One of the issues that people often come to see hypnotherapists for is weight loss.  I work with a highly-educated, intelligent population here in the DC area.  People know what they need to be doing - change bad eating habits by choosing healthy foods and watching their portion size, limiting caloried beverages and moving more.  Sometimes they just need help through hypnotherapy to get motivated to do what they know they ought to be doing.

      But another issue often becomes evident as we discuss their behavior.  People tend to eat for reasons other than physical hunger.  They may try to satisfy personal needs and hungers that have nothing to do with food by eating.  They try to comfort themselves by eating.  This may come from childhood when the child's parents or caretakers used food to comfort.  Didn't get asked to the prom - make brownies.  Feeling sad - let's order a pizza. Want to celebrate a special day - let's make a feast.  Food became associated with lots of emotions and the person was comforted by the food.  Now the client is an adult.  But when they feel those emotions come up, they are triggered to want to comfort themselves with food. 

      Food may have also been used as a reward when the client was young.  Going out for ice cream as a reward for a good report card.  Getting an extra cookie for being a "good girl".  Popcorn and candy at the movies as a special treat.  At some level, the child is always looking for that reward for being good - even when the child grows up.

     We may also give ourselves food when we are not getting what we need emotionally from others.  The boss criticizes our work or doesn't respect our effort, so we eat.  The one we love doesn't love us, so we eat.  Our child is disrespectful or rude, so we we eat.  Food becomes a way of giving ourself something when we feel like what we need is being held back.

     Unfortunately, the comfort from comfort eating lasts only as long as the food itself.  And then, the over-eating is often caused by self-disgust and depression.  "Oh, why did I do that?" becomes the mantra of the comfort eater. This can lead to eating disorders, depression and obesity. Hypnotherapy can be a great way to deal with this issue.  A skilled hypnotherapist can help you resolve the underlying issue and give you new tools to deal with the triggers that in the past may have encouraged you to comfort eat.