How each of my clients emotionally eats varies but the underlying issue is basically the same. So I put together below what you need to know about emotional eating and how hypnosis can stop emotional eating once and for all.
Can Hypnosis Stop Emotional Eating once and for all
In 1995 Kirsch and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 18 studies comparing cognitive–behavioural therapy with cognitive-behavioural hypnosis.
The results suggest that adding hypnosis enhance outcomes substantially. “The client receiving cognitive–behavioural hypnotherapy showed greater improvement than at least 70% of clients receiving nonhypnotic treatment. Effects seemed particularly pronounced for treatments of OBESITY, especially at long-term follow-up” the study quotes.
This suggests that hypnosis is not only effective for weight loss and clients continued to lose weight after the treatment concluded.
Further to this
Alladin, A., & Amundson, J. (2016) on Cognitive Hypnotherapy as a Transdiagnostic Protocol for Emotional Disorders Articles talks about various studies and treatment protocol using hypnosis or hypnotherapy and general success of these studies and treatment protocols.
These are just two of many examples of positive outcomes using Hypnotherapy or Hypnosis for Weight loss and dealing with emotions or emotional eating.
Let me break it down for you
How hypnosis can stop emotional eating
Hypnosis or hypnotherapy works with the part of the brain that stores your habits, behaviours and what we have learned. Using hypnotherapy visualisation techniques, metaphors, and cognitive therapy while in hypnosis you can talk to this part of the brain directly and suggest different responses to those habits and behaviours you want to change. Therefore rather than trying to figure out why you eat emotionally which sometimes can be buried deep hypnotherapy gets straight to the root of the issue and instead of weeks or years of doing something over and over to make new habit hypnosis and sometimes instantly can create a new healthy response to eating.
So read on.
What is an emotional eater?
An emotional eater is some that eats when they feel emotional rather than when they are hungry. Sometimes emotional eating may stem from childhood experiences for example if you were given food for reward or punishment or as a tool to make you feel better.
Does this sound familiar?
Remember back when you were a child, you fell over and hurt yourself, your crying and your parent’s response was to give you a hug and ‘let’s go get some ice cream’.
If this was a common occurrence, then maybe you have some learned behaviours or habits around soothing yourself with food. Damn those loving and caring parents!
Or maybe there was reward situations like, eat all your dinner and you will get dessert. A small child would see this as food being a reward and a way to get their parents approval for being good.
Or was it this.
You could have also been punished with food. If you don’t eat all your dinner then you don’t get the dessert, go straight to your room or any punishment. This can instil overeating habits or eating when not hungry but that’s a whole other post.
But there’s more
Why do I Emotionally eat?
Apart from punishment and reward habits mentioned about Some Emotional eating is about avoidance. More specifically avoiding your emotions. I take emotional eating very seriously, I put it on the same level as smoking and drinking and drugs, etc because we at times indulge in these behaviours also to avoid our emotions and sometimes that can get out of hand.
I hear what you’re saying
Yes, there are habits and learned behaviour associated with all of these amongst other things but today we will be talking about one part, which I believe is the main part of the issue. The underlying issue that sits there ready to be triggered every time you feel emotional, or vulnerable, sad, happy, etc.
Get to the stinky layer
We are like an onion layers, and layers of stuff that life has thrown at us and built up all those years. We don’t always get the luxury of just losing out sh%t and have a meltdown. Sometimes you must put on a brave face or suck it up and carry on.
I believe we should be able at some point in our adult lives throw ourselves on the floor in the supermarket, kicking and screaming just because they don’t have what you want or your just tired and fed up with life.
Something else to think about.
Some emotions are painful and very difficult to process or deal with. It can be extremely difficult especially when you are dealing with loss.
Loss of a loved one, a relationship, a job or social status. We may swallow or hold onto these emotions until they make us overweight or sick. You may be doing everything you possibly can to lose weight, but it won’t budge because of these emotional bags your body is carrying.
The good news is
Why not give it a try, see if hypnosis is right for you, its FREE and you can cancel anytime no questions asked
We create how we feel, no one else does. I really want you to get that. You are the one that makes a choice every day on how you think and feel.
I know, I hear you
Yes, there are outside factors that come at us over and over and can wear us down until we have no fight left but always know, you always have a choice in how you feel and if you react or respond in any situation.
