Obesity is a major and growing health challenge

February 21st, 2018

Obesity is a major and growing health challenge. We all know that food and exercise are important but excess weight is actually much more complex than just ‘energy in’ versus ‘energy out.’

For too many of us our lifestyle requires us to sit for hours and this is a huge change the human body doesn’t really like plus the hours we work can make fitting in exercise difficult. One of the main reasons I bought a dog is to prompt me into moving at regular intervals during the day plus walking every day regardless of the weather.

A recent study showed that the relationship between obesity and three health factors — total calories consumed; amount of exercise; and type of food — has changed over the past three decades and so have a lot of other things in our modern society.

Some of the culprits are

Exposure to environmental toxins. Careful washing your fresh food and choosing organic food. Choosing glass and stainless steel instead of plastic containers to store your food helps avoid toxins and how is your food packaged when you get it?

Changes in your microbiome, the growing use of artificial sweeteners and processed foods, both of which have a negative impact on bacteria in the gut. How well do you care for your gut flora (the trillions of good bacteria that are needed to keep your gut healthy.

The use of prescription antidepressants. The use of antidepressants has skyrocketed by nearly 400 percent since 1988, and now 11 percent of people aged 12 years and older are taking at least one of these drugs.

Chronic stress takes a massive toll on health, resulting in unhealthy behaviours such as overeating. When your stress levels remain high, so do levels of an important hormone called cortisol, which can increase your appetite. Emotional eating — turning to comfort foods when faced with tension, stress, anxiety, depression — can become part of this pattern as well.

Lack of sleep. We get less sleep today than our peers did back in the 1940s. In 1942, the average was nearly eight hours of sleep per night, compared with an average of 6.8 hours today.

Then there is the yo-yo effect: weight loss followed by weight gain over and over again. Your body thinks it is in a famine and needs to protect you by storing fat ready for the next self-induced famine.

A very high proportion of the people who come to me for weight loss have long-term stress, anxiety and depression often going back to childhood, and it makes a huge difference to your health and your weight when you address and defuse this. I do help you to clear this, return to calm, better sleep and lower cortisol levels.

Some people have massive problems with portion control, often exacerbated by being forced to eat everything on the plate – like it or not as a child. I have to bite my tongue to prevent myself doing this with my grandchildren even though I have horrendous memories of being forced to eat the leftovers next meal before I could have anything fresh to eat.

Some people opt for a virtual gastric band to control portions. The surgical gastric band is horrendous surgery and I have had several clients come to me after they have had their band surgery reversed because of complications. And after the initial weight loss, they put it on again. The virtual band does address limiting the food by choice rather than by compulsion.

Other people lose weight steadily over time because of the stress release and the changes in their mindset about food.

Obviously hypnotic weight loss is slow and steady over several months because you only lose 1-2 kilos a week but that is actually 4-8 kilos a month.

Studies in major medical journals show that hypnosis is the most effective long-term method of weight loss.

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