I can recall attending a wine tasting event given by the Berry Brothers wine company in Basingstoke when I was a lot younger than I am today. What a brilliant event. As with many wine tastings, you pay for a ticket, then get to sample lots of wines with a view to purchasing them. I did it wrong. I ignored the big bins of sawdust to spit my wine out after tasting and continued to swill down copious amounts of my favourites that were on offer.
Headache ensued the next day.
Since those younger days I have developed a penchant for many wines and even studied wine a little bit, though don’t really claim to be any kind of an expert, I still know how to taste my wine, note its character, aroma and depth. (Those who know me know I love deep luxurious full-bodied reds like Rioja, Barrolo and Chateauxneuf Du Paps and also very dry and crisp white wines such as Chablis and Sancerre)
If you have ever had a conversation with a proper wine expert or a sommelier, you’ll know that these guys have so much knowledge and expertise about wines and whenever I watch them drink and taste their wines, it is a joy to watch – they seem to be able to extract the most amount of taste, pleasure and joy out of the tiniest amount of wine; they raise the glass and look upon the wine, they raise it to their nose and breathe its aroma in deeply, then look at how it rolls down the inside of the glass. They assess it and then take a (sometimes noisy) sip along with plenty of air in the mouth and they roll it around the mouth to engage as many of the taste buds as possible. It is then spat out and the taste endures and lingers and they get other flavours and characters coming to the mouth before they cleanse the pallet with water.
All the senses get engaged and it is clearly a pleasurable and discerning way to enjoy the drink that I tend to quaff instead of enjoying as much as I should from time to time.
This artful way of tasting wine is something used by many hypnotherapists to illustrate how those wishing to lose weight can derive huge amounts of pleasure and satisfaction from eating much smaller amounts of food.
Major contributor to the field of hypnotherapy Theodore Barber is the earliest documented user of this approach that I can find, using this approach in the 60s, though it has been picked up and used by many hypnosis professionals and authors over the years. William S Kroger who I have quoted many times before on this blog promoted the use of the notion of “eat like a gourmet” back in the 70s and more recently Herbert Mann used the idea of “eating as an art” as he referred to wine tasters and coffee tasters in his approach that features in a number of books including the famed Handbook of Hypnotic Suggestions and Metaphors.
The process that I am offering up here today takes this notion and makes it available to the self-hypnotist. With this process, we are going to mentally rehearse the idea of eating as an art form, then allow it to happen in real-life.
As I have been saying in other recent blog entries as we arrive at this festive season, we can make sure we do not arrive in the New Year in need of bigger trousers if we think about what we are doing in our minds when we are presented with excessive and unhealthy foods. If you think about the differences between my own younger wine tasting skills and that of the sommelier, then you can get a grasp of the difference between eating and stuffing ourselves to bursting point and compare that with someone who derives much pleasure and taste from smaller amounts of food.
Just run through the following 6 Steps To Use Self-Hypnosis To Eat Artfully:
Step One: Induce hypnosis. You can do so by any means you desire or know of. You can use the process in my Science of self-hypnosis book, use the free audio we give away on this website to practice or have a look at the following articles as and when you need them; they are basic processes to help you simply open the door of your mind:
Heavy Arm Self-Hypnosis Induction Method
Using Eye Fixation for Self-Hypnosis
The Chiasson Self-Hypnosis Method
Hand to Face Self-Hypnosis Induction
Using Magnetic Hands for Self-Hypnosis
The Coin Drop Self-Hypnosis Induction
However, with this process, an induction is potentially too much activity, so I teach my clients how to adopt a hypnotic mindset and simply have a mindset that is positive and expectant. Again, to really understand the cognitive set of the hypnotic mindset, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book where it is explained in simple but comprehensive terms.
Once you have induced hypnosis, move on to step two.
Step Two: Think about a typical meal time, and start to think that you make a decision now to eat only at meal-times and when you eat you are going to place all your attention on that meal until you finish it, so as you think of a particular and typical meal time, notice that there are no distractions, no television, no books to read, no phone to tinker with…
You look at the food in front of you, look and examine the meal before you, observe the colours, the textures and inhale the aromas of the food before you.
