Slimming is big business – it’s worth some £2 billion per year in books, DVDs, diet plans and special foods.

And on average, we each spend some £25,000 on trying to lose weight in a lifetime. That’s a lot of money – and all the research and evidence points to the fact that yo-yo diets and faddy foods just don’t work.

It’s confusing, isn’t it? Are fats good? Are sugars bad? Is fruit healthy or not? Can I give up carbs or protein? Is this latest diet the answer to all your problems?

I am not a nutritionist or a doctor, I tend to come at the issue of people holding on to weight from a totally different angle. I help the client to discover why he or she is really holding on to that excess weight. Very often there are emotional causes that can go back years, to childhood or even to a past life. Extreme though it may seem, it is not unusual to find people who have starved to death in a previous life and who promise themselves they will never go hungry again. It doesn’t have to be that dramatic, of course, it could be that the client was punished or rewarded by food as a child, and this behaviour continues into adult life.

Tackling the emotional root causes can often trigger reactions at mental, emotional and physical levels of the body, and then the healing process can begin.

Even if we don’t go all the way to a hypnotic gastric band, the process of getting things – literally – out of the system is invariably beneficial.

Forget about the D-word – “diet” – go for the L-word – “Lifestyle”. It’s far cheaper, healthier and better for your overall wellbeing.

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