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Best Books to Quit Drinking Alcohol

Best Books to Quit Drinking Alcohol 

Let’s be honest quitting anything addictive, especially something like alcohol is hard.  Alcohol has become so ingrained in our society and typically dominates many of our social engagements with friends and family.  While self-help books shouldn’t be used in isolation, they are a brilliant way to explore if quitting or abstaining from alcohol is right for you.  These books will help you kick start you’re quit drinking journey and are an excellent resource to read by themselves or in conjunction with hypnotherapy sessions for abstaining from alcohol.

It is well published that binge drinking (typically defined as drinking five or more alcoholic beverages on one occasion for men or four for women) greatly increases health risks. This 2018 study found that consuming more than five alcoholic beverages a week could raise the risk of a stroke and heart diseases. More startling is that the according to research from the National Institute of Alcohol, Abuse and Alcoholism in the United States one in 10 deaths among US adults is contributed to over-consumption of alcohol.  Clearly this is a big issue in our society so don’t worry if you over-consume alcohol - you are not alone!

Should you quit alcohol altogether or moderate instead?

While many people can learn how to moderate their drinking successfully, but for others quitting alcohol may be the only option you have left. It has been well published that excessive drinking does long term damage to your body both physically, mentally and emotionally. If you have tried moderating your alcohol consumption numerous times before and unfortunately failed, then firstly look at the reasons why your moderation didn’t work and review. Did you have a plan to moderate? Were you anxious or stressed? What triggered you to drinking more? Remember to review and re-adjust your moderating goals after each relapse in order to get back on track.


If however you have tried moderating and you can’t cut down without going back to your old habits, then quitting alcohol is your logical next step. But remember that books and therapy are typically designed for people who have psychological dependence on alcohol. There are people though that have a physical addiction and should seek medical advice first, before ceasing alcohol consumption. Reading a book or googling something is not a substitute for seeing your doctor, so if you are wish to stop drinking then please ensure you speak to a doctor as the first step.

Want to find about more about moderating alcohol?  I also did a book review of my top 3 books for alcohol moderation

What to look for in a quit drinking alcohol book? 

Like any self-help books there can be both good and great books out there, so what makes a great self help book for alcohol abstinence?  Here are a few key points I like to look for when choosing a book to help you quit alcohol for good, 

  1.  Has the author taken this journey themselves?
  2. Does the author give you actionable steps to take or tools to use to aid in your quit or stop alcohol journey?
  3. How has the author gained their experience in this field? Is the author a practicing therapist or conducted research on quit drinking alcohol?
  4. What do other readers and book critics think of their book and techniques they advocate? 

So with the above points considered below you can find my top 4 books to help you how to quit alcohol for good.  Please remember to take notes along the way through each book and try to do any exercises that are detailed in most of them.  You might find that a book you end up purchasing doesn't really resonate with you, please don't despair I have read many books on changing behaviours and you will resonate with some authors and their strategies or tools and not others.  The key is to not give up on your abstinence goals and try another book from the list below or from the many books that are released each year.

#1

By Stanton Peele


While this book isn't specific to quitting alcohol, it is an excellent book to give you a values based framework and practical set of skills to work apply to addictions like alcohol or other addictive substances of behaviors.  What I like about this book is that it doesn't put the reader in a state of guilt, shame or fear which convey to you that you are powerless to stop alcohol or its a disease like the approach other '12 step type' programs typically take.  The author cleverly draws on research conducted by different scientific studies over time in drawing his conclusions and even gives the a conclusion that being once addicted to something does mean always addicted, giving many people light at the end of a dark tunnel of their addictions.


I really found this book inspirational and it really resonated with me as it really makes you think about why you want to quit in the first place, what are your values and life goals you want to achieve and how will quitting alcohol help you achieve them.  This book allows you to not be the victim to your addictions anymore and instead empower you to take control of your life life and learn how to put your addiction behind you.

#2

By Catherine Gray


Written as more as a memoir and with practical advice rather than a detailed 'how to guide' , the author provides a raw yet humors account of her journey to giving up alcohol.  This is a well written book with personal stories dotted throughout that help the reader relate their own troubles with alcohol such as the denial phase and your 'inner voice'.  Catherine doesn't leave out any details when describing her downward spiral that was happening in her life before giving up alcohol and then how her life had changed since quitting alcohol and how she adapted.  


