When I started my weight loss journey, one of the biggest factors interfering with my efforts was sweet food cravings. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here so In this post I will share with you how hypnosis can help to stop craving sweets
Can Hypnosis Help Me Stop Craving Sweets?
A study was conducted by Okabe (1963) on a group of college students. The experiment was aimed at finding out the effectiveness of hypnosis to treat unbalanced dietary habits. In this experiment, two boys and three girls who liked milk were selected and were given hypnotic suggestions to develop a dislike towards milk. Each day they were given a half-an-hour session of hypnosis. By the 3rd-4th session, it became impossible for them to drink milk. A similar approach, using negative suggestions, is used in hypnosis for the management of sweet cravings. This study proves our eating habits can be altered using hypnosis.
Let’s dive in deeper on how hypnosis helps with sweet cravings and the many factors that are involved in causing and maintaining your sweet cravings.
Let’s look at them one by one.
How Hypnosis Can Help with the Sweet Cravings
Your sweet cravings may originate from a bad habit, deeply ingrained negative thoughts, learned behavior, a bad diet, or as an emotional response.
But it doesn’t matter what causes your cravings, hypnosis can help you reframe your behavior and thoughts to reject the cravings.
Let me explain.
We can bring about many behavioral changes while in hypnosis with the help of hypnotherapy.
How can hypnotherapy change a behavior that you’ve had for so many years? Well, it’s not magic, it’s science!
Let me explain further.
Hypnosis is a state of relaxation. But during hypnosis, your brain is hyper-attentive and highly open to suggestions.
When you are in this state of suggestibility, deeply ingrained habits, thoughts, behaviors and negative emotional attachment to sweet foods can be changed.
With hypnosis, old habits and behaviors are replaced with new habits and behaviors; as it’s easier to manipulate the thoughts, habits, and behavior while in the state of hypnosis.
It can go deeper.
A lot of what we do is heavily influenced by our past experiences; much more than we realize. Some of your eating habits might have deeper roots in your past; past that you might not even remember.
Because you have certain negative thoughts, beliefs, and habits buried deep down in your brain, you may fail to execute your healthy lifestyle plan.
You might theoretically know what to do and how to stop your cravings but you may find it very difficult to follow them– because of your habits, thoughts, and emotional responses.
Don’t worry. There’s a solution.
Hypnosis can help you identify these causes that are subconsciously influencing your lifestyle choices. Finding the cause will help you deal with the problem directly rather than seeking comfort in sweet treats for temporary satisfaction.
Hypnotherapy is performed to bring about behavioral changes, by replacing the less healthy habits and behaviors with better, healthier habits and behaviors that prevent your cravings.
So, what does this mean to you?
Causes can be many but whether to react to your cravings or not is your decision in the end.
You can choose to say no, and hypnosis can help you say no.
You can sure indulge in occasional sweet treats. But with the help of hypnosis, you will become mindful of when to eat and how much to eat. You will still be the same person but you will become someone who is aware of their choices, and who makes better decisions consciously and unconsciously.
Now that you know how hypnosis helps with sweet cravings, let’s look at what could be the cause of your sweet cravings.
So read on.
Why Sweet Cravings Happen
Food is amazing! I love food, and I’m pretty sure you do too. But just like with anyone or anything, the relationship between you and your food should always be healthy. If there is an imbalance on either side, it’s going to affect you badly in the long run.
So, I suggest you check your eating habits. However, it might not be that simple. There might be a hidden reason behind your sweet cravings.
Simply say no to sweets and completely change your relationship with food today.
4 Most Common Reasons for Food Cravings:
1. Are Your Daily Routines Creating Bad Habits?
Do you find yourself looking for a sweet candy or dessert after your meals? Or maybe you eat cookies at 3 PM every day. Or maybe you have a habit of rewarding yourself with something sweet after a productive workday.
Now here’s the thing.
When you repeat a behavior every day for a certain period, your brain registers this behavior as something important and turns it into a habit.
So every day when you have your dinner, your brain thinks ”okay now you’re going to look for the brownie because that’s what you do every day”, and it will automatically play the habit-loop that you follow every single day. Then soon, you start doing this behavior without even realizing it. This is how habits are formed. And this can be a painful issue when it comes to controlling our diet and cravings.
2. Your Memories Could Be Triggering Your Sweet Cravings
Now, this is another big one! I’m guilty of comfort eating. A lot of us are. Again, the brain plays a big role here.
While there are some biological reasons behind how things like sad mood trigger sweet cravings– like the activation of the reward-system by sugar– recent studies have shown that psychological causes are much more involved in it.
Let me explain.
Our subconscious often links food with our memories. Sweet foods are mostly associated with the happy moments of our lives. Your birthday cake, your grandma’s pie, or some other traditional diet that was rich in carbs and sugar– these all are mostly linked with the happy events of your life. We all celebrate happy events of our lives with something sweet.
