Published On By Rachel Nall

How Successful Is Hypnotherapy For Weight Loss

When people want to lose weight and keep it off, they try various activities, like eating better or going to the gym more often.

Hypnotherapy may aid people in overcoming mental obstacles that might hinder their ability to make sustainable lifestyle changes.

However, it’s not just about changing your diet or exercise routine; it’s also about learning why you eat the way you do.

Hypnotherapy could help you form vital health goals and stick to a sustainable weight loss regime. This article will explain hypnotherapy and its potential benefits and side effects for weight loss.

What Is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic technique that utilizes hypnosis to induce a state of deep relaxation and heightened suggestibility in people.

During a session, a trained therapist guides people to focus on verbal repetition and mental imagery, allowing the mind to become open to suggestions and changes regarding behaviors, emotions, and habits.

This alternative therapy has been in use since the 1700s and has shown promise in treating various conditions, including excessive weight gain.

  • Hypnotherapy taps into the power of the mind to promote relaxation and receptiveness.
  • It aims to help people modify behaviors, emotions, and habits through suggestions.
  • The therapy may help in smoking cessation and weight loss.
  • Hypnotherapy sessions involve verbal guidance and mental imagery to induce a trance-like state.

Working Process Of Self-hypnosis For Weight Loss

  1. Resolve Emotional Conflicts

    People struggling with weight loss often find themselves facing emotional barriers that hinder their ability to reach their goals.

    Hypnotherapy may help uncover and address these subconscious conflicts, leading to more sustainable weight loss outcomes.

    Emotional Conflict Hypnotherapy Approach
    Trauma Hypnotherapy can assist people in processing and healing past trauma, allowing them to move forward with their weight loss journey.
    Abuse By addressing subconscious thoughts and emotions related to past abuse, hypnotherapy empowers people to break free from negative patterns affecting their eating behaviors.
    Chaos Hypnotherapy helps people regain control over chaotic emotions, fostering a sense of stability and empowerment that can support healthier lifestyle choices.
  2. Reduce Cravings

    Guided imagery might significantly reduce problematic food cravings. Research suggests that once people are trained in guided imagery and hypnotherapy, they can better manage their cravings.

    Hypnotherapy may let people tap into their subconscious minds, where habits and cravings are deeply rooted. It may help people reframe their thoughts and responses to food cues, reducing unhealthy cravings.

    The collaborative aspect of shared hypnotherapy sessions might enhance the effectiveness of reducing cravings.

  3. Correct Thinking Errors

    Hypnosis could help people challenge societal norms and form healthier relationships with their bodies and food choices.

    Here are some emotional elements to consider:

    • Overcoming Thin Body Ideals: Hypnotherapy could aid in challenging the belief that only thin bodies are healthy, promoting body positivity.
    • Embracing Body Changes: Learning to appreciate and accept changes in the body, such as post-childbirth or aging, may reduce stress related to weight loss goals.
    • Revise Unhelpful Beliefs: Hypnosis may help reframing associations, such as using food as a self-reward, to encourage healthier habits.
    • Cultivating Positive Self-Perception: Hypnosis could help people develop a positive self-image and foster self-compassion and healthy behaviors.

Advantages Of Hypnotherapy

Research suggests that hypnosis allows people to enter a relaxed state, making them more receptive to suggestions for changing habits, potentially leading to quicker and more significant results for some.

Studies have shown that certain personality traits like selflessness and openness could make people more susceptible to the effects of hypnosis, increasing the likelihood of benefiting from this therapeutic approach.

Susceptibility to hypnosis tends to rise after the age of 40, with women, regardless of age, being more receptive to its effects.

Benefits of Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss
Induces a relaxed state of openness to change
May lead to quicker and more significant results for some individuals
It can help people with certain personality traits be more receptive
Increases susceptibility to hypnosis after age 40
Women tend to be more receptive to the effects of hypnotherapy

Types Of Hypnotherapy

Practitioners of hypnotherapy employ various techniques to bring about psychological and physiological changes, primarily through the utilization of mental imagery, suggestion, and unconscious exploration.

  • Suggestion therapy may help address habits like smoking and eating disorders. The therapist may provide positive affirmations and suggestions to the person in a hypnotic state to rewire detrimental thought patterns and behaviors related to food consumption.
  • Hypnotherapy could also be integrated with other treatments, such as nutrition advice or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), to enhance its effectiveness in promoting weight loss.


Adverse Effects Of Hypnotherapy

Given below are some potential side effects of undergoing hypnotherapy:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Distress

What To Expect From Hypnotherapy?

Following this initial phase, the therapist may induce a state of relaxation using a soothing voice and gentle techniques to establish a sense of security and receptiveness.

  • The therapist will guide you into a deeply relaxed state to enhance receptivity.
  • Suggestions for altering eating or exercise habits may be introduced to aid in achieving weight loss goals.
  • Words, phrases, and visualization techniques may reinforce positive changes.
  • The session will conclude with the therapist gently bringing you out of the hypnotic state.
  • The duration and frequency of sessions might vary based on individual needs and goals.

Does Hypnotherapy Work For Weight Loss?

Studies have indicated the potential effectiveness of utilizing self-hypnosis techniques for weight loss.

In a 2018 study, participants who received training in self-hypnosis techniques to enhance self-control before meals consumed fewer calories and experienced weight loss, leading to an improved quality of life.

A small 2020 study demonstrated that after 10 weeks of guided hypnotherapy, people experienced a reduction in body mass index (BMI) and reduced levels of leptin, a hormone linked to obesity.

A 2009 review highlighted that combining hypnotherapy with a comprehensive weight loss plan, including dietary modifications and physical activity, yielded the most favorable outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are There Any Specific Self-Hypnosis Techniques for Targeting Specific Body Areas for Weight Loss?
    Self-hypnosis techniques could be tailored to target specific body areas for weight loss. These techniques involve visualization, positive affirmations, and deep relaxation to focus on desired outcomes, potentially aiding in targeted weight loss efforts.
  2. Can Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss Be Effective for Individuals With Underlying Medical Conditions?
    Hypnotherapy may not be appropriate for everyone or in certain situations. People with chronic mental health conditions such as psychosis or severe personality disorders may not be suitable for hypnotherapy. It may not suit people with a problem of substance abuse or those who actively use drugs or alcohol. People with chronic disabilities or cognitive impairments may not benefit from hypnotherapy.
  3. Is There a Recommended Frequency for Self-Hypnosis Sessions to Aid in Weight Loss?
    The recommended frequency for self-hypnosis sessions to aid in weight loss may vary depending on individual needs and goals. Generally, consistent practice, such as daily or several times a week, could be beneficial for reinforcing positive changes and achieving desired outcomes.


Hypnotherapy may help you lose weight. However, it could be most effective with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and other therapies like CBT.

When hypnotized, you are open to suggestions and behavioral changes, which could enable you to persist and be determined to lose weight.

It may help you form a healthy outlook, make appropriate changes to your beliefs, and avoid foods you want to remove from your diet.

However, if you’re considering hypnotherapy, it’s crucial to talk to a qualified healthcare provider first. They can help you determine whether it’s safe for you. Also, you should make sure the hypnotherapist you choose does a thorough check to understand your needs and any potential risks before you start sessions.

  • The details in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this article.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • Consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before following health tips or instructions.

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