This is a book that really makes you reflect on your own lifestyle and why you may also want to take the leap to quit alcohol.  Overall if you are after a well composed, short but to the point book that helps reinforce your mindset and commitment to start a quit drinking journey then this book may be for you.

#3
#3
#3

By Allen Carr


Allen Carr is most known for his best selling stop smoking book - The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.  Allen has taken his 'easy way' to quit any addictive substance and now tackled how women can sop drinking for good by removing their desire to drink altogether.  Allen begins the book by challenging readers why they believe they get some benefit from drinking alcohol in the first place and then starts to break down any common misconceptions and traps about alcohol and the drinks industry.  Ultimately the book aims to change the way you think about alcohol and the perceived benefits that come with consuming it, once these perceptions have been broken you will view alcohol in a completely different light.  


The book is well written and dotted with personal stories from people who have gone on the journey to quit alcohol.  While the book doesn't offer as much as s structured approach as 'The Truth About Addiction and Recovery' it does an excellent job of addressing the major fears everyone has deep down when worried how they could ever quit alcohol.  

Amazon Associates Disclaimer: I am an Amazon Associate and may earn from qualifying purchases through the links in this post.

Top 3 Books to Help You Moderate Your Alcohol in 2019

Top 3 Books to Help You Moderate Your Alcohol 

Self-help books are a great way to kick start your alcohol moderation journey and an excellent resource to read on your own or in conjunction with hypnotherapy sessions.  2019 & 2020 have been breakthrough years for advocates of a mindful drinking and alcohol moderation approach.  There has been increased focus on alcohol moderation and reduction in the media from documentaries such as 'Drinkers Like Us' by BBC journalist Adrian Chilies.  I have compiled a list of my top three favourite books to help you moderate your alcohol and begin your journey to alcohol moderation and share some great tips along the way in order to  help you get started.  

What to look for in a book to help you moderate your alcohol? 

Like any self-help books there can be both good and great books out there, so what makes a great self help book for alcohol moderation?  Here are a few key points I like to look for when choosing a book to help you moderate your alcohol, 

  1.  Has the author taken this journey themselves?
  2. Does the author give you actionable steps to take or tools to use to aid in your alcohol moderation journey?
  3. How has the author gained their experience in this field? Is the author a practising therapist or conducted research on alcohol moderation or reduction?
  4. What do other readers and book critics think of their book and techniques they advocate? 

So with the above points considered below you can find my top 3 books for alcohol moderation or reduction.  Please remember to take notes along the way through each book and try to do any exercises that are detailed in most of them.  You might find that a book you end up purchasing doesn't really resonate with you, please don't despair I have read many books on changing behaviours and you will resonate with some authors and their strategies or tools and not others.  The key is to not give up on your alcohol moderation goals and try another book from the list below or from the many books that are released each year.

Looking to quit alcohol instead of moderating?  Why not read my review on my Best Books for Quit Drinking Alcohol too.

My Top 3 Books to help you moderate & cut down your drinking 

#1

By Rosamund Dean


Rosamund does an excellent job of articulating a straightforward and realistic approach to those wishing to moderate their alcohol consumption, while intertwining humorous personal stories along the way.  She has researched and conveys the psychology of drinking to the reader and backs up her plan for a reader to moderate their alcohol by becoming a 'mindful drinker' by utilising expert advice and mini-interviews throughout the book. 


I love the fact that she shares smart, practical tips in helping to curve excessive drinking through her own experiences and rules that have turned her into an mindful drinker.  

#2

By Frederick Rotgers


The author takes a more scientific approach to explore the effects of alcohol consumption on the reader by using tools to help them discover if they are a problem drinker or an alcoholic.  Frederick uses research based-techniques to inform his readers of how drinking problems can develop and if they should pursue a moderation or abstinence strategy, finally providing readers with a definitive set of tools to help them adopt goals that they can tailor to their needs.  


The book has detailed exercises where readers make a commitment to be a responsible drinker, examine the negative effects of alcohol use, identify their own triggers as well as learning to take control of their behaviour.   I really like this book for it's research driven approach in conjunction with practical exercises.

#3

By Shahroo Izadi


Shahroo has a wealth of experience working as a behavioural change specialist at some of the UK's leading health and social care organisations.  This depth of experience permeates through her knowledge and techniques presented throughout the book.  While the book itself is not strictly targeted towards alcohol moderation, it does instead give the reader a set of tools that can be applied to any bad habits that may require changing.  At the heart of the book's ethos is addressing the problems you have with yourself, asking you to look carefully at yourself, your life and your habits and how you might be able to re-frame them.  


