20/09/2017 10:39 BST | Updated 20/09/2017 10:39 BST

Is Your Subconscious Making You Overweight?

Sally Anscombe via Getty Images

I am a hypnotist and it's interesting how many people I meet feel that they are out of control of parts of their lives. There's one thing that simply comes back again and again and is almost impossible for them to change in their everyday lives.

One client, for example, visited my clinic and told me how she couldn't eat anything but French fries. Her body reacted very badly to any other type of food. Clearly, this wasn't a very healthy diet and she knew that. But her own willpower wasn't strong enough to convince her. It was the same with another client who wanted to lose weight. She ate way too many sweets. She brought out the candy bowl every evening, looked in the kitchen cupboards for something tasty or secretly bought herself a couple of bags of candy at the local gas station. Almost as if she had been hypnotized into doing so. Why did she do it? At the end of this column you'll find out why both women continued to eat unhealthy diets even though they knew it was wrong.

Do you think incorrectly?

No, there's nothing right or wrong in your subconscious. We simply don't understand how much of our lives are controlled by automatically released feelings based on learned memories stored in our subconscious. So it's entirely natural to believe that your thoughts are wrong, that you are not mentally sound, or that there is something physically wrong. It's very strange but brilliant at the same time. Your subconscious can drag your willpower up or down. It doesn't discriminate about whether what it's doing is good for you or bad for you. It just carries out earlier learning for you. So if you experience a lack of willpower in one particular area, it's because your subconscious is working against your willpower.

Subconscious connections are a hypnotic state

If you'd like to eat less, or eat a more healthy diet, that is a conscious desire. You know that you have the knowledge to do it. But what about your subconscious? What if you were bullied as a child or if grandma showed her love for you with homemade jams and jellies? Maybe you ate a bar of chocolate when your father died to cover up your grief. There can be many different unconscious connections, but it's often only one of them that causes trouble.

French fries and bowls of candy

Back to the clients I originally mentioned. The client who ate French fries had subconsciously learned that they were the only good things to eat. How did that happen, you ask? Well, during hypnosis we learned that her mother and father always argued at the dinner table. That was difficult for her to handle, so she transferred her bad feelings to the food instead. The only time she had a good experience at mealtime, when her parents didn't fight, was when they visited the local fast-food restaurant. They didn't fight there. So it had nothing to do with her knowledge of nutrition. She had just learned in her subconscious that French fries protected her against bad feelings.

And what about the woman with the bowl of candy? She missed her mother and father, who were no longer alive, and they always had a large bowl of candy at home when it was time to relax. So when she needed a feeling that someone cared about her, she unconsciously began eating candy, which in her mind was linked to her childhood memories.

Tip: The only feeling that should make you eat is the feeling of hunger. Anything else is subconscious.