So what next?
How do I stop being so emotional?
We are all emotional beings, love, hate, anger, sadness, calm, happiness, fear… etc, are all emotions. These are part of our everyday life. If we don’t have those means we are inhuman, and it is totally ok to feel and express them.
So if these emotions are part of everyday life, then why do we avoid them, why is it so hard to get a grip on them, Sometimes we just don’t have the tools, we have learned not to deal with them, we learn to avoid them or we have had incidents or trauma in our lives that trigger these responses in our brain.
In simple terms “stuff has happened to us so long ago that we don’t remember how it felt at the time, but it sent us down a path that we are on now.
Good news is
You are in charge; you can decide to dump the past like an old mouldy sandwich from the bottom of a school bag and take a different path.
It’s Time to have the breakup talk with your emotional baggage.
I can give you a tool to help you at least start to recognise your emotions and what’s triggering them, only then can you do anything about it
This simple tool will help you understand the when, why and how of your emotional eating. We can’t control our emotions if we don’t know which ones are out of control or which ones you are avoiding.
This simple tool will pull the information out of your subconscious into the conscious mind, and that is when you can do something about it….
Here’s a clue
How do I stop emotional eating?
So, we first need to know what these emotions are right? To find out the easy way is to keep an emotional food diary. Yeah yeah boring I hear you say, I’ve done that before, it didn’t help.
But this time we are going to do it differently, it’s not about counting calories or making you feel bad about what you eat. It’s all about the data!
Let me explain
You may have completed food diaries in the past, but you were told to focus on the wrong thing! You were told to focus on WHAT YOU Ate, not why and when and how.
So What’s the point?
This tool is about knowledge. Really understand yourself and watching for patterns, see for yourself what is really going on, what stands out to you. I bet you will notice things you never realised before or you will confirm what you already knew.
Once you have the data then it’s time for action, you are in control, Knowledge is power. Don’t fear what you find. You might just find, things are not as bad as your thought, or you might discover things about yourself you weren’t aware of, or even if it’s your worst nightmare, then at least you know it now and can do something about it.
Discovering yourself on a deeper level will benefit you for your whole life, not just today.
In various moments you probably do a lot of subconscious eating, we want to draw these unconscious habits out of the subconscious mind and into the conscious mind where you will be very aware of what you are doing.
The beauty of this is.
When you are aware, you can recognise the behaviour and it is only then that you can change it. This little simple process starts to retrain your brain as it interrupts the unconscious auto pilot behaviour and makes the brain think.
Stay with me. This gets interesting
Look for patterns in your diary, take note of what emotions are going on with you. A good way to see which emotion is playing a part in your eating behaviour is to delay doing what you were doing to avoid the emotion. Like eating as an example.
The emotion should get stronger and stronger and then you can recognise it. Yes, it may feel uncomfortable, but now you are in control. You let it in, and just sit with it. Now you can deal with it and be ok with being uncomfortable.
You can get a free copy of the emotional food diary by going to this post: 3 Insanely Powerful Tips for Easy Weight Loss and get the free ebook mentioned in the post. (scroll down to the bottom) So, go ahead and get the food diary sent to your inbox, fill it out for a week and see what comes up.
How do I deal with my Emotions and Feelings?
The best way to deal with emotions is allow them to happen rather than avoid them with like eating a whole bucket of KFC. Tell yourself its ok to feel what ever it is you feel right now and just sit with it. Be in that moment and allow the emotion to just be. I find this method takes the edge off the strong feelings we are having and allows it to pass through and not stick around like a bad smell.
Its easier than you think
Here’s a great two step system to process your emotions as you are experiencing them;
- Let the emotion in
- Analyse the emotion by asking
- What am I feeling?
- Why am I feeling this way?
- Is it true?
- Can I do anything about it
- If no, well I need to change the way I think about it
- Take charge of your emotions
- Then go about thinking about how you can make it a positive
- You are in control
- If yes, then do something about it
- Action breeds motivation
- Take charge of your emotions
- You are in control
Let me give you an example
I feel this overwhelming sadness wash over me, I stop and say…
oh, I feel really sad right now, why is that, is there anything going on right now that is making me sad.