Ultimately the book left me feeling empowered and motivated to make lasting changes in my life across many areas of my life, not just moderating alcohol and forgo the 'quick fixes' that other books might claim.  I believe it is one of the best books out there in creating health habits that you can stick too!

Do you have a favourite self-help book for alcohol moderation or reduction that you found really useful too?  Please leave a comment below and I will try to include it in another future blog post.  

Amazon Associates Disclaimer: I am an Amazon Associate and may earn from qualifying purchases through the links in this post.

10 strategies for mastering alcohol moderation and feeling great

10 Strategies for Mastering Alcohol Moderation and Feeling Great!

Alcohol Bottles in Bar

Would you like to drink less? Maybe you are sick and tired of feeling exhausted by hangovers? Or maybe  anxiety and the ‘beer fear’ is an all too common experience for you. 

Big cities such as London provide ample opportunities to drink with work and busy social lives, combined with the fast pace of life and associated stress that this can bring. Within the UK during 2017, those who drank alcohol a whopping 27% were classed as binge drinkers.

Alcohol is an extremely effective short-term solution, to problems such as anxiety and stress, but in the long run it simply compounds them and makes it worse. Regularly drinking more than what is healthy, can mean that your days are spent in a self-loathing hangover and you get caught in a regular cycle which, left unresolved can end in a tailspin.

For some, over time this all resembles groundhog day and it can feel like alcohol is actually hijacking their life not to mention their liver! The fact is that quitting altogether is not what the majority of people want to do. In some cases this may be the only way forward, however in my experience this isn’t the best approach for most people and a structured approach to lowering their alcohol intake is the perfect solution.

My top ten strategies for moderating alcohol!

1 - Discover your ‘why’ and keep in mind all the benefits

So, to get you started and feeling super motivated write down two lists;

List 1 - All the future benefits of alcohol moderation 

Many clients discover wonderful benefits of alcohol moderation such as losing weight without effort, clearer skin, greater self- confidence, more success in their careers and deeper more meaningful relationships with others. Some people discover that they actually prefer to socialise without alcohol in many social situations. Other benefits include the fact that you can still enjoy alcohol without the numerous drawbacks, enjoy improved health, sleep and an increased ability to eat healthily without alcohol playing havoc with your blood sugar.

List 2 -  Ideas of other things you would like to do more of in life

It might be planning that trip you have always wanted to go on, taking a photography course or getting into fantastic shape through sport or exercise. It can be more low key such as having more time for yourself to practice self- care. This technique lets you take an element away that used to be your focus -alcohol- and add something in that is greatly enjoyable and rewarding. This makes the process feel less like a punishment and more like reclaiming your life. 

Man writing a list on a notepad

2 - Set goals around drinking limits

Many clients aim for the recommended 14 units per week, as advocated by Drinkaware and feel a great deal better for it. Spacing them over three or more days is important too. Writing down your goals down means you are more likely to be able to change your behaviour successfully, which neuroscience research has shown. You can also use your written goals as a bench mark to see how you are progressing over time. 

Many people find that they adjust their goals at some point on their moderation journey as new information and experiences come to light. Frequently my clients actually find that the less they drink, then the less they actually want to drink so correspondingly reduce their limits. The reason being is that they start to fill their lives with other non- drink related activities and new relationships with those who are not heavy drinkers as a result. Their interests then broaden and alcohol takes a less significant role in their lives.

3 - Decide on ‘Drinking rules’

You may decide to add in personal ‘rules’ about only drinking at certain times/circumstances or with certain people to help you stay within your limits. You may just have a feeling about what situations you are able to moderate successfully. When you mentally rehearse future situations you have three options;

  • Feeling confident I can safely moderate in this situation
  • One in which you should avoid drinking or apply extra caution
  • Avoid the situation completely

I had a client who realised, if it was a longer event such as a wedding (where he had previously over indulged) it was simply better to stick to soft drinks.

4 - Track your progress​

Use a diary/spreadsheet/wall planner/app to track your progress and you will be surprised how pleasing and motivating it is to complete week’s clean record of moderation. You might also see patterns emerging if you do have any slips which might inform you of possible triggers that you can address. Oddly enough, the thought of having to record a mishap on your tracker may even keep you from accepting that extra drink on some occasion. You can also use the Drinkaware app to calculate units in particular drinks and the best thin is its free and really easy to use!

