How to eat yourself thin – part 1. Why Diets Don’t Work!

Are you secretly breathing a sigh of relief that our soggy summer has saved you from swimsuit shame? Would you rather endure Rhyl in a raincoat than Benidorm in a bikini? If so you are just one of the many people in the UK who are unhappy with their bodies, and chances are it’s your wobbly thighs rather than your knobbly knees that are causing you consternation!

At lynnwardhypnotherapy I see more clients who want help losing weight than for any other problem. Most of them are experts at losing weight already, they have been doing it successfully for years! Problem is that rather like a Pilot who has mastered the skill of taking off without learning how to fly, they quickly find themselves crashing back down to earth once the diet is over!

The problem with diets is that the whole ethos supporting them is flawed, as it assumes that a temporary restriction in calories will achieve long term success – unfortunately that isn’t so!

More often than not a temporary restriction in calories only results in temporary weight loss. This is because our metabolism slows down in order to preserve those valuable fat reserves it has worked so hard to put down, meaning that the moment we begin to eat a little bit more, the pounds pile back on (generally with a few more added for good measure.)

People forget that our ability to store fuel in the form of body fat is one of the most basic necessities of human survival. Over millions of years our bodies have evolved into highly efficient fat storing machines –  the image of my rear end suddenly springs to mind! In evolutionary terms the caveman or woman who lost the most fat during the lean times became big losers in the survival stakes! You may call it a ‘diet’ but your body calls it ‘famine’ and will immediately spring into action to save every ounce of the precious food you do eat to ensure its survival.

One of the first things it will do to overcome this ‘famine’ is send you in search of food. A gnawing hunger coupled with a mental focus on food that means that even with the TV on full blast, you will still be able to hear that mars bar you have been trying to ignore calling to you, like a siren luring you in.

And your nose will be able to detect the smell of fresh toast wafting enticingly from 3 doors down!

Just in case your willpower helps you resist the all consuming craving for calorie laden foods, the rapid drop in your blood sugar will send your mood crashing and your energy levels
plummeting so that you may feel so tired and miserable you begin to wonder if it is really worth the agony!

And yet so many persevere, against all the odds they stick to their diets, again and again and again…. When these serial dieters come to lynnwardhypnotherapy bemoaning their own efforts and lack of willpower I am amazed. Anybody who has endured years of hunger and self denial is not weak, lazy or greedy. They are simply human beings responding to millions of years of human evolution that prizes survival of the fattest. In fact if there was an Olympic medal for endurance dieting, many would win gold.

Eventually some may reach their magical target weight to a fanfare of trumpets and rapturous applause. They think they have done it, but sadly they are wrong. Even as they reach for that first celebratory Hob Nob, their bodies are already calculating how best to replace all that precious lard that was lost.

Their diet has turned their metabolism down to the point where they can now survive on a few lettuce leaves and a steamed chicken breast for a month. That Hob Nob will be back on their hips before they have time to wipe the crumbs off their lips.

So if diets don’t work, what does? Countless scientific studies will tell you that the only way to achieve the weight and shape you want to be, and maintain it throughout your life, is to develop a healthy relationship with your own body and the food you fuel it with. When you start to listen to and care for your body, you will find that you can naturally control your weight by simply eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are pleasantly satisfied.

In my next blog I will be giving you 10 tips that will enable you to be ‘conscious’ of your body so that you can listen out for the signals it’s sending you and begin to trust it’s natural ability to regulate your weight and keep you slim and healthy! For information about weight loss hypnotherapy check out my website.