If you've piled on the pounds during lockdown, then don't worry - you're not alone. Despite the laudable efforts of TV fitness coach Joe Wicks to keep the nation healthy and active over the last four months, many of us are currently feeling the pinch due to having been housebound for such an unprecedented period. Boredom-induced over-eating, over-drinking and lack of exercise have all been inevitable consequences of the Covid-19 restrictions which have closed gyms and seen sporting activities, holidays and travel put on hold. Fortunately all is not lost. With restrictions now easing, and the UK opening up again, opportunities to exercise are increasing. And even if you are still shielding or isolating, there are still plenty of simple steps you can take to shed the pounds from within the comfort and safety of your own home. Don't let the prospect overwhelm you. Phoenix can help.
Cards on the table. When I first qualified as a hypnotherapist seven years ago, weight loss cases were probably my least favourite and yet, along with smoking cessation, they made up a heavy percentage of my initial client base. The reason I didn't enthuse when it came to weight loss was not due to any doubt in my own ability or the effectiveness of the techniques I was using, but more to the unrealistic expectations of some clients who came to me looking for a miracle cure that would magic their excess pounds away without involving any effort on their part. I even had one lady who requested a refund because she still weighed the same at the end of her first one-hour hypnosis session as she had at the start. She'd harboured expectations that hypnosis would somehow cause her body to miraculously shrink in the space of sixty minutes. This particular client was an extreme example but nevertheless a classic case of the misconceptions harboured by many people who regard hypnosis as a magical cure-all for everything under the sun. The tough truth which I have to get through to clients on day one of treatment is that there is no system or method of weight loss which doesn't involve at least some effort on the part of the client. What hypnosis can do, and does very effectively, is make the process easier, remove much of the pain involved and create new, more positive behaviour patterns. But if you're looking for someone to wave a magic wand and shrink your waistline instantly, you've come to the wrong place. As I pointed out to the lady in the example above, I'm a therapist, not Jesus.
So that's the bad news out the way. The good news though, as many happy Phoenix clients will testify, is that it is possible to remove much of the pain and hardship involved in shedding the pounds. Hypnosis can help to overwrite old behaviour patterns and flawed ways of thinking and can treat any underlying causes of stress which may be contributing to the problem. Over-eating and bad diet, particularly snacking between meals, can often be a coping mechanism for anxiety or low mood. By identifying the source of that stress or depression, and treating the problem behaviour at its root cause, the chances of lasting success are increased considerably. At Phoenix we never remove a client's "crutch" without ensuring that it's no longer needed. Quick fix solutions, such as the classic NLP "Yuk Anchor" which makes a client feel sick at the thought of certain types of food, are unlikely to work in the long-term and could ultimately do more harm than good. You don't want to take away someone's coping mechanism without addressing the underlying issue it was masking.
The key to lasting weight-loss lies in positive, healthy lifestyle changes, such as improved diet and exercise. Any such changes involve some effort on the client's part, but don't let that deter you from trying. Just because it involves effort doesn't mean it isn't easy or enjoyable. You don’t need to starve yourself in order to lose weight either. In fact, using these simple techniques, you can easily cut calories every day... without feeling deprived.
1. Identify your daily eating routine. Many days we eat on a schedule – one we aren’t even aware of! Take an inventory of what you eat and when you eat for 5 days. Use a journal or food diary to keep track.
2. Make subtle changes to start. When you’re making a lifestyle change, it can’t be done quickly or all at once. Accept and be aware that you’ll be making this lifestyle change over an extended period of time. One way is to make subtle changes every week. For example, instead of having three eggs for breakfast, have two. Instead of eating full fat bacon, switch over to turkey bacon.
3. Make a list when shopping for groceries. Believe it or not, when we shop without a list, we’re more prone to just grab things off the shelves that look and sound tasty. However, when we shop with a list, our impulse shopping is drastically reduced.
4. Read food labels. Sometimes we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves by reading food labels while in the store. However, every processed food product has its label available online for easy viewing. Better still, simply go to your pantry and read some labels! You’re looking for calorie content, sodium content, and sugar content specifically. Also ensure you’re aware of what constitutes a serving.
5. Eat more fresh foods. Processed foods, by their nature, are far less healthy and contain many more calories than fresh foods. Sometimes it comes down to a choice: do you want to consume 100 calories of your favourite fresh fruit (about 1 large apple, or 200 grams) or do you want to eat one chocolate chip cookie (78 grams)? You can get twice as much food in a fresh fruit.
6. Find alternatives. Let’s say that you know, even though you want to lose weight, you can’t give up pizza. You can still eat it – just change your pizza choice. Rather than having a deep dish, thick crust meat lovers pizza (loaded with calorie-laden carbs, soaring sodium, and lots of fatty oils), change to a thin crust pizza with just cheese or all veggies.
7. Drop the pop. Carbonated sodas and other high sugar drinks are empty calories. Some people choose diet drinks, but the artificial sweeteners in those drinks can cause health issues (headaches, primarily). Just drink water! If you’re a caffeine addict, you can still drink coffee – just not high calorie lattes, iced coffees, or frappes.
8. Limit alcohol intake. While many of us enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, both are high in calories. You don’t need to abstain altogether. Simply drink less. By making these simple changes every day, you can cut a surprising number of calories. When pairing these activities with a suitable exercise plan, you can easily get your body to a place of health and vitality.
My therapeutic approach to weight loss has developed considerably over the years and is no longer reliant simply on hypnosis and NLP techniques but rather a broader package of holistic measures designed to enable the client to transform their entire life - mind, body and spirit. In our online store you'll find a wide range of products to help you shed the pounds easily and safely from the comfort of your own home. These include self-hypnosis audios, eBooks and our instantly downloadable digital course Lose Weight - Cutting Calories Made Easy which we're currently offering at half price in a post-lockdown special offer. We'll be adding more courses to this series in the weeks and months ahead, including one based on the increasingly popular Keto Diet and another one providing a comprehensive introduction to the ancient Indian detox programme known as Ayurveda. So if you can't find what you're looking for in our store right away, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org as we currently have loads more books and courses in stock just waiting to be uploaded.
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