5 - Get support

It’s a totally personal choice as to who you tell about your moderation goals. Choose your support network carefully and remember that talking about your drinking goals may bring up emotions for others around their own drinking behaviour. Others may seek to minimise the situation in order to keep you as their drinking buddy!

Move towards spending your time with supportive, non-judgmental people that make you feel good. If you feel that there are people in your life that drain you, then you may wish to try an emotional shielding technique to enhance and protect your self- esteem. One of my clients felt uneasy and unsupported around her mother who often judged rather than supported her effort’s so she employed this simple technique to protect herself.

Online groups such as the Club Soda Mindful Drinking Facebook group can be a useful source of support, members sharing tips, experiences and what moderation means to them personally.  Club Soda also organise events such as  mindful drinking festivals and informal lunches around the UK. Moderation management is another international organisation that has online tools, resources as well as meetings for those looking to maintain their healthier lifestyle.

Finally another excellent support resource for me has been reading books on alcohol moderation and abstinence.  I have compiled a list of my top 3 books for alcohol moderation as well as my Best Books to help you Quit Alcohol.

6 - Alcohol free days

As you learn to moderate you are likely to have more alcohol free days. Plan ahead for some enjoyable and/ or relaxing activities to enjoy. A nice long bath, cooking a really nice dinner or going for a massage or trip to the cinema. I’m sure you can think of many more! You will create a space unclouded by alcohol to further develop your resolution for a brand-new lifestyle, to clarify any drinking ground rules and control strategies and keep them firmly in mind.

Furthermore, you will start to tune in to the positive experiences in life that don’t involve alcohol and this will give alcohol a smaller role in your psyche. You will also learn to say no to alcohol which further strengthens your resolve. You will also witness how people actually act whilst over drinking. And wonderfully, abstaining restores your sensitivity so that less is enough and you get the relaxation and enjoyment from smaller quantities.

7 - Stop Judging yourself

Your past is your past so leave it where it belongs! Learning to deal with life is a learning curve and we all have the right to move on. Furthermore the habit of shaming yourself for past decisions might be what is making you want to drink in the first place. When you decide that you are worthy, loveable and enough despite your mistakes it gets a lot easier to moderate. By not adding additional shame into your life which makes many want to buffer their emotions in the first instance. 

You can raise your self -esteem by using affirmations speaking them aloud or writing a positive statement somewhere that you can see it every day. An example such as ‘I am feeling stronger and more confident everyday in my choices around alcohol’ or ‘I truly accept and honour my feelings’.  

8 - Managing Triggers

An important step is to get a clear understanding of the situations that lead you to over drink. For the majority of clients there is a clear pattern. Factors include times of day, particular people, days of the week, places, activities, money issues, your physical state, relations with other, life-events and particular feeling states. Consider whether your pattern is generally for fun or to relieve stress or bad feelings. Addiction Psychologist Dr Jeremy Frank advocates developing healthy coping strategies instead of drinking on negative emotion states which will often lead individuals to use alcohol as an emotional crutch. 

Also pay attention to the people in your life who make you feel good, happy, excited and motivated about your decision, and conversely about those who make you feel uncomfortable, drained, angry or triggered. Exercise extreme caution with those people, you have to put your emotional needs to the forefront.

9 - Plan to handle urges

Having a psychological urge to drink at certain times is completely normal. If and when this happens you can reconnect with your ‘why’ and remind yourself your reasons for changing, you can even carry them with you on paper or store them in your phone. Or perhaps talk it through with someone you trust. Alternatively, distraction can work very well such as a physical exercise or hobby.

The concept of ‘Surfing the Urge’ was developed by the late Alan Marlett, Professor of psychology at the addictive  Behaviour Research Centre at the University of Washington. He suggested that it’s important to remember that all cravings pass if you accept them and ride it out, safe in the knowledge that it will soon crest like a wave and pass, making you stronger for the future!

Man surfing on wave

10 - Get back on track after a slip up

Slips are very common, especially in the early phase of learning to moderate your drinking but there are many ways to get back on track. Remember that new and positive habits can take time to get fully established meaning old habits die hard! Furthermore Marlett suggested that ‘black and white thinking’ can be harmful in behaviour change efforts. 'Don’t say, ‘I can’t do it.’ People make mistakes, it’s how you react to the situation that matters. If you keep working at it, you’ll get better over time. That’s what the research shows.

