It may be the season of good will to all men but the festive season call also mean an abundance of calorific temptations to both men and women. Leading Weight Loss Hypnotherapist and the founder of HypnoSlimming, Michael A Cox has investigated the eating patterns of those people planning on dieting in the New Year. Even before the Christmas decorations were put up many people have already decided that January will be the time to lose weight.

Michael explains the potential consequences. “Most people look at weight loss or dieting as something negative, something that represents sacrifice. This is why many people that want or need to lose weight will actually consume more over the festive period. They have communicated to themselves that they are going to diet or from an evolutionary perspective, experience a famine, and are over consuming as a way to prepare.”

While it makes sense for people to prepare for a genuine time of famine Michael A Cox highlights why this belief system leads to a destructive cycle. “For most people that are overweight they have the perception that eating food is good and dieting is bad. In their mind dieting represents a sacrifice to the foods they love and enjoy. Discipline and sacrifice can only last so long when the overriding belief is that they want to eat these foods but can’t or shouldn’t. These same people that are overeating before January are also likely to fail in their resolutions because they are using the wrong weight loss strategy.”

As founder of HypnoSlimming Michael offers 5 top tips to get through the temptations of Christmas:

  1. Get a head start. If you are planning on dieting in the New Year then the festive season can give you a massive head start. Scientifically speaking weight is gained when people consume more calories than they utilise. By reducing the amount of overeating during the Christmas season will actually mean you have less work to do in the New Year. Think of it this way, a mince pie is about 200 calories and equivalent to about 20 minutes of exercise. If you had to do a 20 minute jog to eat that mince pie, would you still do it?
  2. Out of sight, out of mind. For many people the trigger to eat food is when they see it. Whether it’s chocolates in shiny wrappers, that mince pie on display or the leftover turkey in the fridge. You will be amazed at how much less you eat simply by not being where the food is or by choosing to focus on everything else there is to look at.
  3. Procrastinate your eating. We’ve all had things to do that we’ve simply put off. It may have been a tax return or perhaps a shed that needed a tidy. As humans we’re incredibly gifted at delaying what needs to be done. While saying no to food can feel like a sacrifice or impolite try using the phrase “not just now, maybe later” when offered that extra portion of trifle or slice of Christmas cake.
  4. Catch yourself in trance. As a hypnotherapist I’m constantly surprised at the misconceptions people have about what a trance is. A trance is simply when the unconscious is more in control than the conscious. If you’ve ever driven a car without actually thinking or watched a movie and wondered where your popcorn disappeared to then you’ve been in trance. This Christmas try catching either yourself or other people in trance. Watch out particularly for people eating or drinking while watching TV. They won’t have an idea about what they are eating, how much they are eating or even what it tastes like. Amnesia (an absence of memory) as well as ideomotor responses (arms or hands moving without conscious thought) are signs of a deep trance. Catching yourself eating in trance is the first step to changing it.
  5. Enjoy Yourself. For serial dieters the festive time can be a period of guilt or embarrassment. Even if you do notice that you’ve overeaten or overindulged just be aware that you can always chose to do something different in the future and that the past does not equal the future. To help out serial dieters Michael is offering a free Festive Food Hypnosis programme which can he streamed free by visiting The audio hypnosis session will have several suggestions to help you resist the temptations of the festive season.