The National Council of Psychotherapists
Dump Your Diet -
Before It Kills You!
Dr Bryan M. Knight, MSW, Ph.D.
Ever faithfully follow a diet, only to gain back all the weight - plus more?
Why is this extra weight - caused by dieting - so dangerous? Because it leads to despair and increased danger to your health.
The main reasons diets fail is that they focus on loss and deprivation.
What's the first thing you think of when you lose something? You want to get it back, right? And when the body is deprived of food it follows the ancient "famine or feast" syndrome: as soon as food becomes available again the body stocks up, storing more than it needs against the probability that you'll deprive [diet] it again soon.
Most diets require measuring, calculating or eliminating. Unless you have an obsessive personality, you'll likely rebel at having to measure or calculate every gram or calorie of what you eat. And if certain foods are forbidden on your diet, guess what you dream and daydream about, while the very thought of that delicacy causes your mouth to salivate?
Is it any wonder that that spoonful of forbidden chocolate cake leads to abandonment of your diet - and a gorging on chocolate cake?
Yet another reason for the failure of diets to achieve permanent weight reduction is that perhaps you don't really have excess weight to shed.
Maybe the size and weight you are is normal, natural and healthy for you. Perhaps you've succumbed to the barrage of publicity from the diet industry. Are you convinced you should be stick-thin, like the half-starved models on the runways of fashion?
Perhaps your problem is not fat, but conformity. Focusing on weight can distract us from feelings of low self-esteem, or provide a ready excuse to distance ourselves from others.
Perhaps your problem is not fat, but fitness. You could be large, but healthy. Or petite, and sick. Check with a physician about your unique body, and its level of fitness.
If your doctor says you do need to shed some excess weight or run the risk of serious health problems, why would you choose a diet as the solution? Before you even begin, you know it will likely lead to the well-known yo-yoing of weight loss and gain. So what makes diets so popular?
The number one reason is hypnotic techniques! The diet industry uses television - one of the most mind-glazing hypnotic mediums ever invented not only to promote diet plans, books and substitute foods, but to play upon our need for food and our tendency to conform.
Repetition is one of the most effective hypnotic techniques used by the DI (Diet Industry). Along with filling your imagination with images of wealth, popularity, (thin equals romance, for example) fashionableness and sparkling health, repetition drums the diet message into your subconscious as you gaze at the television screen.
The DI supplements the hypnotic power of television with a never-ending stream of diet-promoting articles and pictures in newspapers and magazines plus ads and interviews on radio.
At the same time, the Junk Food Industry [JFI] uses similar techniques to persuade you to consume unhealthy, artificial "foods".
The combination of dieting and consumption of junk food creates guilt and excess weight.
Guilt and excess weight lead to more ingesting of junk and more dieting and the depressing spiral feeds on itself.
How do you combat this avalanche of propaganda?
By learning and practicing positive self-hypnosis techniques.
Let's say you do choose to release excess weight. [Note those terms: "choose", "release", "excess weight"]. The first thing you do is understand that three things are necessary for you to achieve your goal:
Realize that when you were overeating, or eating unhealthily, you probably were in a hypnotic state.
Ever experience munching and not being aware until later how much you had tucked away? You were in a hypnotic state.
Ever find yourself with a strong urge to eat fast food? You were probably responding to a post-hypnotic suggestion from the JFI.
So, the number one decision from now on is to remain out of hypnosis while eating. Be conscious of what you are putting into your mouth.
Ironically, it is your deliberate use of hypnosis that makes this possible. Positive self-hypnosis gives you more self-control. Effortlessly.
Movement burns off calories. We all know this. But when we call it exercise, many of us balk.
Worry not. If you, like me, hate "exercise", the solution is to find some activity you like that involves moving your body.
It could be as simple as walking. Or gardening. The experts tell us that as little as 1/2 hour three times a week of such movement is enough to help our overall fitness - and reduce excess weight.
Long-term change in eating habits.
Never undertake a diet, which you know you won't keep to long-term. It just triggers the yo-yo response. To eat healthily requires moderation and the eating of a variety of foods. You can stop instantly or wean yourself from unhealthy food. But, unless a particular food poses a direct death threat (e.g. peanuts for people super-allergic) allow yourself the freedom to eat whatever you choose.
The paradox is that the freedom to choose enables you to refuse foods, which you know are going to add unnecessary fat to your body. And the freedom to choose also enables you to consciously decide to eat smaller quantities.
Drink lots of water. This will energize you, enhance your skin, fill your belly, flush out toxins and generally help you be fitter and slimmer.
How does self-hypnosis come into this?
Self-hypnosis solves the one issue which prevents most people from changing their eating habits, moving about and drinking lots of water: lack of motivation. Post-hypnotic suggestions, which you give yourself, enable you to release excess weight, stick to your movement program, eat healthily on a permanent basis, maintain your chosen weight - and feel great.
This happens because, with the aid of hypnosis, you change the negative messages in your subconscious about your weight to positive messages. Your subconscious then motivates you to do all that is necessary for you to change your unhealthy habits to healthy ones.
Examples: instead of "There's no way I can change what I eat", you might counter this with the suggestion "I enjoy choosing a variety of healthy foods."
Instead of "I have to eat everything on my plate", you might substitute "I choose to enjoy smaller portions and find them as tasty and as filling as larger portions used to be."
Instead of "I hate exercise", you could re-program yourself to believe "I choose to enjoy [cycling, swimming, walking, gardening, etc.] on Mondays and Saturdays."
[Medical data in this article
checked by Neil Trister, M.D.]
Dr Knight can be reached by:
Mail: 7306 Sherbrooke West
Montreal, QC, Canada H4B1R7