Article by Sandra Roycroft Davies ~ Published in the Winter 2014 issue of Perception ~ The Cognitive Hypnotherapy Review.
An estimated 25 million people will be starting a diet yet again on January 1 in the vain hope that this time it will be different and they’ll lose weight and keep it off for good. Sadly, all the evidence proves that for the vast majority of people dieting is doomed to fail.
One of the hardest concepts for many people to grasp is that losing weight is really all about what goes on in your head, not in your stomach!
At Thinking Slimmer, we use Trevor Silvester’s Wordweaving to help people have a different relationship with food. The recordings are called Slimpods.
The wonderfully unique things about the Slimpod is that people find they lose interest in unhealthy food and gently find themselves choosing healthy options and moving more. The language also reduces appetite. One lady said “it’s turned the volume down on my appetite”…which is a fabulous way of describing it. We find snacking is a huge problem for so many people – Slimpod dramatically reduces this and in most cases stops it completely. Slimpodders are very happy people!
So before anyone is tempted to do what they’ve always done and start another diet in the New Year, these are a few things you really need to know…
- Our brains can’t resist temptation when we’re hungry
When we deprive ourselves of food – and a weight loss diet is nothing more than temporary starvation – our brains are wired to react by seeking out nice things to eat. Research at Imperial College London shows that people on diets find it harder to exercise self-control and resist tempting food.
By using MRI scans, scientists discovered that part of the brain thought to be involved in “food appeal,” the orbitofrontal cortex, became more active on an empty stomach. The brain was more attracted to food if people had skipped breakfast, so people ate more food at lunch and high-calorific food became even more appealing.
Dr. Tony Goldstone says: “We found ample evidence that fasting made people hungrier and increased the appeal of high calorie foods and the amount people ate. One reason it is so difficult to lose weight is because the appeal of high calorie food goes up.”
- You’re 95% certain to put the weight back on
Our weight yo-yos up and down when we diet because the brain treats diets like famine. As soon as you come off a diet the body goes into overdrive, hoarding fat in readiness for the next time. So diets make you fatter.
The medical journal American Psychologist reported a study which shows that people who start habitually dieting from a young age tend to be significantly heavier after five years than teenagers who never dieted.
Scientists say that although slimmer’s can lose significant amounts of weight in the first few months of a diet, research shows that 95 percent return to their starting weight or end up WEIGHING MORE. This is because when you force yourself to go hungry your brain magnifies food cravings into over-powering obsessions that take over.
Professor Traci Mann, a psychologist at the University of California in Los Angeles, says: “Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people. You can initially lose five to 10 per cent of your weight on any number of diets, but then the weight comes back.”
At Thinking Slimmer, we have many case histories to prove that weight loss can be lasting if the mind is re-tuned. Jo Hallam, from Nottingham, has lost almost four stones and overcome an addiction to sugar that made her drink 160 cans of Coke a month.
She started listening to a Slimpod four years ago – and in that time has not put a single pound back on.