Be proactive, slips can be stressful but also great learning tools. Try and figure out what didn’t go right and plan a corrective action. If you think that a slip happened because you broke one of your rules then perhaps you have to be more alert to that type of situation in the future. Alternatively if the slip uncovers a trigger that you haven’t uncovered before then maybe you need a new rule to deal with that particular trigger.

How can hypnotherapy and hypnosis help with alcohol moderation?

With the aid of hypnotherapy, I teach my clients how to instill a beneficial positive outlook relating to moderate drinking. It works at the subconscious level within your mind, to ensure that alcohol becomes less and less important in your life and increase your ability to think long term about developing a good relationship with alcohol. One to one sessions also provide the space and time to discuss issues around drinking that are personal and specific to the individual. Many of my clients see a dramatic improvement in relation to drinking in a short space of time.

I can reassure you that drinking is a habit you can change so you can enjoy life much more.  There is growing support for the use of moderation programs that can be very effective for a large proportion of problem drinkers. The techniques are based on solid scientific evidence of moderation techniques that work, together with my personal and professional experience.

Health Anxiety Checklist

Health Anxiety: How to find peace of mind

Health Anxiety: How to find peace of mind

What is health Anxiety?

You might spend hours on-line researching health information. If you get a headache do you think brain tumor- not dehydration? And despite medical tests indicating that you are healthy, it doesn’t make you feel any better. The nagging doubts persist, leaving you feeling like something is wrong.  If this sounds like you or a loved one, it might be health anxiety. This condition can interfere with your life, however the good news is that it is highly treatable.

The Greek word “hypochondria” approximately translates as “below the ribcage”. Over the past 3,000 years it was utilised to explain indigestion, then melancholia, then neurosis and then, finally, “a misplaced fear of illness based on the misinterpreting of bodily symptoms”. According to Professor Peter Tyrer, head of the centre for mental health at Imperial college London about 1-2% of the population suffer with health anxiety.

Health anxiety is described by Anxiety UK as: ‘an anxiety disorder that is often housed within the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) spectrum of disorders. Those affected by health anxiety have an obsessional preoccupation with the idea or the thought that they are currently (or will be) experiencing a physical illness.’ “Those with health anxiety for the most part are fearful of serious illness such as cancer, HIV or dementia. They worry a great deal less about minor ailments” reports Dr Timothy Scarella, instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical school. 

Signs and symptoms of health anxiety

The majority of people with this condition may not recognise quickly that they have anxiety around health, as they are preoccupied by the perceived threat of potential illnesses and often it can be a person close to them that identifies it. The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, created a tick list to identify whether or not you are experiencing health anxiety. You can have a look at the full list here, otherwise go onto a quick self assessment quiz I put together based on some of the questions in the original NHS list. 

Self Assessment Quiz for Health Anxiety

1.  How do you feel?

  • Anxious, nervous, worried, frightened
  • A feeling of dread
  • Tense, Stressed, uptight, on edge, unsettled
  • Unreal, strange, woozy, detached
  • Panicky
  • Feeling tired or unwell

2.  What are you thinking?

  • Constantly worrying about your health
  • Imagining the worst and dwelling on it
  • Thoughts about illnesses and symptoms
  • Worrying the doctor may have missed something
  • A belief that unless you keep an eye on things you may miss signs of illness
  • Belief that you may have something terribly wrong with you 

3.  What you end up doing

  • Go to the doctor's surgery frequently
  • Ask family and friends for reassurance about your symptoms
  • Frequently check your body for symptoms like spots, lumps, bumps etc.
  • Avoid any information on serious illnesses (e.g. newspaper, TV, books)
  • Seek out information on serious illnesses, then check for those symptoms 
  • Act as if you were ill 

If you found yourself saying "Yes" to some or all of the symptoms and these symptoms are regularly effecting you, then  it's possible that you are suffering from health anxiety.

Why is this affecting me?

There are certain factors that may make it more likely that a person will suffer from health anxiety such as,

  • Having a serious illness as a child
  • Having close family member or friend with a serious illness
  • Death of a close relative / friend
  • Having an anxiety disorder
  • A belief that being “healthy” means that you do not experience any physical symptoms of sensations
  • Having a close family member that has healthy anxiety

Does testing ease the nerves?

