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I got hypnotized to give up eating my favorite food - here's how it went
Featured Image Credit: UNILAD/BrianAJackson

I got hypnotized to give up eating my favorite food - here's how it went

If, like me, you didn't the strength to make a new year's resolution on your own, then how about giving hypnotherapy a try?

There's just something about crisps. The layer of salty dust which leaves a trail on your fingers after you rustle your hand into a packet.

A packet which once you pop open sends a comforting whiff to your nose enveloping you like a warm hug. The delicate, golden orb leaving a tingle as the potatoey fairy dust sticks to your lips, right before your teeth crunch down on the slither of carbs which makes you feel like everything's going to be alright.

Or perhaps you opt for dunking yours in a dip - sour cream and chive, salsa or guac? Take your pick. Crisps - or potato chips, if you're from across the pond - in the form of cheese puffs, twigs, nachos or monster's feet, why would I care for anything sweet?

Basically, when I picture myself in heaven, it's lying on a bed of Quavers.

And despite all of this - for some insane reason - after 23 years of loyally loving crisps, I decided for 2024 I'd give them up. Although, certainly not relying on my own flimsy determination, but with the help of a hypnotherapist. Prepare to listen in closely:

Before my appointment on 16 January, I drank a coffee but didn't eat, wanting to maximise the likelihood of me craving a packet - there was no way I was letting this hypnotherapist get off easy, remaining sceptical whether the practice works.

Although, let’s be real for a second. Whether my stomach is empty or I’ve just eaten a three-course meal, nothing has ever stopped me reaching for a tube and inhaling the whole thing in less than five minutes flat.

But, for the sake of trying to test if one session could stem the surge for salt which runs deep through my veins, I opted for a rumbling tummy before listening to a man - whose voice is wasted not on the radio - tell me I don’t need crisps in my life.

When asked by concerned friends whether I was sad at the prospect of not looking at crisps the same way ever again, I have to admit I scoffed. My love for crisps is so strong, surely a man can’t break it?

Don't even get me started on my love of crisps and dips.
Getty Images/ Jakub Porzycki/ NurPhoto

There’s a reason I rose to fame in the office for having devoured a multipack of 24 in a single day. And known for mixing three-to-five bags into a bowl in one sitting? Well, I'm practically a crisp connoisseur.

But, having seen a whopping total of eight therapists in my 23 years on this planet, hypnotherapy is one form of mental wellbeing improvement I hadn't yet tried and have always been intrigued by.

So, I walked into my appointment, sort of hoping I would walk back out not scoffing at hypnosis but scoffing when next offered a crisp.

I arrive at the swanky building in central London and am invited to sit down in a side room, my palms now growing rather clammy - an unexpected nervous reaction I normally only get when interviewing others. "Perhaps I'm actually more worried about losing one of the loves of my life after all?" I think.

Me at the start of the appointment, convinced nothing could stand in the way of my love for crisps.

I'm directed to go downstairs, trail round a corridor, before I bump into Aaron Surtees, the main brains - or should I say voice - behind City Hypnosis.

Into a small room I go, it's dimly lit, a water tank bubbling away. I wriggle in my seat slightly, uncomfortable with being on the receiving end of the questions for once.

I admit, 'Yes, I eat lots of crisps,' 'No, I don't think it's an addiction,' 'But yes, I do comfort eat them when going through patches of emotional distress'.

I'm invited to sit in a chair with a plush fluffy throw on top, I pop on headphones to focus on Aaron's voice, the chair reclines and the process begins.

I think: "The worst comes the worst, at least I can get a 30 minute nap out of this."

It's not really anything like the way hypnotherapy is portrayed in movies.

Immediately, I hear a stronger sound of water, reassuring, but it also ignites an intrusive thought worrying whether hypnosis could resort to a loss of bladder control.

I follow Aaron's instructions and focus on breathing deeply, close my eyes, and feel myself sinking into the seat.

My legs and my hands begin to feel heavy and later on I can barely feel them at all, but then my brain starts: "Was I meant to keep my arms crossed? Am I doing hypnosis right? Which bus can I take home?"

And one question remains at the forefront: "Will I just fancy a bag of crisps as soon as I get out?"

I did keep thinking about crisps during the hypnosis.
Getty Images/ Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./ NurPhoto

As someone with anxiety and a constantly racing mind, I almost pride myself on the idea I might be a tougher nut to crack.

Combine that with my experience with eight therapists, and I like to think I can sniff out one of their plans a mile off.

But I really wanted it to work and so tried to focus and embrace the relaxation techniques - consisting of a series of exercises visualising a countdown, safe space and chalkboard.

In certain moments it felt like it was working - seeing spirals and circles in my vision, feeling like I was slowly falling down Wonderland's rabbit hole while Aaron's voice played lyrically into my ears - however, I wasn't 'in it' all the time.

One of the visualisations was a chalkboard.
Pexels/ NEOSiAM 2024+

I once felt the urge to giggle, but also felt a bit of wet in the corner of my eye - a preemptive tear for the loss I was about to experience perhaps?

Either way, I felt very peaceful and the 30 minutes felt like 10, but the real question is: Did it work?

While I did have a positive and open mindset going into it, did I realllyyy want to give up crisps? Well, I wanted to not rely on them as a comfort food, but what’s life without one small vice eh?

Aaron previously noted whether it works or not does partly rely on it being your 'conscious desire' to really want to 'change'. Oh, and you 'have to also identify that you have a problem'.

*Retracts the small vice comment*

My slow realisation I may be giving up my one true love.

As I sat on the bus back from the appointment I felt like I'd had a nice nap, was refreshed and pretty content.

However, one question was on my mind: When I reach home - with not just a packet but a whole cupboard full of crisps at my disposal - will I cave in?

Also, was it worth it? Or, more specifically, was it worth the £395 you have to pay per session?

Well. It’s day 14 and I've not - yet - eaten a single packet of crisps.

I've tested my crisp-sobriety yes. Someone offered me a thai sweet chilli - one of my biggest weaknesses - however, after eating one, I turned round and waved them away, not needing to find a way to distract them and stealthily slide my hand into their packet for one more.

A second test came in the form of a prawn cocktail - another top tier choice - but no, after one, I was perfectly content. And don't just take my word for it, with my boyfriend commenting on it as 'shocking behaviour'.

14 days crisp free and I've questioned whether the hypnotherapy really worked or if it's the placebo of me telling myself I wanted it to.

Either way, Pringles, Walkers and Doritos have lost a loyal customer.

And despite the in-person session costing a wallet-clutching £395, if my crisp-free life keeps up, I crunched the numbers to work out I'll save a minimum of £365 to a maximum of £912.50 a year.

So, would you give it a try?

You can try out Aaron's hypnosis for yourself via his app or find out more on his website.

Topics: Food and Drink, UK News, US News, World News, Mental Health, Health