Therefore, when we seek happiness, we crave for something sweet– subconsciously to re-experience the same event.
But that’s not it.
A scent of something that reminds us of a particular memory, watching some pictures of a particular food or memory, and even when we think vividly about a particular food– our brain triggers cravings (Tuft University 2014).
3. How Your Sleep Deprivation Increases Your Desire for Sweets:
A study conducted by Berkley University (2013) shows people who get less sleep are more likely to have sugar cravings.
According to this study, the lack of sleep results in suppression of the area of the brain linked with judgment and decision making. At the same time, those areas of the brain that controls desire are activated more. Also, it was noted that you crave for sweets when you are sleep deprived.
The combination of these two things: suppressed judgment and increased cravings for sweet results in– yes you are right–poor choices, and you end up eating a lot of junk.
So sleep well, my dear. It’s helping you stay slim!
Stay with me. There’s more.
4. Is Your Stress-level Causing Your Sweet Cravings?
A study by Chao and team (2017) shows that stress causes sweet cravings as well. Stress results in an increased release of the hunger hormone, Ghrelin.
Ghrelin is the hormone that stimulates the appetite. Its level rises when you are hungry, and it signals our brain to seek food and eat. The higher the level of Ghrelin in your circulation, the stronger the feeling of hunger will be. Ghrelin promotes appetite, food intake, and promotes fat storage.
Now, don’t picture this hormone as the bad guy because we all do need our appetite and fat storage to survive. But, again, too much of anything is not good. You want this hormone in normal levels. But stress is one of the major things that increases the level of Ghrelin in your system.
What’s the bottom line here?
This hormone is responsible for the increased cravings during the stress period and for reward-driven eating behavior.
This way stress is increasing your hip size, without you even realizing it.
So, there you have it: one more reason to manage your stress levels.
And there’s more!
Did I Mention, It’s a Vicious Cycle?!
When you eat a lot of sugary food there is a sudden release of a large amount of insulin for the metabolism of sugar. This results in a sudden fall in blood sugar.
Now, your brain needs a constant supply of calories. So, the sudden fall in blood sugar levels due to insulin induces sugar cravings to fulfill the need of your brain’s energy supply.
What does this indicate?
This habit of over-indulgence in sweet treats is like an unending loop. It starts by you initiating your habit-loop by eating sweets, and then it pretty much supports itself. Thus, it’s a vicious cycle that never ends.
Sugar is addictive in nature. It creates a similar kind of chemical release in your brain like most drugs do. That’s why the cravings for sugar are usually so strong, and you may need professional help to deal with them.
Hypnosis will help you break this vicious cycle of sugar cravings by stopping the initiation of sugar consumption by building self-control.
Can Hypnosis Help Me Lose Weight?
You can lose weight by using hypnotherapy, without compromising your diet.
Let me explain.
A study conducted by Bolocofsky and team (1985) showed that the participants of the study who had undergone hypnosis along with lifestyle changes not only lost weight but continued to maintain their weight loss goals 2 years after the program ended, unlike the ones who didn’t undergo hypnosis.
The principles of hypnotherapy establish thoughts and behaviors that support a healthy lifestyle. The behavioral changes thus developed lasts for a longer time, as compared to others.
You can read more about it here: Can I be Hypnotised to Lose Weight?
Can Hypnosis Help Me with Stress?
There are many causes of stress, but the most common factor of stress is overthinking– overthinking about the memories and the possibilities of the future.
Hypnosis works here by replacing the negative, stress-inducing thoughts with positive ones. Hypnosis will not erase the negative memories but helps shift your perspective.
A study by Stanton (1993) showed that hypnosis can also help with performance anxiety.
But there’s more!
Another study by Hammond (2010) shows that self-hypnosis is an effective way of relieving stress and anxiety-related conditions, including anxiety associated with surgery, cancer, medical procedures, tension headaches, migraines, and even irritable bowel syndrome.
Can Hypnosis Help Me with Insomnia?
One study by DC Paterson (1982) suggests that insomnia that results from conditions like depression, anxiety, stress, and other lifestyle changes, can be managed with hypnotherapy. It can be used to let go of the stress and the anxiety to induce better sleep.
Hypnosis not only helps you fall asleep, but it also improves the quality of your sleep, thereby improving the memory and healing processes that happen during sleep.
CEO & Founder | Clinical Hypnotherapist | Weight Loss Specialist | Health Coach
Leading the charge is Jodi Clarke, the CEO and Founder of Awaecnan who is also a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. Having studied at The Academy of Hypnotic Science, an Australian government accredited Clinical Hypnotherapy training academy, Jodi’s hypnotherapy skills are both effective and award-winning as she supports clients to achieve positive changes in their everyday lives.
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