How to THINK yourself slim: Harley Street hypnotherapist reveals her step-by-step guide to beating cravings
- Neesha Sonii, a London hypnotherapist, gives tips to stop emotional eating
- Explains habit is often associated with underlying memories from childhood
- Provides her step-by-step guide to beat cravings and move forward with diet
Diets and exercise are important factors when it comes to losing weight, but one expert has revealed the important part the mind plays in shedding the pounds.
Neesha Sonii, a Harley Street clinical hypnotherapist, believes the key to slimming down is using simple mental techniques to overcome ’emotional eating’, which sees people turn to food when seeking comfort or reassurance.
But eating in such a way can lead to cravings for specific types of food, particularly those high in sugar or fat, and when left unchecked, it can have serious consequences on your health.
Diets and exercise are important factors when it comes to losing weight, but one expert has revealed the important part the mind plays in shedding the pounds. Stock image
‘Emotional eating, like many other unwanted behaviours – be it insomnia, anxiety, phobias, low confidence – is rooted in our early years before hit age seven. Most people do not realise this,’ Neesha said.
‘Think back to when you were four or five years old – what food or treats did you enjoy eating when you got home from school? Was it something a family member had prepared?
‘Some cookies, or crisps, or ice cream in the summer? Think back to how you might have felt when you got home and found this awaiting you. Warm? Happy? Comforted?’
These experiences, Neesha explains, are stored in our brains in a ‘memory folder’.
This includes everything we might have experienced from when we were in the womb to around age seven. This is called ‘learned behaviour’, and these pesky memories come back to haunt us as adult when we are faced with unwanted or complicated situations.
Neesha Sonii, a Harley Street clinical hypnotherapist, pictured, believes the key to slimming down is using simple mental techniques to overcome ’emotional eating’
For instance, when we turn to food because we are stressed or unhappy, we are acting on a learned behaviour to look for the thing – in this instance, food – that comforted us as a child.
However, luckily our brains can be ‘re-wired’ in order to ‘unlearn’ these behaviours.
Hypnotherapy is believed to be effective at treating cravings because it identifies the cause by accessing the subconscious mind through specific relaxation techniques.
But you don’t necessarily need to go and see a therapist. Neesha suggests that the next time you want to reach for that chocolate bar, you follow these steps instead:
How to use self-hypnosis to beat cravings
1. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out. Go to your special place where you feel really comfortable and relaxed.
2. Visualise how you do not want to look – all the negative elements, really go into the details, like what you are wearing, your emotions, your energy etc.
3. Take a moment, and then imagine exactly how you do want to look – visualise the positive version of you, eating the food you want to, wearing the clothes you want to, feeling the positive emotions you want to feel about yourself.
4. Take a moment to enjoy this image of yourself.
5. Knock out that negative image and replace it with the positive one.
6. Take a deep breath, step into that positive image and become the new you.
Six tips for supporting weight loss
1. Keep a a journal of what you eat – this helps with mindful and more conscious eating.
2. Sometimes brushing your teeth after lunch helps to reduce the afternoon sweet craving.
3. Drink lots of water – three litres if you can – as often the hunger is actually thirst.
4. Get a decent night’s sleep. Tiredness and fatigue only serves to fuel sugar and carb cravings; it is a vicious cycle.
5. Chew your food at least 20 to 25 times before swallowing.
6. If you feel yourself craving certain food, follow the steps above for self-hypnosis to beat cravings.
Find more information and access Neesha’s free self-hypnosis audio guide here.
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