Does your desire for instant gratification make it difficult, if not impossible, to lose weight and keep it off? Well, there is bad news, and there is good news. (The good news may involve hypnosis. Stay tuned.)
The bad news is: our brains evolved before refrigeration and grocery stores were invented. If our ancestors found the berry patch loaded with ripe, luscious fruit, they ate as many of the berries as they could right away. Instant gratification! If they ate a few berries with the intention of coming back later, there was a good chance the berries would be gone, having been eaten by hungry birds or Poppa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear.
Our brains are designed to immediately take advantage of a pleasurable opportunity. That is why it can be so hard to say no to that second slice of George’s birthday cake. We decide based on our anticipation of short-term pleasure with little or no consideration of future consequences. Even if were consciously aware that eating the cake is at odds with our goal to lose weight, at the moment of decision, it was the anticipation of pleasure that one the day.
The good news is, our brains are flexible enough to learn to delay pleasures, or even decide against them. The key concept is: consideration of future consequences.
Of course, we have all had the experience of thinking, “I know I’ll regret it later, but…” Even knowing that the consequences would be unpleasant, we indulged anyway.
Back to the good news. Our brains can learn strategies to delay instant gratification to gain even greater benefits later. You have already done that many times. Maybe you wait until after dinner to eat the ice cream, or you wait a few extra days to go to that movie so that you can have the pleasure of going with your friend.
Using weight loss hypnosis we can train our brains to attach the consequences to any “instant gratification” food, or activity. When we’re in hypnosis we can build a new habit of thinking so that we decide whether to eat the cookies at the Christmas party based on our physical hunger levels, our weight loss goals, and how we will feel physically if we indulge in half a dozen cookies. The new autopilot decision strategy is based on what will make us feel best not only in the moment, but in the long run. And, that not only makes weight loss easier, it makes it easier to maintain long-term weight goals.
Wesley Anderson, DCH