Forget weight loss! Focus on your metabolism and body shape will take care of itself

When clients request hypnotherapy for weight loss, usually that’s not what they are looking for. What they really want is a better body shape, which doesn’t always mean losing weight. Muscle is more dense than fat so a better body shape might actually result in putting on a little weight but looking slimmer.

And there’s just as much confusion about the best strategies for losing weight … sorry I mean getting a better body shape.

So much time and effort and money are involved in extreme diets and exercise.

The basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy your body burns at rest. It accounts for 60% of your daily calorific expenditure. Physical activity including exercise only accounts for about 30%.

No doubt diet can produce the quickest results, however, short-term diets don’t work for long as you’ll only put the weight back on as soon as you go back to your long term eating habits. Worst still, if it’s an extreme diet, then you risk slowing your metabolic rate as you lose muscle mass and your body re-conditions to conserve energy. The result is you are much more likely put back on even more weight after the diet. This is particularly a problem for those suffering from bulimia or anorexia who find themselves trapped in self destructive behaviour by the very thing they were trying to avoid.

In my hypnotherapy practice I most definitely advocate change of behaviour with respect to balanced exercise and diet, but as part of a long term healthy lifestyle change so the results are sustainable.

As part of the same strategy I also like to focus on the basal metabolic rate. As mentioned above it’s one of the bigger levers on the net calorific intake. And anything that helps you burn fat while doing nothing, well I’ll take more of that. The trouble is that as we get older the metabolism naturally slows, partly as a result of the long term reduction in lean muscle mass. However, fortunately, there are many things we can do to help speed up the metabolic rate. You can find loads of information on the internet but to save you some time, here’s a summary of 16 metabolism boosters:

·      Eat breakfast – skipping on breakfast is a total false economy because the first meal of the day is essential in firing up the metabolisms furnace

·      Enjoy smaller but more frequent meals – it’s better to split your calorific intake over 5 or 6 snacks than 3 meals as maintaining your blood sugar level avoids fat storing insulin spikes. This also avoids your body going into starvation mode and slowing down its metabolism to conserve energy

·      Avoid trans fats – contained in pastries, cakes, biscuits and margarine these will bind to our own fat and liver cells obstructing metabolismand leading to insulin resistance and inflammation

·      Lots of fibre – fibre is energy negative, it takes more energy to digest than it yields, and can stimulate fat burn by as much as 30% it’s been claimed. Aim for 25g per day

·      Keep it organic – there’s evidence to suggest that the pollutants and pesticides within non-organic foods can interfere with the energy burning process of the cell resulting in weight gain

·      Drink cold water – your body expends energy in heating the water to body temperature so 6 glasses a day could burn an additional 50 calories per day

·      Coffee or Tea – the caffeine can stimulate the nervous system to burn up to 8% more calories. For an even stronger and healthier effect, choose green tea which contains antioxidants and catechins which boost the overall effect up to 12 % - try 4-6 small cups a day

·      Get a HIIT – switch some of your cardio training to High Intensity Interval Training and you’ll get greater benefits in a fraction of the time. Better still HIIT benefits from the after burn effect where you continue to function at a higher metabolic rate long after the actual exertion

·      Build lean muscle- make sure you include resistance training to build lean muscle mass. You’ll burn plenty of calories in the process and after, you’ll continue to burn additional calories even at rest, on average 100 calories a day

·      Eat protein with every meal – it’s essential to build fat burning lean muscle mass and as an added bonus, protein is harder to digest than carbs or fat so it leaves us feeling fuller and burns more energy in the process

·      Eat more vitamin D – this is essential for maintaining that hard earned lean muscle mass. Salmon and eggs are and excellent source

·      Eat your spinach – to ensure that your muscles get all the oxygen they need to burn that fat, get plenty of iron rich foods such as lean meat, shellfish and spinach

·      Omega 3 – balances blood sugar levels, reduces resistance to leptin and reduces inflammation, all of which helps regulate the metabolism. Consider fish, fish oil or flaxseed oil

·      Get your calcium – there is some evidence linking calcium deficiency to slow metabolism. Consider full fat milk or other calcium rich foods

·      Enough sleep – here’s an easy one. If you’re sleep deprived you’ll have trouble balancing your blood sugar level. Also you’ll find yourself craving carbs. So make sure you get enough sleep

·      Hypnotic suggestion – hypnosis is a way of communicating directly with the subconscious mind which includes the autonomic nervous system. Even though we don’t have direct conscious control of many of our bodily functions, they can still respond to subconscious awareness’s and messages. When hypnotising a client you have to be aware of any allergies or ailments because it’s possible to unintentionally set an allergic or asthmatic response if environmental triggers are virtually present within the hypnotic script.  So it stands to reason that we could influence the digestive process and metabolic rate through hypnotic direct or indirect hypnotic suggestion. Though if you faithfully follow all the steps above you may not even need to get as far as the hypnotherapy!