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Learn How to Change Your Eating Habits With Hypnosis, CBT & NLP

Unhealthy eating contributes to roughly 678,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. Over two-thirds (67.5%) of American adults are overweight. Lack of exercise and poor eating habits are to blame, but there are ways to change your eating habits for the better. But before we find out how, we need to ask the more important question, which is why we have unhealthy eating habits?

The Root of Unhealthy Eating—Is It All in My Mind?

Unhealthy eating includes foods, such as junk foods, that are high in sugar and low in nutrients. Craving junk food and many “comfort foods,” also high in fat and sugar, causes our brains to release the pleasure-triggering neurotransmitters dopamine and oxytocin.

When we are stressed, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol, which increases the sugar content in our blood. Cortisol also increases hunger, which is why when we are stressed, we crave junk food. Understanding that the root of unhealthy eating is in our mind allows us to focus our minds on changing our eating habits for the better.

How to Change Your Eating Habits Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

How our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected is at the core of how cognitive behavioral therapy works. CBT focuses on altering our thoughts, which will then affect how we feel and ultimately behave. For example, when we feel stressed (thoughts), we want to eat unhealthy junk food (behavior) and then end up guilty and depressed (feeling).

CBT deals directly with the dysfunctional thinking that leads to unhealthy eating. You learn that unhealthy eating is based on emotions, and even though you experience instant gratification and “comforted,” you will ultimately end up feeling worse about yourself and lowering your self-esteem. Re-focusing on self-esteem and feeling good about yourself will help you make healthier choices.

Glasses and pen with a notebook and plate of healthy food and a cup of tea

CBT Steps on How to Change Unhealthy Eating Habits

  1. Setting Goals – Being very specific on goals is the key to success. Using behaviors that you can control, such as
    • Making healthier dessert choices by eating fruit instead of cake, cookies, or pastries.
    • Going for a walk after dinner
  2. Keeping Track of Food Intake – Keeping a food log will help you stay on a positive track as well as motivating you on your journey.
  3. Regular Feedback With Therapist – Getting regular feedback when you are making changes to how you eat is essential. Feedback provides an external measuring stick of improvement or adjustments that need to take place as well as further motivation.

How to Change Your Eating Habits Using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

NLP focuses on the belief that learned behavior directly affects the actions of our mind, and by changing our activity, we can then change how we think about that behavior. NLP changes the negative blueprint in our minds by changing our habits, we ultimately change our thinking.
Man thinking about burger food

Example NLP Steps on How to Change Unhealthy Eating Habits

  1. Recreate pictures of unhealthy eating habits by picturing in your mind a symbol of an unhealthy eating habit such as a half-eaten greasy cheeseburger.
  2. Then picture something you would never eat, such as a living worm.
  3. Match the two pictures together to create a connection of something you know you don’t want to do with something you know you never will do.
  4. Creating a connection in the mind of the unwanted behavior (eating the greasy cheeseburger) and the thing you would never do (eating a live worm) is your new reality.
  5. You will successfully change the negative programming in your mind to become your new positive, healthier behavior.

How to Change Your Eating Habits Using Hypnotherapy

Sometimes, changing unhealthy eating habits takes more than sheer willpower. Hypnosis is highly beneficial when it comes to changing unhealthy eating habits.

Hypnosis with pocket watch clock

Hypnosis Tips on How to Change Unhealthy Eating Habits

  1. Being in a hypnotic state allows the therapist to make healthy suggestions to an open subconscious mind replacing unhealthy habits with new healthier ones.
  2. Hypnosis can help strengthen a positive association with eating healthy and achieving long-term goals.
  3. As your mind is reshaped from the core, your thought processes and beliefs will change to create healthier behaviors.
  4. Using hypnosis for eating habits changes your subconscious thoughts to incorporate new automatic positive behaviors by choosing healthier foods.
  5. Hypnosis will help your mind become more aware of what your body needs instead of what it thinks it wants.

At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we can help you learn how to change your eating habits by utilizing CBT, NLP, and hypnosis together in a blended approach, which allows for shorter treatment time.

Change your life for the better by taking that first step in making healthier choices and contact us today!

Anna Marchenko

Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M. is the principal therapist at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy. She holds a bachelor's degree from NYU and dual masters degrees from Columbia University. Marchenko’s hypnosis certification is from the only hypnosis program in Florida that has been certified by the state’s Board of Education. She helps her clients by utilizing an integrative approach to psychotherapy, tailored to each individual’s mental health journey, drawing from hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, NLP therapy, EMDR, and more.

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