The Secret to Sticking to the Diet

By Rena Greenberg

Mandy asked, “How can I stay motivated? In the beginning, whenever I go on a diet and start losing weight, I get excited with the progress I’m making. But before long, the old feelings creep in, and I find myself succumbing to stress eating, just like I did in the past.”

The key to success in permanent weight loss is to develop new habits.

Practicing self-hypnosis daily; adopting positive, productive self-talk; planning ahead; and having plenty of protein available are all positive habits that can become the new normal for you.

Once this new healthy way of living and eating becomes a habit, the ups and downs of daily life cannot affect your determination to be true to yourself, no matter what is going on in the outer world.

The biggest shift that you can look forward to when you change your habits is never feeling like you’re on a diet, but just eating to live and not living to eat.

Gaining Conscious Awareness

Mandy’s predicament and pain are so relatable. In order to simplify what’s actually happening here it can be helpful to realize that the process Mandy describes is not unlike the process we go through, often subconsciously, in many other areas of our lives. My most important goal here is to help you gain conscious awareness of your subconscious strategy in areas of your life where you are already successful. The next step is to then employ that same strategy in your own life in the area of healthy eating and living.

Are You a Victim of Magical Thinking?

Looking at your life as a whole, rather than putting the area of wanting to lose weight in its own compartment, makes it easier to release the mindset of “magical thinking.” Captured by the alluring spell of advertising-hypnosis, many people erroneously assume that someone out there has a magic pill, power or supplement that is going to miraculously undo decades of self-abuse. But deep down inside, you already know that this magic formula does not exist.

Hypnosis is a Way to Retrain Your Brain

Even though many of the people I work with describe their weight loss experience with my program as “a miracle,” the truth is that hypnosis simply is a very effective way to retrain your brain. And it is only by retraining your brain that you can achieve your dream of living your life healthy—at your ideal weight—over the long-term.

Otherwise, after the initial thrill of starting a new “diet” and achieving some success wears off, you will likely fall back into your old eating habits. It’s similar in other areas of your life, when the euphoria experienced in the early stages of most exciting events diminishes over time. Think about falling in love, the joy of experiencing the birth of a child or a puppy, the excitement when you have created a successful and lucrative business. Going through these types of thrilling life events, you are likely to experience a euphoric high that is absolutely magnetic and exciting—at first . . .However, inevitably this “gift” that you have been given will become the new normal, and your euphoric feelings will begin to subside.

What About Stress Eating?

What does this scenario have to do with going back to stress eating after having initial weight loss success? Everything. The best way to get into excellent habits in areas of your life where you are suffering is to study and adopt the methods used in areas of your life where you are already successful.

If you are successful in business or a relationship, for example, open your awareness and take a look at your habits in that area of your life. It’s likely that they don’t depend on the fluctuations of your mood or energy to determine your actions. Your behaviors are consistent with the outcomes that you desire.

Since you want to hold on to what you have been given, in areas of your life where you are already successful, you most likely still treat the “gift” you have been given with great respect and appreciation, no matter what dips and turns may be occurring in your internal and external worlds.

Law of Success

In all areas of your life, the same law of success applies and it’s simple. Create habits that you are committed to—no matter what the outer or inner world brings—and that are in alignment with your deepest values to create the life that you want.

Let’s look at it the other way around. There are many people who are very successful at maintaining their healthiest weight, but some of their closest relationships are in shambles. That’s because in the relationship area of their lives, they have “forgotten” how important it is to behave consciously and to choose actions based on the results they want. In other words, it might feel great to yell when you’re feeling angry, but chances are, if this is a habit, your relationships will deteriorate over time.

In the same way, your old self may think it feels great to alter your brain chemicals with sugary, toxic foods, especially when you’re feeling happy or sad, but you can only continue that behavior if you stay disconnected from the results, which is exactly what has led you to the predicament you are in now if you are overweight.

You are Not Weak

It’s not that you are “weak” intrinsically if your diet attempts have failed. No doubt, in other areas of life where you are successful, you are consciously and subconsciously consistently choosing actions that will lead to the results you want. Also, you know how to handle errors in the areas of your life where you are successful. If you make a “mistake” and choose an action that is “bad,” meaning that it takes you away from the desired goal, you automatically self-correct.

The reason you most likely don’t do that with food is because you have convinced yourself that you are a victim. You use labels like, “I’m helpless. I’m weak. I’m under too much stress.” And you believe that there is some magic solution out there that will get you out of the mess.

Where is the Magic?

I am telling you that there is magic and it is within your own brain. I’m also saying that it’s not something foreign to you—you are already using it everyday.

My goal with this article is to help you tap into this inner magic to change your life forever. The secret? Make it a habit. Practice self-hypnosis religiously. If one technique isn’t working for you, employ another one because all roads lead to the same place: your inner mind and heart that wants what is best for you.

Talk to yourself, be patient and encourage yourself as if you were talking to your best friend. Take yourself by the hand and give yourself love and compassion.

Creating New Habits

How did you learn how to walk? You practiced. Practice your new, healthy eating habits even if they don’t feel “right” yet. Keep choosing the behaviors that you know will lead you to your goal. Plan ahead, have small amounts of protein throughout the day, take time to sit with yourself—in self-hypnosis—and give yourself encouragement and appreciation. You can do this!


Rena Greenberg, a Hay House author, can be reached at 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.



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