Meet the Experts Who Can Help You Reach Your Goal Weight: The Lean Team

Meet the Experts Who Can Help You Reach Your Goal Weight:
The Lean Team
by Sharon Kennedy, The WAG (January/February 2008)

It’s January, and the odds are you are about to embark on the No. 1 resolution in the history of New Year’s resolutions: losing weight. There is no shortage of methods to achieve your desired waistline, so in an effort to trim the fat, WAG has compiled its very own “Lean Team” (a gastroenterologist, a hypnotist, a personal trainer, and a registered dietitian), all of whom shed light on their respective fields, as well as tips on how to lose those holiday pounds.

THE HYPNOTIST:

Robert Pargament, Certified Hypnotist, The Westchester Hypnosis Center, 600 Mamaroneck Ave, Suite 457, Harrison (800) 675-7583

What a Hypnotist Does:

“So many people don’t understand hypnotherapy,” says Robert Pargament, certified hypnotist at Westchester Hypnosis Center in Harrison. “People conjure up images of stage hypnosis and put it somewhere between voodoo and Vegas. But it is a well-proven modality, one endorsed by the American Medical Association in the 1950s, and one that may be the most effective and direct way to change eating habits in a relaxed and comfortable way.”

During a session, a client is guided into a state of deep mental and physical relaxation. Specific suggestions are offered to control the “appestat” (think thermostat), the part of the mind in the limbic portion of the brain that controls appetite. As a result, clients report feeling less hungry, and much more comfortable around food. “It takes the emotional component out of eating,” says Pargament, because with hypnosis, access is gained to the subconscious mind-”that’s where the thoughts reside.” Pargament believes many diets fail because while people logically know what they need to do to lose weight, the subconscious mind is pushing against this, telling the individual they want to eat. With hypnosis, thoughts enter at the subconscious level and go directly to the problem.

Pargament treats clients looking to lose anywhere from a few pounds to more than 100 pounds. Weight loss can be achieved through one session; however, Pargament recommends an average of five to six sessions for optimal results. Many clients also come in every three weeks for maintenance, or a “tune-up.”

Self-Help: “Notice when you are eating for emotional reasons,” advises Pargament. “Be aware-don’t fill that emptiness with food.”