Testing may appear to be a fast solution for relieving health worries, however, for people whose health anxiety is unmanageable, testing rarely gives long lasting relief. Fundamentally, no amount of testing can remove the worry and in fact it reinforces the anxiety. Seeking reassurance can be like taking an opioid drug as it works at first but then wears off and then you become dependent.

The diagram below shows how thoughts, emotions, behaviours and actions are all linked and using CBT techniques can break this cycle.

health anxiety (healthskills.com)

Source:  HealthSkills.com

Tips to reduce health anxiety

Tip 1 ) Avoid turning to doctor Google- just put your device down!

Search any symptom and there will be results that suggest surgery or connect the symptom with some type of cancer. Such extreme ideas can trigger elevated levels of anxiety immediately, especially for those who are already afraid of health problems. Some people can become obsessed with researching online convincing themselves of the worst possible scenario. Furthermore, anyone can publish online, and some sources may be entirely inaccurate.

Tip 2) Keep a record of your thoughts

This method has provided instant relief to many clients as it fosters different ways of looking at your thoughts rather than buying into them. Make a list of all your recurrent body related thoughts and give them a label ie, ‘I have a thought that I might have Aids’ or ‘ I have a thought that I would like to seek reassurance that I am healthy from my partner’. Put a tick in the relevant box every time they occur.

It may be useful to notice which thoughts turn up in particular situations. One of my clients noticed that whenever she had a routine doctor’s appointment, she would start to think about additional issues she might seek reassurance on or tests she could request. Once she recognised this pattern, she was able to break the cycle and drastically reduce her anxiety.

Tip 3) Set small goals around safety behaviours

Safety behaviours can provide you with relief in the short term however according to research by Bunmi (2011) they actually maintain and reinforce anxiety conditions. Examples include physical checks of your body or seeking reassurance from others or online about your health.

Create a plan to reduce counterproductive safety behaviours. Write down you targets. You may feel an impulse to seek reassurance from a loved one but before acting on this impulse, ask yourself is this actually helping in the long term? Cutting down and finally eradicating safety behaviours may be hard at first however will drastically improve your anxiety condition.

Tip 4) Practice watching your thoughts pass by

As you may have gathered from my tip number 2, a key aspect of recovering from health anxiety is distancing yourself from thoughts. This means not being swept away by your thoughts but instead being aware of them as a passive observer. It may seem difficult at first but is worth persisting. The goal is to develop the skill of observing mind- made activity and the result is that you learn over time to interrupt the process that leads to conditioned behaviour and habitual actions and reactions. Eventually you understand that thoughts do not matter, its how they affect you that counts. Being able to accept the thoughts and not buying into them is a major part of getting over health anxiety.

To help practice distancing yourself from your thoughts you might like to try a simple visualisation exercise below.

Leaves on a Stream

Find somewhere safe and warm to settle for five minutes.

Close your eyes and imagine a very beautiful slow-moving stream. The water flows over rocks, around trees and descends down the valley. Imagine you are sitting beside that stream on beautiful warm summers day. Now become conscious of your thoughts. Each time a thought comes into your mind, imagine that it is written on one of the leaves. Or if you think in images then put the image on the leaf. The objective is to stay by the stream and to watch the leaves flowing by. Imagine your thoughts and emotions are like leaves floating down the stream, instead of getting entangled in them, you can choose to watch them come and go.

Rain forest Stream

Want free health anxiety hypnosis recordings?  Here are some on my YouTube channel,

Using Hypnotherapy to Overcome Health Anxiety

Hypnosis often creates very deep levels of relaxation for the client which reduces stress and anxiety. Depending on the needs of the client, I often use tailored hypnosis alongside behavioural therapy such as CBT. Research has shown that talking therapies can be highly effective in treating health anxiety by breaking the vicious cycle of altered thinking, feelings and behaviour. Hypnotherapy can also help you recognise and ‘let go’ of safety behaviours such as seeking reassurance and repeated physical checks.

Whatever your history may be, your mind is trying its hardest to keep you safe, however this might be reinforcing the anxiety cycle. Hypnotherapy can help calm your mind and re-program unhelpful thought patterns so that you can get back to a fulfilling life.  You can find out more about about my approach to treating health anxiety and other anxieties or click the link below to book a free consultation call with me.

