Is Hypnosis for Weight Loss an Effective Solution?

Updated on December 13th, 2019
Hypnosis for Weight Loss

What do you spot first when you investigate the mirror, your beauty or your bulging stomach? If the latter is the answer then, your concern about your weight is ruling your subconscious mind. You would be stunned to know that out of the two parts that your brain gets divided into; the subconscious mind is powerful over your conscious(1) mind by 30,000 times and bigger than nine times in size.

Well, that explains a lot how the subconscious mind can control your mind, can help you avert your ‘binge habits.’ But do you know how? The answer is through hypnosis for weight loss.

Yes. Hypnosis is a technique that works on the principle of the subconscious mind and works to unleash its power to help you get to control your eating habits and ultimately weight loss through hypno behavioral therapy. Scroll down as we have got it all covered for you to understand the concept of hypnosis for fulfilling your weight loss objectives.

Does Hypnosis Work for Weight Loss or Is It a Lie?


Hypnosis may turn out to be more effective than exercise and diet for people searching for a weight loss solution that works. The concept behind hypnosis for weight loss is that the human mind can influence changing certain habits such as overeating that are associated with unwanted weight gain. It’s still a matter of debate as to how effective hypnosis may be for shedding those extra pounds off your body.

A study carried out to ascertain the effectiveness of hypnosis for weight loss analyzed the use of hypnosis therapy for weight loss in individuals suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. The research focused on two specific types of hypnosis and compared the results with general dietary weight-loss recommendations and sleep apnea.

According to reports, all 60 subjects studied during the hypnotherapy(2), loss around two to three percent of body weight in the first three months.

[Also Read: Natural Remedies to get rid of Obesity]

After 18 months of follow up, reports show that hypnotherapy(3) helped all the participants lose another eight pounds on an average. The study concluded that though this additional weight loss was not largely considerable, hypnosis indeed calls for more research as an alternative treatment for weight loss or obesity.

As such, hypnosis can certainly complement other forms of weight loss treatment to increase their effectiveness when practiced together.

Another study that comprised of hypnotherapy, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), intended for weight loss, revealed that it led to a minor reduction in weight as compared to a group of people who underwent placebo for weight loss.

Researchers indicated that while hypnotherapy might prove useful in weight loss, not enough research or pieces of evidences are available thus far to certify hypnosis as a convincing method to lose weight.

It is important to remember that there is a  lack of research to support hypnotherapy(4) alone as a standalone treatment for obesity. Several forms of hypnosis as an alternative treatment have been in use ever since the 1700s to assist individuals with a wide range of health and behavioral conditions such as smoking, nail-biting, or bed-wetting. Various studies on hypnotherapy have also shown promising results for obesity.

[Also Read: Benefits of Acupuncture for Weight Loss]

How Does Hypnosis Work for Weight Loss?

In a typical hypnosis session for weight loss, the hypnotherapist and patient engage in a brief conversation regarding the patient’s weight-loss objectives, the triggers, food plans that do and don’t work, and the body type of the patient.

The hypnotherapist then provides the recommendations based on the conversation with the patient. Following your chat with the hypnotherapist, the session begins, and it lasts for some 20 to 30 minutes. The course primarily aims to balance different voices in the patient’s head.

During the session, the hypnotherapist works on the patient’s healthy subconscious, i.e., the inner voice, which enables us to control our emotional aspects. The hypnotherapist helps us turn up the level of internal wisdom and more effectively manage the sensitive part. Since emotional eating is a significant factor in obesity or unwanted weight gain, the hypnosis process helps the patient lose weight.

[Also Read: Meditation for Weight Loss]

What to Expect When You Go for a Hypnosis Session for Weight Loss?

Expect When You Go for a Hypnosis Session

During a hypnosis session for weight loss, the hypnotherapist starts by explaining the process and working of hypnotherapy. The hypnotherapist then moves to understand your personal weight loss goals. In the next step, the hypnotherapist may start speaking in a gentle, soothing voice to make you feel a sense of safety and make you feel relaxed.

When you have attained a receptive frame of mind, the hypnotherapist starts recommending different measures you can adopt to transform your exercise and eating habits for successful weight gain.

During this stage, your hypnotherapist might also aid you in visualizing you to achieving your weight-loss goals by sharing mental imagery. The therapist, then, brings your out of the session and back to the initial state.

The length of hypnotherapy for weight loss and the number of sessions required for noticing a visible reduction in weight depends on the specific goals of an individual. However, most patients start to feel significant results after successfully undergoing the first two to three sessions.

[Also Read: Supplements to Speed Up Weight Loss]

Self-Hypnosis For Weight loss

Identify the bad habits you want to quit and, on a piece of paper, jot down three to four affirmations for every practice. Your statements must be actionable, confident, and walk around the specific bad habits you need to quit.

Then, arrange a calming and soothing track, such as a meditation soundtrack. In the next phase, turn on a voice recorder on your smartphone and read the statements aloud.

Once your affirmation audio is ready, play it every morning and before going to bed since these are the ideal times of the day when you are generally on an autopilot mode, and your mind is not engaged elsewhere. Remember that the audio should only be background voice – you need not actively listen to it as your subconscious mind will be playing it along nicely.

You’ll notice in a couple of weeks that the affirmations you have been listening to have started changing the noise in your head – hence helping you make better decisions to adopt a healthier lifestyle without much conscious skirmish. Once you believe that you’ve achieved your objectives good enough for the long run, you may repeat the process with different affirmations to make other essential targets in your life with the help of self-hypnosis.

What are the Risk Factors Involved in Hypnosis for Weight Loss?

Hypnosis Benefits

Potential risks include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • False memory creation
  • Distress

Individuals who tend to experience delusions and hallucinations must consult their health physician before trying hypnosis. Also, hypnotherapy must not be practiced on someone who’s under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Hypnosis is widely regarded as a safe procedure for most individuals if practiced in the supervision of a certified and experienced therapist. Hypnosis is not a tool to control the mind or brainwash an individual. A hypnotherapist can’t control people to make them do something humiliating or something they do not intend to do.

How Much Time Does Hypnosis Take to Show Results?

Most therapists will suggest you walk in for around six sessions in total; however, you can expect to notice changes in your thought process within a couple of sessions. If you don’t feel any improvement after the first three sessions, your therapist may want to reevaluate you.

While hypnotherapy may offer effective and lasting results as compared to standard normal weight loss treatments, it isn’t necessarily the fastest solution. Still, studies recommend that when used in combination with daily exercise and a nutritious diet, several other weight-loss therapies may provide useful results.

More research is required to assess the use of hypnotherapy to achieve more considerable weight loss. To get additional support, you can request your physician to refer you to a nutritionist who might work with you for creating a personalized weight loss roadmap to achieve your goals optimally.

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