Dieting or losing weight is still the number one resolution for January – more popular than quitting smoking or getting organised. but do negative thoughts towards weight loss cause weight gain over Christmas?
Mince pies, mulled wine and an abundance of chocolate selection boxes are being munched in homes across the UK, but those who have the good intentions of losing weight in the new year are surprisingly more likely to overindulge in the calorific temptations on offer over the festive period.
Leading weight loss Hypnotherapist and the Founder of HypnoSlimming, Adam Cox, has investigated the eating patterns of those setting January weight loss goals.
Many will have already decided to put off weight loss and fitness goals until January, giving them the sense that as they prepare to undertake these challenges in the new year, they can make their way through numerous chocolate oranges and several slices of Christmas cake.
However, Adam explains the potential consequences:
“Most people look at weight loss or dieting as something negative, something that represents sacrifice. This is why many people that want or need to lose weight will actually consume more over the festive period. They have communicated to themselves that they are going to diet or from an evolutionary perspective, experience a famine, and are over consuming as a way to prepare.”
While it makes sense for people to prepare for a genuine time of famine, Adam highlights why this belief system leads to a destructive cycle:
“People who are overweight have the perception that eating food is good and dieting is bad. Dieting represents a sacrifice to the foods they love and enjoy. Discipline and sacrifice can only last so long when the overriding belief is that they want to eat these foods but can’t or shouldn’t.”
Adam offers five tips to start January off with the best chance of new year resolution success.
1. Get a head start. If you are planning on dieting in the New Year then the festive season provides the opportunity for a head start. Scientifically speaking weight is gained when people consume more calories than they utilise. Reducing the amount of overeating during the Christmas season will mean you have less work to do in the New Year. Think of it this way, a mince pie is about 200 calories and equivalent to about 20 minutes of exercise. If you had to do a 20 minute jog to eat that mince pie, would you still do it?
2. Out of sight, out of mind. For many people the trigger to eat food is when they see it. Whether it’s chocolates in shiny wrappers, that mince pie on display or the leftover turkey in the fridge. You will be amazed at how much less you eat simply by not being where the food is or by choosing to focus on everything else there is to look at.
3. Procrastinate your eating. As humans we’re incredibly gifted at delaying what needs to be done. While saying no to food can feel like a sacrifice or impolite try using the phrase “not just now, maybe later” when offered that extra portion of trifle or slice of Christmas cake.
4. Catch yourself in trance. If you’ve ever driven a car without actually thinking or watched a movie and wondered where your popcorn disappeared to then you’ve been in trance. This Christmas try catching either yourself or other people in trance. Watch out particularly for people eating or drinking while watching TV. They won’t have any idea about what they are eating, how much they are eating or even what it tastes like. Catching yourself eating in trance is the first step to changing it.
5. Enjoy yourself! For serial dieters the festive time can be a period of guilt or embarrassment. Even if you do notice that you’ve overeaten or overindulged just be aware that you can always chose to do something different in the future and that the past does not equal the future. You can still enjoy your favourite festive treats; just be mindful of the quantities you consume.
For some people, dieting or cutting out their favourite food is just too difficult, which is where the power of hypnosis can help. By giving the unconscious mind commands, people can find themselves naturally avoiding food in a way that requires no conscious effort on their part.
However hypnosis isn’t for everyone, which is why Adam has put together a free two minute suitability test to find out if hypnosis is right for you.
To see how hypnosis could help visit HypnoSlimming,