It is estimated that around 1 in 4 adults in the UK are obese. Obesity is generally defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 and above. It is important to seek medical advice if you are obese and struggling to lose weight as it may be an indication of an underlying medical problem. There are significant health problems associated with being obese, including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, depression and cancer.
There can be many reasons why people become obese. The pressures of everyday life can take its toll. Hypnosis comes from the Greek god of sleep hypnos. Hypnosis involves entering a trance like state of narrowed focus and increased suggestibility. To gain the maximum benefit from hypnosis it is best to see a qualified hypnotherapist, however you can hypnotise yourself to help you get to the weight you want. Edinburgh Clinical Hypnotherapist Stephen McMurray gives ten steps you can take.
- Calculate your BMI
BMI is a measure which uses your height and weight to calculate if your weight is healthy. It is a general guideline and may not be appropriate for certain groups, such as the elderly. The BMI range is:
Underweight – Below 18.5.
Healthy – Between 18.5 and 24.9.
Overweight – Between 25 and 29.9.
Obese – 30 and above.
The BMI calculation is weight in kg divided by height in cm squared, times by 10,000. Alternatively, you can find BMI calculators on the web.
- Write down the reasons you want to lose weight
To focus your mind on getting to the weight you want, it is important to write down your reasons for losing weight. Is it simply for health reasons or are there other reasons? Are there any costs of losing weight? When you have written your reasons, pin the up somewhere you can see them, such as the kitchen wall.
- Commit to a healthy lifestyle
In order to get to the right weight, it is important that you commit to a healthy lifestyle. This includes not skipping breakfast, not eating late at night, reducing your intake of salt, sugar and saturated fats, moderating the amount of alcohol consumed, drinking plenty of water, eat fruit and vegetables, and exercise regularly.
- Undertake a body scan
Make sure you have at least twenty minutes where you will not be disturbed. Lie down on your bed. Close your eyes. Starting at the top of your head, tense up the muscles, then make them go relaxed. Continue with this routine going down your body. Tense up the muscles and then relax them. Go through the rest of your head, down to your neck, shoulders, arms, back, stomach, legs, feet and toes. Make those muscles limp.
- Deep breathing
Breathing is an essential part of relaxation. When you have finished undertaking your body scan and your body is nice and relaxed, you are ready to undertake some deep breathing. Breathe in slowly through your nose from the diaphragm and slowly exhale through the mouth. Repeat several times.
After your body and mind are relaxed it is useful to visualise a relaxing place as focusing on an image can increase feelings of drowsiness. So, think about the most relaxing place you can think of, maybe a favourite park or beach. Get the picture very clear and any sounds and smells you can imagine.
One method to deepen your state of relaxation in preparation is to count down from ten. In addition to counting down, you may wish to add a mantra to each number you count down. Mantras help focus the mind on what you want to channel. For example, ten restful, nine relaxed, eight sleepy, seven peaceful, six calm, five drowsy, four still, three tranquil, two tired, one sleep. Say your mantra on when you exhale and focus on the meaning of your mantras.
- Suggest healthy eating
When you are deeply relaxed you can make positive suggestions to your subconscious mind. Such as; I will eat breakfast…I will drink more water…I will eat more fruit and vegetables…I will eat slowly and focus on my food. You can make your own suggestions as well. Visualise yourself carrying out the suggestions.
- Suggest exercise
After making positive suggestions regarding healthy eating, you can then make positive suggestions about exercising more. If you have a health condition, it is a good idea to get medical advice about this. Positive suggestions could include; I will have a walk every day…I will go swimming every week…I will take the stairs at work every day…I will go the gym every week. Visualise yourself carrying out the suggestions.
When you have finished making these suggestions, you can exit your hypnotic state. Simply count out aloud from one to ten. When you reach ten, open your eyes and allow a minute to become fully awake again.
- Self-hypnosis recording
Making your own weight loss self-hypnosis recording can help you get into a regular routine to help you get to the weight you want, especially if you are having any difficulty remembering any of the above steps. You can choose your own relaxing music for your recording, your own images, suggestions and mantras.