How The Ornish Diet Works
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How The Ornish Diet Works

By Alan B. Densky, CH

The Ornish Diet is an extremely low fat, all-vegetarian diet program.  


Correct application of the nutrition plan, exercise, and stress-management techniques of this diet results in weight loss and greatly improved health for most dieters. 


Although this program takes more dedication than many other diet plans, and often requires dramatic lifestyle changes for the dieter, research shows that it is effective for both losing weight and helping to reverse heart disease. 


With its emphasis on stress-management and making healthy food choices, the Ornish diet is also a perfect candidate for combined use with hypnotherapy treatments.

The Ornish diet comes in two very similar forms, a Preventative diet and a Reversal diet. The Preventative diet is excellent for people who want to lose weight and lower their risk for heart disease. It is also excellent for dieters looking to lower their cholesterol levels. The Reversal diet is designed for people already suffering from heart disease who want to reverse the effects of the condition and lower their risk for heart attacks.

Both forms of the diet recommend a nutrition plan that is composed of 10% fat, 20% protein, and 70% complex carbohydrates. Under the diet, all meat, fish, and poultry are to be avoided. All fats, oils, nuts, seeds, are also not allowed. Refined carbohydrate foods such as white flour and white rice are also banned, but whole grain pasta and bread, beans, and legumes are allowed. 

Foods allowed in limited amounts include egg whites and nonfat dairy products such as nonfat cheeses, milk, and yogurt. Most processed foods are banned, since any prepackaged foods with more than two grams of fat per serving are not allowed.

The diet allows you to eat fruit, vegetables, beans, and whole grains at every meal until you feel full. The benefit of this diet is that since you are allowed to eat as much as you want of permitted foods, you can feel full and satisfied all the time. This diet, unlike many others, is not based on unhealthy "starvation" techniques. 

Along with the nutrition plan, another important key to the Ornish diet is stress-management. There are many stress-relieving practices you can use, such as yoga, meditation, and hypnosis. Practicing hypnosis is ideal for relieving anxiety and tension while promoting natural weight loss. Hypnosis techniques work by helping your unconscious mind focus on having positive thoughts instead of negative ones when you begin to feel stressed. These techniques are extremely effective in promoting relaxation. 

While the Ornish diet is healthy and effective for most people, it can be hard to follow because it has many restrictions. This diet and others like it often fail because dieters cannot stick to them. Many people struggle with dieting because they suffer from an out-of-control appetite, uncontrollable food cravings, compulsive overeating, or a lack of motivation to lose weight. These obstacles keep many hard-working dieters from maintaining their diet and achieving long-term success. Hypnosis helps you overcome these obstacles, and is an excellent complement to the Ornish diet because of it provides motivation to stay on a weight loss program. 

Hypnosis works to control and regulate the appetite by "reprogramming" the unconscious mind to eliminate and replace bad habits with good ones. Years of unhealthy eating habits such as "emotional eating" can cause people to eat impulsively, even when they are not hungry. Hypnosis breaks unhealthy associations with food and our feelings to stop this conditioned response and end emotional eating. Hypnosis can further influence dieting success by replacing the overeating response with another activity, such as exercise. This way, instead of getting urges to overeat, you will feel motivated to exercise for your health. 

Hypnosis can also be used to eliminate the emotional anxieties that keep you from losing weight. For many people, being overweight provides a "secondary gain" in the form of a feeling of safety or emotional protection. For example, many people with low self-esteem are afraid of people not liking them, so they use their weight as a reason to assume people will dislike them. Through hypnosis, we can think more positively and focus on having better health instead of becoming overwhelmed by such anxieties. We can use hypnosis to improve our self-esteem, placing value on ourselves and our own health. 

Hypnosis treatment offers a powerful, natural combination of stress relief, motivation, and behavior regulation to promote weight loss and help you follow your diet plan of choice. Using hypnotherapy with the Ornish diet is particularly effective, but hypnosis is excellent for helping people stay committed to any weight loss program. Hypnosis promotes the success of weight loss diet programs as well as natural weight loss so dieters can enjoy permanent results. 

© 2007By Alan B. Densky, CH.  This document may NOT be re-printed without permission. All Rights Reserved.  We are happy to syndicate our articles to approved websites.

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