain feel better. The problem is that food works so well in the short term that many people rely upon it exclusively - so when the time comes and we’re not feeling good, we only have one response. And that’s to eat something. Then we feel out of control.
The first step in any change process is awareness. And for many of my clients just understanding that this is how the brain works - the reason you reach for food when you feel bored, stressed, sad, and guilty is that there’s a part of your brain that just wants you to feel better - just knowing that process is part of the way the brain naturally responds can help us make a better choice because we realize there’s nothing wrong with us.
For Mary, she realized that if she just took a deep breath, and stepped outside, she could often avoid the knee-jerk response to emotional triggers in her daily life. This gave her an immediate sense of control, even if it was only part of the time at first. But slowly, over time the brain begins to rewire itself. Now, instead of just having a single option to feel better - food, there are multiple options: a walk, tea, call a friend, listen to music. And with those multiple choices comes a very important component of making change: the pause. A moment to pause, reflect, and actually choose the way you respond to a situation so you can get the results you want.

Traditional Methods of Weight Loss Can Actually Cause Us to Eat More

Another element of thinking that holds us back from losing weight is traditional weight loss methods. Traditional methods of weight loss often require that we become fully committed to planning, preparing, and basically thinking about food all day long. But an important principal of the mind is that whatever we focus on grows, and therefore if we are thinking about food all day long because we’re trying to manage it, we will also increase our appetite and very likely eat more.
Controlling our food by planning what we’re going to eat is an important aspect of weight loss. We need to be mindful of what we are eating, but not to the extent required by most weight loss programs. There is a place for keeping a food journal - especially if what you’re doing isn’t working and you believe it should. But it’s not a long-term solution for most people. Most of my clients want to eat healthy and enjoy it, and also enjoy other aspects of their life as well. They actually don’t want to be thinking about food the majority of their day.
And controlling how we eat by managing it can actually go against the body’s natural purpose of an appetite. The body is remarkably well equipped to help us know things about ourselves - like sleep when we’re tired, go to the bathroom when we feel like it, put on a coat when we’re cold, and eat when we’re hungry.
By controlling our food to the extent that we’re not allowing our body to deliver the very important hunger signal, we’re bypassing the body’s own wisdom, and very often over eating, and working too hard using our brain to “guess” at when and how much we should be eating instead of allowing the body to self-regulate that important natural function of the body.

Things Hiding in Plain Sight that Keep Us from Being Successful

An important aspect of the subconscious mind is its ability to formulate beliefs about ourselves, other people, and the world around us. This is in part how we learn about the world around us, and is also part of a protective aspect of the subconscious mind.
As the subconscious mind takes in information from the outside world, things that tend to consistently happen in a particular way begin to form into beliefs. Then these beliefs can become “truths” to us - something we know to be true and don’t question anymore.
In many cases these “truths” can be helpful, for example, learning that something glowing red is likely hot and can burn the skin so don’t touch it is a healthy belief. It’s not always true though, and over time we learn to distinguish the glowing red parts that aren’t hot (like a light) from a glowing red that is hot (stove or hot coals).
But there are other beliefs that we hold about ourselves and the world around us that aren’t even true. These beliefs are called Limiting Beliefs. They are based on misunderstandings and “bad data” from our past. But we’ve b...


  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Introduction
  7. Chapter 1
  8. Chapter 2
  9. Chapter 3
  10. Chapter 4
  11. Chapter 5
  12. Chapter 6
  13. Chapter 7
  14. Chapter 8
  15. Acknowledgements
  16. About the Author
  17. Thank You