Clinical hypnotherapist Maggie Wilde reveals the potential of the mind and its role in weight loss in her new book Unzip the Fat Suit Using Your Mind.
Wilde discovered hypnotherapy by accident trying to heal the symptoms of her debilitating auto-immune disorder. She now treats patients from around the world, either in person or via Skype.
Hypnotherapy works by tapping into the way the brain learns. By slowing brain waves down to the natural state, the brain can learn and receive new suggestions, eliminating toxic thoughts and unhelpful behaviour patterns and replacing them with healthy ones.
Hundreds of clinical trials have been performed on hypnotherapy's effect on stress, pain management, stopping smoking, anxiety, addiction and many more issues.
The principal of the book, and hypnotherapy in general, is that to make a permanent physical change, you must also change your mind.
“With hypnosis we can disconnect the link a person may have learned earlier in life between emotions and food, or stress and food," says Wilde. "Hypnosis can also help to stabilise and de-stress the body so that digestion functions more effectively.”
She believes that mindset is the missing ingredient in most weight-loss programs and helps to prevent the yo-yo syndrome common to many.
“There are no forbidden foods or strict routines here," she says. "Through hypnotic suggestion you begin to naturally feel more motivated to move your body, choose smaller portions and healthier options. Your mind is ultimately rewired so you naturally want what's best for your body anyway.”
Jo first saw Wilde for hypnotherapy in 2012, with the goal of losing about 10 kilograms. She was an emotional eater and would eat a whole packet of biscuits or a whole jar of olives in one sitting.
“I lacked motivation and felt depleted from working in a job I didn't enjoy," Jo says. "Hypnotherapy gave me the confidence and tools I needed to make changes in my life. I'm almost at my goal weight and have started working in a new industry that I'm much happier in.”
Wilde says a change can be noticed within a few days. The combination of the book and accompanying audio program reinforce the new commitment, and weight loss has been reported at one to three kilograms within the first week.
“Self-hypnosis forces you to take time out and relax," says Wilde. "Aside from weight loss, other benefits of self-hypnosis include a reduction in cholesterol, blood pressure, stress and it can aid digestion."
A typical course of treatment for weight loss would consist of about five weekly visits followed by optional monthly mentoring sessions.
“The book and audio program take what my patients would normally receive in the clinic into their home,” says Wilde. “This is more than a weight-loss program and has the power to change lives on multiple levels.”
Here, Wilde shares three self-hypnosis techniques that can help you unzip the fat suit at home:
- Close your eyes and silently count backwards from five in a drowsy daydream voice to relax into the light state. Imagine wearing an outfit in your goal clothing size. Imagine that it is already too big for you. The mind doesn't know the difference between real and imagined. This technique begins to program the body to feel slimmer and expect it already.
- In the light state, repeat three times: "I am the kind of person who enjoys moving my body more.” If you don't believe it yet, it doesn't matter. The mind is being rewired to think that way.
- In the light state, imagine standing on the scales at your ideal weight. Do a victory dance in your mind. The more you let yourself experience the joy, pride and elation, the more powerful it will be in the rewiring process.