Hypnosis involves putting the mind into a state where it is open to accepting suggestions. It’s a device used by some therapists for helping patients attain a state of complete relaxation. During a hypnosis session the unconscious and conscious mind have the ability to concentrate and focus on mental imagery and verbal repetition. As a result the mind becomes open to suggestion. When open to suggestion, the mind is then naturally open to change in habits, emotions and behaviors. This is the reason hypnosis has become so well received for people hoping to lose weight.
Weight loss hypnotherapy can be used for treatment of a variety of weight-related conditions including bulimia and binge eating. It also can help in treating anxiety, which is often a trigger to overeating.
Hypnotherapy Works for Weight Loss
Hypnosis isn’t itself a type of diet — instead it’s a tool, or device, to assist a person in having success with eating appropriate amounts of nutritious food, and exercising. Hypnosis helps a person feel the experience of what it feels like to be fit and in control, even before that transformation actually takes place. It allows people to overcome the mental barriers that block the achieving of those goals. Hypnotherapy especially facilitates resolving underlying psychological issues that cause a person to dislike exercise, eat mindlessly, binge eat, or experience strong cravings. Hypnosis helps a person identify the triggers to these behaviors, and deactivate them.
Hypnosis works for weight loss because it modifies the way a person thinks about food, and eating, and it reduces anxiety which gives a person more calmness in their life. In place of eating being an emotional solution, it turns into what it really is (or should be) — the solution to hunger and the means to give nutrition to the body. Hypnosis works for weight loss mainly because it brings about a separation of food and eating from emotional life.
That hypnosis works for weight loss is backed up by much anecdotal evidence — you can read many stories and testimonials of its success. But it’s success is also noted in a variety of studies and reports.
One of the oldest studies, performed over 30 years ago, resulted in overweight women who used hypnosis losing an average of 17 pounds, while women who were simply asked to carefully watch what they ate losing an average of just a half pound. In a 1996 a meta-analysis (the analysis of data combined from multiple studies) of hypnosis weight loss research determined that patients who used hypnosis lost an average of 12 pounds, while those that didn’t undergo hypnotherapy lost an average of just half that — about 6 pounds.
More recently, a 2014 study reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information observed that women who used hypnotherapy lowered their weight, improved their body mass index (BMI), bettered their general eating behavior, and gained an enhanced body image.
What a Hypnotherapy Session Involves
During hypnotherapy session the therapist typically starts by describing how hypnosis works. The therapist will go over your personal goals — what you hope to achieve from hypnosis. After that, the therapist might begin talking in a calming, gentle tone so that you begin to relax, and also to build a sense of safety.
When you’re relaxed and have attained a more receptive and open state of mind, the therapist will likely bring up techniques to help you modify your eating, and perhaps exercise, habits, and possibly other ways you can achieve your weight loss goals. This will likely include the repetition of phrases, as well as imagery — visualizing positive places, feelings or scenarios that serve as a substitute for negative or stressful thoughts and feelings.
The hypnotherapist may also use the hypnosis session to cover stress reduction. Why focus on reducing stress? People respond differently when they’re under stress and anxious. Many people look for something that has the effect of quickly boosting their mood. Alcohol, drugs and food are options people commonly choose to attempt to feel better, fast. If the therapist has come to the conclusion that food is your “go-to” answer to anxiety, then the therapist will include stress reduction in hypnosis sessions.
In this fast-paced world many people lead stressful lives. Trying to balance work or school with a partner, children, extended family and a social life is challenging — there never seems to be enough time to achieve balance. The pressure of trying to pack everything into limited, finite time leads to feelings of anxiousness. For many, food is the answer to de-stressing. But turning to food every time a person encounters stress and anxiety of course results in weight gain. Through hypnosis, a person can learn to conquer anxiety naturally, without a reliance of food as a crutch.
A session ends with the therapist bringing you out of hypnosis and returning you to your starting state. How long a session lasts, and how many sessions you’ll need are dependent on your particular, unique goals.
How to Self-Hypnotize for Weight Loss
Hypnosis doesn’t have to be done by a hypnotherapist — with the right self-hypnosis CD’s or MP3 audio downloads it’s possible and practical for you to hypnotize yourself. You’ll find self-hypnosis audios available to treat a wide variety of mental health and physical conditions — including weight loss. These self-hypnosis audios are intended to help a listener make real changes in eating and exercise habits by essentially reprogramming the mind for positive, permanent change. They’re about utilizing mind power strategies to modify your behaviors and habits to make weight loss takes place easier and faster.
The following is a roadmap on how a person would go about self-hypnotizing for weight loss. This is the general approach to how the process works — for a serious attempt to use self-hypnosis to modify your behaviors you’ll want to use professionally produced audios specifically targeting weight loss.
Quite time and place
Choose a time — and place — that will allow you to carry out a half hour of quiet, uninterrupted self-hypnosis. You’ll be relaxing, and focusing, for this time, so a comfortable, quiet place is important.
Have a realistic, well-defined weight loss goal in mind. Determine an actual amount of weight you want to lose, and by what date. Think of, then say out loud, the goal.
Imagery is important. Picture your body at the new, desired weight. Visualize how much better you’ll feel physically and emotionally. Imagine how others will react and what they will say when they see you at your ideal weight. Make these scenes vibrant and rich with details of sounds, smells, colors and positive feelings.
With your eyes closed, relax your entire body. Relax so much that your whole body actually feels limp. Practice deep breathing for a few to several minutes until you enter a trance-like state.
Again use visualization
While in this trance state you should again imagine and visualize yourself at your ideal weight. Picture all the positive aspects of the “new you.”
Return to the present
Slowly return to the “present state.” As you slowly become more aware of your surroundings, bring the internal experience back with you — all the positive feelings and emotions you just experienced can be held on to and retained while out of hypnosis.
Hypnosis isn’t a one-time, quick fix. You’ll want to perform a session daily to train your mind to feel and understand just how great it will be when you lose weight. By performing hypnosis often you will gradually, progressively modify your behaviors such that you’ll begin, and then continue, to lose weight.
Hypnosis Works for Weight Loss
One of the keys to losing weight is making your habits work for you. So you want your habits and routines positive. Most people who struggle with weight loss have negative habits that undermine their efforts. Hypnosis, whether carried out by a hypnotherapist or by the use of self-hypnosis audios, rids you of bad habits and replaces them with new, healthy habits. Just telling yourself at the conscious level — or active mind state — you’ll change usually doesn’t work. Instead, you want to use hypnosis to make changes at the subconscious — or hidden mind state.