The Sweetness of Life (or How to Reduce Carbs)
Updated: Jan 10, 2022
Does your wish for sweetness get in the way of losing weight and feeling good mentally and physically over the long-term? Some of us do not focus on what we put in our mouths and how we feel about it.
Many people enter hypnotherapy to lose weight or to be healthier, both physically and mentally. The most common thing people say to me about losing weight is that they would miss the sweetness in the foods they usually enjoy. They are sometimes willing to sacrifice their mental or physical wellness for the sweetness they crave in simple carbohydrates.
I have no judgment about liking sweetness; I myself enjoy it in small doses. However, when it’s out of balance with the rest of life, it can create problems. Hypnosis can help people with cravings for things that do not serve our well-being.
Of course, we cannot separate our physical and mental wellness anymore. We know way too much about the mind-body connection to buy that old Cartesian split between mind and body. Just as our bodies and minds are connected, so, too are we connected to the environment. What we put in us (nutrition) and surround ourselves with has an impact on us and we have an impact on our surroundings. Therefore, there is a tension between the immediate desire for sweetness and the long-term goals for feeling good in a healthy way.
Nutrition and Mental Wellness
It seems that not many physicians see the link between nutrition and mental health. However, it is vital to be more aware of this connection. Following are some highlights of what I have learned, along with some ideas of how to enjoy what Joshua Rosenthal calls “primary foods” in his book, Integrative Nutrition.
He defines primary foods as “lifestyle factors… that create optimal health,” such as physical activities, career, relationships, and spirituality (p. 16). Many of us crave a little reward when we’ve done something good, and for some, that reward takes the form of a food treat. Often, it’s either salty and fatty or sweet and fatty. But what other treats can we give ourselves? How can we reward ourselves without linking it to food and drink? How can we learn to appreciate the sweetness in all of life, not just food?
You might want to ask yourself, “What do I do to treat myself?” If you automatically reach for food as a treat, hypnosis can help you find a different reward.
Reducing Carbs by Substituting Rewards:
Hugs, kisses and other expressions of love
Massage (self or giving or receiving to someone else)
Long bath or shower
Sweet smells (like aromatherapy oils, e.g., tangerine, etc.)
Water or herbal tea
Yoga, Tai Chi, or Qi Gong
Meditation / prayer
Calling a friend
Reading a good book
Time with a loved one
Doing a hobby
Looking at artwork or beautiful photography
Listening to music
Watching a good movie or video
Doing something creative (drawing, cooking, painting, writing)
Sharing a joke or funny story with someone
Going somewhere beautiful in nature; drinking in the view.
Reducing Carbs by Rethinking Sweetness
According to William Matteson, Ph.D. in his course “From Mouth to Madness,” what we use for sweeteners in our food can have a profound effect on our health. It’s dizzying to keep up on whether table sugar, or sucrose, is considered “good” or “bad” for us, but it does predispose us to have a more acid pH in our bodies, which can lead to a host of negative health problems.
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, sugar can damage the liver, trick the body into gaining weight, lead to metabolic syndrome (a risk factor that can lead to diabetes and heart disease), increase uric acid levels which can lead to kidney and heart disease, and cause inflammation in the body.