What is Hypnosis for Weight Loss? How Does It Work? Does It Work?

Hypnosis for weight loss and hypnotherapy for weight loss are some of the most often google searched phrases about hypnosis or hypnotherapy. Not surprising, considering that weight loss is a billion dollar a year industry and hypnotherapy is one of the fastest growing alternative therapies in North America. As well, the ever-increasing cost of prescription drugs, long lists of possible harmful side effects, and the push for more natural alternatives have contributed to the popularity of utilizing alternative therapies for everything from weight loss to the treatment of depression. 

The most often asked and most important question seems to be, does hypnosis for weight loss work? And then of course, given the overall myths surrounding hypnosis, how does hypnotherapy for weight loss work? While many studies have shown the positive results from hypnotherapy for weight loss, the answer to its effectiveness relies on two very important factors; the experience and training of the hypnotherapist and the root cause of reasons for the weight gain.

 Early studies from the 90s found that people who used hypnosis lost more than twice as much weight as those who dieted without hypnotherapy for weight loss. A 2014 study involved 60 obese women, and found that those who practiced hypnotherapy lost weight and improved their eating habits and body images. More recently, a small 2017 study included eight obese adults and three children, all of whom successfully lost weight. Even more recently the results of a  2020 study indicate that hypnosis may lead to weight loss and considerable changes in leptin levels in people with obesity. (Leptin is a hormone that helps control food intake). Unfortunately, because hypnotherapy is a primarily unregulated industry in most of North America, it isn’t readily covered by insurance companies so there aren’t as many studies in comparison to pharmaceutical weight loss options.

The effectiveness of hypnotherapy for weight loss is unarguably significantly increased when facilitated by an appropriately trained Clinical Hypnotherapist. The use of hypnosis as an effective therapy requires extensive training and experience. Sadly, a lot of the previously published studies involving hypnotherapy or hypnosis for weight loss heavily relied upon direct suggestion and the truth is, only a small portion of the population is truly suggestible enough to see permanent results. It’s impressive that results were still positive but the truth remains that to increase the results and insure they are more permanent the tehcniques and protocols must involve the discovery of not just the reasons for the weight gain but also the causation of the inability for the weight loss. Those reasons can be as simple as beliefs regarding body image picked up in childhood or as complex as using the extra weight as protection against feeling the intensity of unprocessed emotions.

The answer to the question of how does hypnotherapy for weight loss work lies within the subconscious. 95% of what we are doing or thinking in any given moment is done subconsciously, think of it as your auto pilot. If your auto pilot has been programmed to keep you at a healthy body weight, all of your subconscious decisions surrounding exercise and your eating habits will automatically happen in the background to accomplish those goals. You won’t have to try, they will just occur to you, and often, without even being aware that you are making those choices. This is the reason that diets work temporarily and often result in increased weight gain once the intention to diet has ended. To experience permanent changes, they have to be made subconsciously.

If you have questions about hypnotherapy for weight loss or hypnosis for weight loss, we welcome them. We are also more than happy to connect you to a fully accredited, extensively trained Clinical Hypnotherapist who can help you discover and recover from the cause of your inability to achieve or maintain a healthy lifestyle conducive to the weight and body shape you desire.  Contact Us