By Rena Greenberg
“Why You Can’t Lose Weight on a Diet” was the headline of a May 6, 2016, editorial by Sandra Aamodt in The New York Times online edition. It was in response to the May 2 article titled “After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight” by Gina Kolata. The commentary mostly reiterated what the original story stated: That science prevents dieters from achieving permanent weight loss.
The point is that dieting creates hormones that increase hunger, so after you lose weight, you’re actually hungrier than you were before starting the diet. Additionally…
Dieting causes your metabolism to slow down, so you gain weight even though you’re eating less food.
Aamodt’s article concludes that the only way to lose weight is by not dieting, but rather by eating mindfully and only when you’re physically hungry.
I agree 100 percent. The only piece missing from her article was how to do that. How do you transform a mentality of dieting and deprivation as the only alternative to binge eating and out-of-control eating?
It has to begin in the subconscious. As children we form attachments to certain foods. When you scraped your knee and went into the kitchen crying, what did Mom or Dad offer to help you take your mind off the pain? A cookie! And it worked, didn’t it? You forgot all about that scraped knee and went back outside playing. You learned early in life that the activity of eating will solve your problems and make you feel better.
The attachments you have to food for comfort and love is deeply rooted in your subconscious mind, and these attachments often override your conscious understanding that rich, sugary foods are bad for you.
The Times’ editorial acknowledges that we are all influenced by advertising, super-sizing and all-you-can-eat buffets. The issue is how can we counter this type of marketing? How can we override society’s messages that encourage over-eating, abundant social eating, rewarding ourselves with food and eating foods with no nutritional value for “fun?”
These advertising messages are a powerful form of hypnosis, and the only way to break free is to hypnotize yourself by taking control of your own mind. To successfully overwrite these negative influences, you can get into a new habit of giving yourself positive suggestions about your own relationship with food, and the new, healthy lifestyle you are adopting.
Like almost everything else in life, you’re relationship with food, to a large degree, depends on your inner self-talk. Self-hypnosis is a way to give yourself new, positive messages about yourself and food.
Your brain responds to the things you tell yourself. If you are lusting for cookies, candy or donuts, you are going to create impulses in your brain that cause you to desire these foods. These impulses actually will cause you to salivate and obsess about these foods. The old dieting mentality is that you must give in to these obsessions to quell the desires.
But experience will point out that the opposite is true. The more you eat these foods, the more you will want them. Through my own Sugar Divorce and creating the successful Sugar Divorce program, I discovered that the only way to stop wanting harmful foods is to stop eating them.
For more than 25 years, I have provided weight loss hypnosis programs in over 75 hospitals, where I guide people through a powerful self-hypnosis experience that helps them change the way they think about food subconsciously. They later use recorded meditations to continue the process, help change their inner messages about food and permanently lose weight.
Maybe the “Biggest Loser” program can’t produce permanent weight loss because the approach is nothing more than crash dieting and extreme exercising? However, those of us who struggle with sugar and food addictions and subsequent weight gain should never give up. There is an answer, and that answer lies in the incredible power of your deeper heart and mind to heal your thoughts, actions and quality of life.
That said, I completely disagree with the Times articles’ suggestions to just give up. Self-acceptance is a very important attribute, but it shouldn’t get in the way of trying to step into a better, healthier and higher expression of your true being.
Ultimately, the only way to have success is to eat mindfully and consciously with awareness.
Through tapping into your own inner power, and reprogramming old messages that no longer serve you, mindful eating can become second nature.
Rena Greenberg, a Hay House author, can be reached at EasyWillpower.com. Her weight loss and gastric bypass hypnosis success has been featured in 150-plus news stories including USA Today, Woman’s World, The Doctor’s, CNN, Good Morning America and Nightline. PBS stations nationally aired Rena’s show, “Easy Willpower,” in August 2015. Her wellness program is sponsored in 75 hospitals and 100-plus corporations. She conducts hypnotherapy sessions with people all over the world on Skype and in Sarasota, FL.