Hypnosis for weight loss can help you shed a few extra pounds when part of a weight loss program that includes diet, exercise, and counseling. But it’s hard to say for sure if it works independently of the rest. Indeed, there is not enough solid scientific evidence on weight loss hypnosis alone.
Hypnosis is a state of inner absorption and concentration, as if in a trance. Hypnosis is usually practiced with the help of a hypnotherapist who uses verbal rehearsal and mental images. When you are under hypnosis, your attention is very focused and you are more receptive to suggestions, including behavioral changes that can help you lose weight.
A few studies have evaluated the use of hypnosis for weight loss. Most studies have shown only slight weight loss, with an average loss of around 6 pounds over 18 months. But the quality of some of these studies has been questioned, making it difficult to determine the true effectiveness of hypnosis for weight loss.
Lower inflammation levels and a better feeling of satiety
However, a recent study, which showed only modest weight loss results, found that patients receiving hypnosis had lower levels of inflammation, improved satiety, and improved quality of life. These could be mechanisms by which hypnosis could influence weight. Further studies are needed to fully understand the potential role of hypnosis in weight management.
Hypnosis for weight loss: yes but not alone
Weight loss is usually best achieved with diet and exercise. If you’ve tried diet and exercise but are still struggling to reach your weight loss goal, talk to a nutritionist about other options or lifestyle changes you can make.
Hypnosis alone is unlikely to cause significant weight loss. But using it as a complement to a holistic lifestyle approach may be appealing to some people. First of all on the management of stress which is directly linked to weight gain and the difficulty of losing it.
Hypnosis to calm stress and negative emotions that cause weight gain
When you’re stressed, it can be harder to eat healthy. Also, in times of particularly high stress, you may eat in an attempt to satisfy emotional needs. This is sometimes called “emotional eating” or the food compensation phenomenon. And you may eat mostly high-calorie foods during times of stress, even if you’re not hungry.
To avoid gaining weight in times of stress and reduce the risk of obesity, control your stress. When you feel less stressed and more in control of your life, it may be easier for you to maintain good eating habits and exercise.
Recognize the warning signs of stress, such as anxiety, irritability and muscle tension.
Before eating, ask yourself why you eat: are you really hungry or do you feel stressed or anxious?
If you’re tempted to eat when you’re not hungry, find a distraction.
Do not skip meals, especially breakfast. If you are in a hurry, grab a piece of fruit on the way out.
Eat a healthy diet, such as whole grains and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Try to include most food groups in your meals.
Identify compensation foods and avoid consuming them at home or in the office.
Take note of your behavior and eating habits so you can look for patterns and connections. Then find out how to overcome them.
Learn to problem solve so you can anticipate difficulties and deal with setbacks.
Practice relaxation techniques, such as yoga, stretching, massage, deep breathing, or meditation.
try hypnosis sessions
Engage in regular physical activity or exercise.
Get enough sleep.
Receive encouragement from supportive friends and family.
BoS, et al. Effects of self-conditioning techniques (self-hypnosis) in promoting weight loss in patients with severe obesity: A randomized controlled trial. obesity. 2018;26:1422.
Bauer BA. Mind-body techniques. In: Integrative Medicine. Rochester, Minn