Fitness

How to lose weight without dieting

Losing weight without dieting sounds too good to be true, but these natural, alternative weight loss techniques could be the end to your calorie-counting.

By Penny Lewis

Hypnotherapy: If you can't stop overeating

How often do you eat when you're not really hungry? Or when you're bored, stressed or sad? Overeating can be a deep-seated habit stored in the unconscious mind. The good news? Hypnotherapy, or hypnosis, can break the habit.

Changing the pattern of overeating
"Most people are aware of what constitutes healthy eating," says therapist Margaret Warren. "Let's face it, we're bombarded with messages about it every day."

It's true – while we all know the hows and whys of a healthy diet, our deeply ingrained eating habits soon send even the hottest new weight-loss plan into crash-and-burn mode.

"Hypnotherapy can help break the habit of overeating and tackle underlying reasons for eating when you're not physically hungry," explains Margaret. "Whereas diets can often lead to obsessing about food – 'How many calories are in this piece of chicken? How much rice am I allowed?' – hypnotherapy can help to restore control at an unconscious level. So your relationship with food will be relaxed and you'll be more aware of when you are full."

Ayurveda: When diets just don't work

Ayurveda, a holistic healthcare system, is all about balance and eating the right foods for your constitutional type.

Smooth digestion
According to Ayurveda, being overweight is related to the running of your digestive system, rather than overeating.

Practitioner Sebastian Pole says, "If your digestion is good, your metabolism will be good and you'll have a balanced weight."

Easy ayurvedic rules
1 Eat a small piece of fresh ginger before each meal to perk up digestion.
2 Sip warm water with your meal, but don't drink a lot of fluids afterwards.
3 Chew each mouthful of food properly.
4 Leave four to six hours between meals – no snacking at all!
5 Stop eating when you're half full of food and a quarter full of liquid.

Emotional freedom technique: For when cravings demolish every diet

Chocolate, biscuits and cakes can all wreck a diet in the time it takes to chew. But you can curb cravings with emotional freedom technique (EFT).

Emotional healing
Think of EFT as psychological acupressure that uses finger tapping rather than needles. It relieves symptoms by touching on various locations on your body.

"Giving in to cravings is often a way of avoiding feelings or reducing stress," says EFT practitioner Sally Canning. "Diets don't address emotional issues and the lost weight will return unless the anxieties built up have been identified and eliminated."

Dynamic yoga: to detox your body and shift your mindset

If you've always thought yoga was for relaxing and couldn't possibly reshape you in the way the gym can, then you need an update.

Can it really work?
"Yes," says top yoga teacher Claire Missingham. "Regular practice will motivate you to think more about your overall wellbeing, including your diet."

The key is regular practice, so get out that yoga mat and join a class in your area!

Yoga works from the inside out
Choose a dynamic style, such as Vinyasa, Ashtanga or power yoga, and you will find that it can detox and reshape your body while transforming the way you feel about food.

"A dynamic, flowing style promotes detoxification on a cellular level," explains Claire.

"When we move and breathe deeply in yoga, it massages the internal organs, stokes an inner fire to burn calories, sweats out impurities and encourages our mind to let go of tension, so we feel fresh and clear."

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