If so… I process my thoughts by using the methods above. if I can’t find a reason then I assume it may be hormonal or maybe something I ate is not agreeing with me.
I ask myself, have I got anything to be sad about right now? No. then I rattle off all the wonderful things I have in my life. The emotion passes and I feel great.
Now if I avoided the sadness, it would have just grown and grown and bubbled underneath and stacked on top of other emotions I was avoiding only to bust out at the most inappropriate time like Janet Jacksons boob during her wardrobe malfunction.
When we process our emotions, we take its power away, giving us control and helping us feel stronger.
But there’s more
How can I stop binging when stressed?
Stress is such an underrated health issue. Emotional stress made me physically ill for about 3 years and it took a lot of time, money and effort to heal it.
Stress builds up over years and can trigger a health issue at any time. If you want to stop binging when stressed, you must make changes to your lifestyle and learn how to manage stress and get the tools to deal with challenges other than stressing about it.
Did you know
Why I comfort eat
Comfort eating is a form of self-soothing. It’s more about what you are feeling in the moment and how you want to feel that than the food you are eating. As we’ve learned in this post already comfort eating can be a learned response from childhood, but also certain foods react differently in the brain and can stimulate the feeling we are looking for.
And there’s also this
Some foods like sugar affect the reward center of the brain, mimicking those feel-good feels just like happiness and pleasure. When you couple these stimulating foods with childhood learned responses we can easily as adults become addicted or form some powerful and hard to break habits.
You might be wondering…
How do I stop comfort eating at night?
If you want to know how to stop comfort eating at night, then ask yourself my top 4 comfort eating Questions to get to the bottom of comfort eating at night.
- What’s missing in my life at this moment?
Are you using food to replace something that’s missing? E.g. If you are you craving sweets maybe sweetness is missing from your life. Maybe its variation you are really craving.
- What do I feel right now?
What emotion will the food give you comfort from, what emotion are you trying to sooth?
E.g. Am I lonely, bored, tired, alone, happy, sad
- What will eating this food do for me?
Are you craving physical touch and you enjoy the tactile part of eating like a crunchy piece of food or food that requires assembly like crackers and cheese?
or is it that feeling of being special – does eating right now feel like it makes this moment special.
What else will eating the food do? E.g. Fill up some time, give me a feeling of company, or a reward.
- How do I feel about the food?
Maybe you’re about to watch a show or a movie and you want to make the moment special. Or do you feel excited, rewarded, relaxed, treated?
Once you stop in each moment of comfort eating and ask why you will soon get a clear picture of why you comfort eat and once you have the knowledge you can do something about it.
Why do I eat when I’m not hungry?
Eating when you’re not hungry may not always be because of an emotional or habitual reason. Your organs may be sending signals to the brain that it’s time to eat for example the liver sends messages to the brain when glucose levels are low triggering a craving or notifying you to eat even though you’re not hungry or really don’t need any food.
There may be certain visual triggers to eat when not hungry that tells your brain it’s time to eat not your stomach. Have you ever got to a party and you were not hungry at all, only to walk in the door see the beautiful buffet presentation that it draws you in.
Smells can also trigger you to eat when not hungry, humans have 400 smelling receptors. Have you ever said no to join an order of fish and chips only to find when it arrives, and you smell it that it instantly makes you hungry?
All these triggers are connected to our senses which can influence how we make decisions. Understanding what is triggering you to eat and then finding a different response at that moment will help you avoid eating when not hungry.
Why do I feel bad after I eat?
Feeling bad or unhappy after you eat may be about the food you are eating, how you’re eating or why you are eating.
Some foods may cause discomfort due to food intolerance or sensitivities. If you are regularly experiencing discomfort after eating it might be time to take a close look at what you are eating
How you are eating can also cause discomfort. Are you taking in big gulps of air while eating, are you chewing your food enough or are you swallowing large pieces of food? If you are not chewing your food enough, it could be putting a strain on your digestive system and therefore cause discomfort
Why you are eating can also make you feel bad as well as what you are eating. If you are eating for comfort but you really want to slim down, you’re basically breaking your promise to yourself and letting yourself down. Remember that time when someone let you down, how bad did that feel? Well, it feels just as bad when you do it to yourself.
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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