Have the last few months led to lockdown weight gain for you?
A recent poll found that 48% of British people say they have put on weight during lockdown. There may be many reasons. What is it for you?
Perhaps you’re working from home and the laptop is close to the fridge. It’s so easy to reach for a snack when you need a break. And easy to think the constant grazing while you work might even help your concentration. At home, it’s harder to create boundaries between work and leisure.
The lockdown can make some feel lonely and others feel trapped – feelings that can easily lead to emotional eating. Comfort eating often involves eating too many unhealthy food choices. Food can become a companion that’s always available.
People are feeling more anxious, stressed, or depressed, feelings that they might try to suppress with eating. Sometimes there’s a vicious circle, with the weight gain leading to feelings of depression.
Or it could be boredom. The early weeks may have given you plenty to do, but now it’s boring. You’re bored, and you need ‘something’ to give you a lift, a mini-break, a change of scene. It’s easy to fall for food to give that quick fix. The lack of routine that endless days at home may entail doesn’t help. Regular mealtimes may have gone out of the window, leading to unstructured snacking.
Your lifestyle may simply not be active enough for the amount you are eating. In the past, you might have gone to the gym or an exercise class. Have you been able to create your own activity schedule, or are you struggling with it? As well as less physical activity are you making more indulgent food choices? You’ve discovered baking and, of course, you have to sample all those delicious concoctions.
How can hypnotherapy help you to stop snacking?
You are a unique individual and no-one else’s weight issues will be exactly the same as yours. So, any hypnotherapy weight management program needs to start with a comprehensive assessment to see what your issues are, historical and present.
Maybe the current situation has created new problems for you? Or made old ones worse? Once your issues are understood, a tailored plan can be designed especially for you.
Weight management includes looking at what you eat and swapping unhealthy habits and choices for healthy ones. The treatment uses hypnosis to help you make changes to your desires and habits. In a relaxed hypnotic state, you will feel persuaded to make the changes you desire.
The hypnotherapy can help you fire up your motivation to change your weight or shape or to stop snacking. The hypnosis can also strengthen your self-belief so you can gain control of your eating.
The weight management process can also help you to guard against self-sabotage, so you act in your own best interests and not against them. That could mean not giving in to the urge to binge if you have a temporary setback.
The hypnotherapist may also provide extra resources to enhance your success. For example, my weight management treatments include MP3 audio recordings to help embed the changes between sessions, self-hypnosis training, and cognitive exercises to help you learn the new skills to control your weight.
Ways to help yourself lose lockdown weight
- Become aware of your eating habits. This may mean keeping a diary of what you eat and when and noting the thoughts and feelings you experienced.
- Eat mindfully. When you eat, try to focus just on the food. Notice and savour how it tastes, the texture, the smells, the whole experience of eating.
- It’s important to create a vision for your future success. By knowing how you want to look and what you want to achieve. Perhaps it’s that picture of you looking slim a few years back that you can stick up on the fridge to remind you of what you’re aiming for.
- Allow yourself to daydream creatively for 15 minutes. Just before bed or on waking in the morning are good times for this. Just like a brainstorm of ideas, it doesn’t need to be totally realistic so you can quieten for now the little voice inside saying ‘That’ll never work for me’. At this stage, we are just letting our imaginations run free so anything goes.
- Imagine a story, about how you achieved the weight and the shape and the healthy lifestyle that you wanted. You may not know to start with how you got there, but gradually you can start to imagine the actions that you took, seeing them as pictures like stepping stones along the way.
- Whatever the goal, break it down into stages. Small goals are much easier to reach and you can build on your success.
- A little creative imagining can go a long way. Get to know the ‘new you’ in your imagination. Familiarise yourself with your new likes and dislikes, your new daily habits, your new passions.
These are the first steps to making the changes. Perhaps you can anticipate what challenges you will face and in your mind’s eye see yourself finding solutions to overcome them.
Regular imagining of your future success primes your brain for a positive outcome. As time goes on you will see yourself creating so many solutions that your vision will naturally become closer to reality. You will be improving and refining your daydream, and gradually you can act it out in the real world.
Everything starts from a vision and a desire – the rest follows on from that. So one day when you are looking back at lockdown and thinking, ‘What did I achieve?’ perhaps you can enjoy the positive benefits of sowing the seeds of your future. And your lockdown weight gain will be lost in the past.
This article was first published here on Hypnotherapy Directory.