The Neuro-Psychology of Weight Control: Winning the Brain Game

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If you are like millions of other individuals, you are either on a diet, think you need to be on a diet, or have given up on trying to lose weight. A large majority of us spend a great deal of time trying to decide what to eat, when to eat and how to stop eating. We cannot seem to manage the illusive weight control monster.

The hard facts are in and they are certainly very serious. Even a moderate weight gain of 22 pounds or more above a person’s ideal weight at age 18 can result in greater risk of earlier death. Recent research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that a surprising 1/3 of cancer deaths, as well as more than ½ of cardiovascular deaths were due to excess weight.

women who were obese were four times as likely to die of heart disease and twice as likely to die of cancer, as were women whose weights were below average for their age. When other unhealthy lifestyle practices, such as smoking, sugar and alcohol addiction, high caffeine intake, poorly managed stress levels, lack of exercise and poor nutrition are factored in, the negative findings are drastically multiplied.

Why is something that should be so easy as maintaining a normal weight, be so difficult & elude so many? Despite all the money spent on diet books, magazines, weight loss centers and workout programs, people keep putting on the pounds.

Currently there are more people of all ages suffering from obesity than ever before. A major reason for this failure is that two major keys to the overweight problem have been missing. These are the keys that open the door to high level nutrition and long-term motivation needed o lose weight permanently.

These keys break through the yo-you weight gain syndrome, develop persistence, erode hopelessness and helplessness while delivering high energy to the mind and body, allowing perfect focus on the needed lifestyle change. These vital keys are carbohydrate management and meal timings and interactive self-hypnosis, the latter holding the potential for being the most valuable golden key on the weight loss key chain.

High Level nutrition:

Despite all our medical advances, it has only been in the last 10 years that carbohydrate/ fat metabolism has been the focus of intense medical research. More and more studies have been centered on how and why the body stores and burns fat and how dieting defeats it’s own purpose. Recent research has opened the door on the vital part insulin plays in the problem of carbohydrate sensitivity and yo-yo weight gain. This research has also uncovered an underlying Profactor in the body physiology of a large percentage of people, that not only interferes with how the body handles carbohydrates, but is a causative actor in the major causes of death in this country, namely heart disease, adult onset diabetes, certain types of cancer and other circulatory disturbances.

Only by giving up dieting, understanding the role of refined sugar, flour and high fat, as well as learning how to manage your mind and body stress management system, can you begin to achieve the kind of lean healthy body you have always wanted. When you work with your body to burn fat, you will lose excess stored fat effectively and permanently without hunger, fatigue and without counting calories. It is actually possible to eat the foods you truly enjoy every day, reduce cravings and lose excess stored fat.

Stress – Thought Connection to Weight Issues

stress management plays a large part in permanent weight loss. Under stress, the body produces hormones or chemicals that actually work to keep the fat in the cells. The continual production of these chemicals can prove to be very dangerous and even deadly. Be- sides the excess insulin problem, there is another insidious stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands called cortisol that plays a major role in the 60-90 percent of disease states, as ell as causing an increase in cell fat storage.

An important part of any fat burning program is to learn a process called mental biofeedback or body scanning. These techniques retrain the brain to notice stress at low levels and release it, thereby interfering with stress-toxin storage. The body, now free of excess insulin, cortisol, adrenaline and other hormones is now in a position to play the game of fat loss.

A large portion of our stress originates in the thought processes. Thoughts are chemically charged images that seem to hold free rein in our minds. Thoughts actually manufacture hormones that can make us store fat. The good news is that we have control over this mechanism and by developing the power to notice and release our thought patterns, we gain control over our minds and body. When we learn to let go of these thought patterns, we simultaneously lower the vibration of our brain waves and thereby lower the production of our stress hormones. The faster our brain waves, the more stress hormones we produce. When looking to manage stress and weight, it is vital to know how to control this hormone production. This is accomplished through techniques called “heightened awareness. ” These are self-hypnotic/meditative tools, but differ from other types of meditation. This is a working meditation, one that allows us to notice and release thoughts, emotions and body sensations. In other words, we can consciously control our level of stress hormones and be in charge of a large part of our own body physiology.

Interactive Self-hypnosis – Key to the Subconscious Mind

There are other techniques that are very valuable, not only in weight management, but in controlling the actual functioning of the mind body connection. These include interactive self-hypnosis, visualization, NLP ( neurolinguistic programming) and active imagery. The subconscious mind, or right brain, perceives in active images. These images are often visual, but include all the senses. The brain works like a large, complex computer. This computer, unfortunately, comes without an owner’s manual, but through specialized interactive self-hypnosis education you can learn to utilize the workings of this marvelous machine to reach your goals and then some.

Learning interactive self-hypnotic technique is quite simple and can be taught to children and adults alike. Hypnotic technique works best when it is client-specific, the reason being that people are motivated, or unmotivated in many different ways and certainly respond differently to specific images and metaphors. Metaphors form the tool box of the therapist or individual practicing hypnosis. A hypnotic session is divided into the induction, including deepening techniques, the delivery of metaphoric material and the emerging process. A session can be as long as an hour, or as short as a minute. In weight management, it is often desirable to increase self-motivation and persistence. We are a quick fix society and unfortunately quick weight loss does not equate with permanent weight loss.

Interactive self-hypnosis is also very useful in keeping a person focused on a healthy exercise program, as ell as addressing self-image, self-esteem and body image issues. If a persona has never been their ideal weight, they may not have a conscious or subconscious stored image of themselves in this state. It is not uncommon for a very obese person to be frightened as their new body emerges and hypnosis is very useful in helping to release this fear and anxiety.

Losing weight can be an exciting journey. With a multi-faceted approach, a person moves from a position of powerlessness t one of self-control, growth, high-energy and achievement, but most important of all, one receives the gift of health. The heart is now able to pump oxygen-rich blood throughout the body and one is now able to easily digest the nutritional foods provided to the body and mind. One develops an increased resistance to illness, disease and has taken possession of a new and healthy self-interest. Once we learn to mange our own body physiology, reduce stress chemicals, improve nutrition, develop an ongoing exercise program and utilize our master computer through interactive self-hypnotic techniques, we find ourselves on our way, not only to a trim healthy body, but to a richer, fuller life.

Disclaimer:
The information in this article reflects the author’s experiences and is not intended to replace medical or psychological advice, nor is it the intent of the author to diagnose or prescribe. The intent is only to offer information to help the reader cooperate with their physician in the mutual quest for desirable health. Always consult your physician before embarking on any lifestyle change, nutritional or otherwise.

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