You've tried dieting. You've tried gym memberships. You've bought frozen pre-packaged foods or shake mixes. You've taken pills and supplements. You've joined clubs that help you count points for everything you eat, or ship you food every week. Out of desperation, you may have even bought exercise equipment from a TV Infomercial.. All of which promise that you'll lose weight and keep it off. Yet, studies have shown that most people who lose weight usually put it back on within the year and even gain some additional weight. Why is that?

We step on the scale or look in the mirror and maybe feel bad about the way we look or how much we weigh. We tell ourselves over and over that we need to lose weight, we need to start exercising or go on yet another diet, and not only does each effort fail, they seem to fail faster and faster each time. This can be explained in one word:. Homeostasis. The truth is, your subconscious mind hates change and won't do so unless it feels compelled to do so. If you conscious and subconscious goals are in alignment = i.e. they both agree you need to eat less, exercise more and lose weight - then it will happen. The problem lies where there is disagreement where your conscious goal is to lose weight, but your subconscious wants to keep things the same.

The brain started out with the basic function of controlling the autonomic nervous system. As mammals and eventually man evolved more and more functionality was added to his brain. We developed speech and language, eventually logic, reason, mathematics until we ultimately created this complex world we live in now. Those higher functions are part of our conscious minds. The conscious mind happily chatters away in the back of your mind all day telling you what to do, The conscious mind sure thinks it's smart and very important, but it's only able to keep track of 7 to 10 things at once... It controls our analytical mind, our ability to rationalize (ie.lie to ourselves and others) is responsible for our short term memory and our willpower. While the conscious mind believes itself to be in charge, we never lost the part of our minds that got us here. The real brains behind our brain is controlled by our subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind controls the overwhelming majority of our lives and is responsible for habits and addictions, your long term/permanent memory, and your emotions. While the conscious mind take a rest when we sleep, the subconscious mind is always on and always recording. It's not limited to the 7 to 10 items like the subconscious is. The subconscious doesn't have the ability of logic and reason, it's more like the mind of a small child. It can't even distinguish what is real vs. what is imagined. Basically the job of the subconscious mind is to keep you alive, hence: when we try to change the status quo we run up against the huge gravitational pull of homeostasis. The conscious mind does have one tool at its disposal for starting change. It's called willpower. Willpower provides you with that short burst of energy and determination to get you to the gym on days when you're really just not feeling like it - or making you stick to your diet when your brain is telling you that you're hungry and want to eat. Willpower is no match for the power of the subconscious mind and the gravitational pull of homeostasis. Willpower is the Washington Generals to the Subconscious' Harlem Globe Trotters. The Generals may have a good quarter or half of the game, but you always know who's going to win in the end, don't you?

Between the conscious and subconscious minds there is a barrier of sorts called the critical factor. The critical factor's job is to make judgments on the information that comes in - is it true or false? Good or Bad?? Your critical factor is the only filter your subconscious has. Since the Critical factor is part of conscious process, it can be bypassed in times when your brain is overwhelmed with information as the conscious mind can only keep attention focused on 7 to 10 items at a time. Sales and Advertising people know this and will use this to their advantage in commercials or sales pitches. Sales and Advertising bombard your critical factor with a constant drip of different advertising. Eventually, over time some suggestions can seep in and get you to change to a different brand of widget. It is also how hypnosis works, but because a hypnotist can completely bypass the critical factor, it can make changes much faster than the constant barrage of advertising.

Hypnosis is very effective at achieving weight loss in clients. When we were young our parents may have put bad suggestions in your head, telling you that you need to finish everything on your plate. That may have been appropriate when you were 5 and you didn't have much on your plate, but now plates have been supersized and clearing your plate means you just ate a full days worth of calories.. If your subconscious is still acting on that instruction, your subconscious mind needs to be reprogrammed. Obesity doesn't always happen just because of some trauma or bad suggestions from your childhood. You can also be eating because you're bored, or lonely or stressed. This doesn't happen in one meal, studies have shown that eating an extra 200 calories per day equal to one small snack adds up those extra few extra pounds you gained this year, added to what you gained last year, and so on and so on.

Sheila Granger, a Clinical Hypnotherapist in the UK heard of some hypnotists using a new technique in getting clients to lose weight, via the Virtual Gastric Band. Sheila was curious, so she devised her own program based around that concept. What if your subconscious mind believed you had gone through a lap band operation, that didn't actually happen?? It's a theater of the mind. While in hypnosis you're walked through a hospital where you speak with your doctors and prepare for this imaginary surgery. You're led to the operating theater where your subconscious mind can hear the sounds of the operating room, doctors talking, and heart monitors beeping away. Remember - your subconscious mind can't distinguish between what is real or what you have imagined. Clients report afterwards that they feel they just can't eat the same amount of food as they could before they felt full.

Sheila's Virtual Gastric Band Weight Loss program is a one session a week program for 4 weeks that starts with the surgery and spends the remaining 3 sessions on conditioning your mind to eat less and feel full and satisfied on much smaller amounts of food. Her results have been nothing short of amazing, with 95% of her clients successfully losing weight. The average weight loss is about 7 lbs in the first week, and then tapers down to a steady 1 to 2 lbs per week. I attended her training class last January and tried this out on some test subjects who after 4 weeks lost around 20 lbs and were still continuing to lose weight well after the 4 sessions. If you're serious about losing weight changing your diet and exercising is a good thing, but unless you address your subconscious mind and get it on the same page with your conscious goals, your success may only be temporary at best.

Author's Bio: 

David Allen is a Certified Consulting Hypnotist with the National Guild of Hypnotists, and Certified Hypnotist with the Society of Applied Hypnosis. He runs the Sunnyvale Hypnosis Center in Sunnyvale, CA where he specialized in Hypnosis for Weight Loss.

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