Want to stop worrying and start living?

Book your FREE consultation and find out how I can help you

girl walking into waves

7 Reasons Why Hypnotherapy Works for Weight Loss

What Is Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss?


Hypnosis is the method of putting a client into a trance like state. In a hypnotherapy session, the client relaxes deeply and tunes in to the voice of a hypnotherapist who will utilise verbal cues and mental images to help achieve a hypnotic state. When in this state the therapist can communicate powerful information to the client’s subconscious mind. The subconscious section of our mind lies behind our conscious mind and cannot typically be reached in typical day to day life. The subconscious mind is typically accessed when daydreaming or under hypnosis.

How does it work?


During hypnosis the mind is typically more receptive to suggestion. A Stanford University medical study showed that interesting changes occur in the brain throughout hypnosis, allowing you learn without thinking critically about the messages received. As a result, hypnosis can help breaking down barriers that might have prevented a client from losing weight in the past.

Repetition is important for success and this is why a good therapist should send recordings of the hypnotherapy performed on you to listen between sessions. Barriers in the mind are strong and through repeated work one can re-frame these sometimes long held beliefs. Research suggests that hypnosis is very effective for weight loss, a 2014 study undertaken by the University of Salento in Italy revealed that women trying to lose weight who received hypnotherapy lost significantly more weight than those who tried to lose weight without intervention. The women also reported improved eating behaviour and enhanced body image.

7 Top Reasons to Use Weight Loss Hypnotherapy


1 - Escape the diet treadmill: Building a healthy relationship with food

Some hypnotherapists work with clients who are on a diet or weight loss program,  however many people are now realising, that diets simply don’t work for the majority of people in the long term. This is illustrated in research by Latrobe University, Australia. When on a diet we become overly responsive to the food that we desire and that looks good, our metabolism slows, and we become hungrier. Consequently, many hypnotherapists, including myself advocate an approach that allows clients to occasionally have the foods they desire but in moderation.  Simply by allowing a little of you want can really get things back to a healthy balance. This was one of the most powerful tools that I used when finding peace with food.

2 - Resolve emotional issues

Hypnotherapy can help clients in the resolution of underlying psychological issues leading them to detest exercise, have intense cravings, binge or eat mindlessly. It helps isolate triggers and disarm them. Hypnosis works for weight loss because it allows a person to separate food and eating from their emotional life.

Many hypnotherapists may offer tips and techniques to deal with intense emotions that may previously have triggered the action of self- medicating’ with food. I often teach clients a simple tapping exercise that is taken from the Emotional Freedom technique, which can be an excellent way of restoring emotional balance and therefore reducing cravings.

Here is a great YouTube clip from Julie Schiffman, an EFT Practitioner of Dr. Mercola's Center for Natural Health that illustrates the technique.

3 - Curb overeating

Weight loss hypnotherapy allows the client to move away from ‘I see, I eat’ mentality to a more measured way of eating that registers messages from the body telling you it’s full. This can also be complemented and strengthened with mindful eating practices which have shown to be effective in achieving a healthy weight.  Mindful eating can have multiple benefits as highlighted in a 2010 pilot study where overweight participants were taught a 6 week program centered around mindfulness.  Results indicated improvements in eating behaviour, weight loss and increased well being.

4 - Banish Snacking

Mind conditioning hypnotherapy allows people to move away from unhealthy snacking or ‘treating’ themselves with cakes or chocolates on a regular basis. Hypnotherapy retrains the brain to visualise an ideal body shape and then acts as a catalyst to kick start the client’s motivation. Visualisation techniques enable the client to glimpse future results and think about how it makes them feel.

5 - Feel great about eating less

Hypnotherapy helps people to make good choices about portion size at meal times, since incorrect portion sizes are one of the largest factors in weight gain. You don't have to feel hungry on a regular basis, simply satisfied and balanced both emotionally and physically.

6 - Motivation mindset

Many clients come in search of an altered mindset around food. However, as their confidence in behaviour change and general levels of positivity grow, clients often naturally embrace the multiple benefits of increased physical activity.

7 - Unexpected Perks

Another added perk that my clients often report is that the meditation aspect, aids stress reduction and boosts mindfulness. This not only assists weight loss but improves general levels of wellbeing and relaxation. Clients are often so pleased and motivated by the behaviour changes in relation to food that it creates a domino effect in other areas of their life that they wish to improve.

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