All the time that you are examining the food in front of you, tell yourself that you are going deeper inside of your mind with each thought that you think and use this step to deepen your experience of hypnosis at the same time. When you have got that detailed meal in front of you and you have deepened sufficiently, then move on to the next step.
Step Three: Now start to eat the food before you (imaginary eating), and do this is a very particular way.
Firstly, take very small pieces. Either cut them up small or take small bites. Take only small pieces of food. Continue to take in all the colours and aromas of the food while you bring it to your mouth in a deliberate and controlled manner. And do make sure it is deliberate and controlled, so that you feel as if you are doing this on purpose.
Focus your complete and utter attention upon the food you then place into your mouth, put your cutlery down and move on to the next step.
Step Four: Now with the food in your mouth, making sure that your thoughts do not wander and you focus in on the phone, imagine chewing the food slowling and thoroughly and repeatedly. Let is pass across all of your taste buds and notice how your mouth is stimulated in a variety of different ways while you chew and eat. Chew a lot and make sure the food moves around your mouth so that you can derive the most amount of flavour and satisfaction from the smaller amounts. Let your tongue really engage in the food and let it linger over it for plenty of time before you swallow that food. Notice how easily and fully your taste buds are satisfied and how much pleasure you gain from such a small quantity of food.
Continue repeating this process for a while, rally focussing on each mouthful, highly aware fo each chew, enjoying each small amount of food to the maximum. Then after 5-7 mouthfuls or so, move on to the next step.
Step Five: Now start to notice that as those mouthfuls arrive at your stomach, notice how satisfying and warming they feel in the stomach. Notice how easily full your stomach feels with the smaller and healthier amount of food in it.
Notice the sensation of fullness and satisfaction spread through your tummy and enjoy it more and more. Maybe you’ll feel full before you finish eating all the mouthfuls, but you know that by the end of the meal, for sure, you’ll feel satisfied and at ease and fulfilled with the food you have eaten.
Continue to take mouthfuls, focusing on them, letting them be slow and deliberate, thoroughly chewed, extracting as much taste and pleasure from each one, then notice each mouthful having a deeply satisfying sensation in the tummy.
If satisfaction were a colour, what colour would it be? If satisfaction were a sound, what sound would that be? Now as you imagine the feeling of satisfaction developing within you, now add that colour and sound and imagine yourself feeling more and more at ease, comfortable and full.
Notice how you start to take more time over each mouthful as the meal progresses and how much easier it is for you to become absolutely satisfied in a way that enhances your health and contributes to your well-being.
Step Six: Tell yourself that you do not necessarily need to avoid food or try to give it up, you just need to adopt the eating habits of a gourmet who extracts all the taste and pleasure from each morsel of food that is consumed.
When you have repeated that idea to yourself a few times, open your eyes, wiggle your fingers and toes and take a couple of deep breath to bring the session to an end.
Then, once you have practiced the above process 4-5 times, start applying this new way of eating at your real-life meal times and engage in the process that you have mentally rehearsed and practiced in your hypnosis sessions. Notice how you take your time over eating and make a deliberate choice to do so.
Start to adopt that process of eating like a gourmet and making an art of how you eat and it is going to help you greatly throughout the festive season.
That is the end of this little series of festive food related strategies, from here onwards I am changing topics in the build up to Christmas… Be back soon.
Has this resonated with you in some way? Then these links might interest you:
1. Have poor eating habits held you back and/or are they still doing so now? Do you need to learn how to develop better eating habits?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others develop better eating habits?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist for whom problematic habits are negatively effecting the success of your business? Do you need to operate more effectively to fulfil your career ambitions?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.
Well done! And apropos at Christmas time. There is so much temptation around that we need all the mental tips that we can to manage our mouths during this season of indulgence.
What I like about this article is you are not reinforcing “don’t eat” that or avoidance strategies, but rather using a measured approach to eating the goodies – thereby removing the “white knuckle” response that most diets lead to.
Hypnotherpist, Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist, Weight Loss Coach
Thank you Sara, good to hear from you. The process is really a skill set traditionally taught to clients by therapists with a leaning towards cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy… But I think with some mental rehearsal and application with self-hypnosis, such an approach is enhanced efficaciously – certainly in my experience.
Very best wishes to you Sara, A.