A lot of people keep on asking if hypnosis for weight loss really works, and can it be relied on?
It is worth first highlighting that “hypnosis” is a centuries-old therapy that has been used to successfully treat numerous deep nagging and stubborn problems people face.
From childhood traumas, smoking addictions, all the way down to weight loss, hypnotherapy can really help you take control of unwanted behaviors you may want to change.
The reality is that hypnosis is a great tool for weight loss because it allows you to take a deep dive into your subconscious mind.
“But what exactly is your subconscious anyway and why is it so important?
Cambridge dictionary defines “subconscious” as “the part of your mind that notices and remembers information when you are not actively trying to do so, and influences your behavior even though you do not realize it.”
Basically, what this means is that there are things happening in your mind that are potentially influencing you to behave a certain way and you have not a clue that it is happening.
Because no one is fully aware of what is happening in the subconscious mind.
A classic example that demonstrates the differences between your conscious and subconscious mind at work is when you lose your keys:
What was that? You tried to think where they were and got nothing, but when you let it go and focused your thoughts on something else, it somehow came to you without any effort.
That is because what you are focused on at a given moment is usually your conscious mind at work, not your subconscious. Meanwhile, you are making a coffee and your subconscious mind stayed busy and kept on looking for those keys.
This example is very relatable because it actually happens to many people all the time.
The subconscious mind is the place where the very root of most traumas, addictions, habits, or any kind of behavior, tends to be buried in. And since hypnosis opens a doorway right to your subconscious, you will be able to address the issue right from the root of it.
I mean, making smarter and healthier food choices and exercising are obvious components when trying to lose weight, and you definitely should not ignore them.
But in some cases, maintaining long term success with weight loss requires getting rid of deep emotional and subconscious factors that have been preventing you from losing weight this whole time.
That is because you are fixing the surface issue (your weight for example) and not the real underlying problem that you may not even be aware of.
That is precisely where weight loss hypnosis comes in and why it is so effective.
In this article, we are going to talk about the truth behind hypnosis for weight loss and provide examples of how it works. We will also be answering many of the most common questions people have when exploring various weight loss hypnosis therapies.
Let jump right in…
When it comes to hypnosis, it is important to understand that this is not just another form of dieting but rather it is a tool to help you be more aware around your eating habits and your relationship with food.
Using hypnosis to lose weight can also help you experience what it feels like when you are strong, healthy and in control.
Being entrenched in these higher positive states can be very empowering and motivating. And as a result, over time you will be able to overcome the mental barriers to achieving your goals.
In most cases when you boil it down, your own “mental barriers” turn out to be what was holding you back.
But where weight loss hypnosis really shines is in helping people resolve subconscious and underlying psychological problems that may be the cause of why they experience cravings, night time binge eating, or mindless eating.
Hypnotherapy can identify certain behavior triggers that you may not even be aware of, and disarm them.
Trigger behaviors can be when a person habitually reaches out to eat junk food after a stressful day at work. It comforts them somehow, which is why junk food is also referred to as “comfort food”.
One of the triggers here is the “stress”, and weight loss hypnotherapy can work to help you release your stress in a healthier way.
Hypnosis has also been proven to work well in several scientific studies. In fact, a controlled trial on the use of hypnotherapy for weight loss as an adjunct to dietary advice, “produced a statistically significant result in favor of hypnotherapy”.
We explained earlier the meaning behind the subconscious and its importance. But before we get into other examples of how hypnosis can help with weight loss, let’s go one more step and define what we mean when we use the word “subconscious”.
The subconscious mind envelopes all the processes that occur automatically and are available for thought to the conscious. It includes thought processes, memories, drives and motivations.
Your subconscious mind is very comfortable with the point of where you are at right now. This is referred to as your homeostasis, and it’s one of the main reasons why you keep backsliding.
Another name for your homeostasis is your “comfort zone”. This “comfort” is the setpoint of where your mind and body considers itself to be safe and ideal because that is all it has known for a very long time.
Over time it grows accustomed to that state as being “normal” to you, therefore, setting that point as your default homeostasis.
Breaking your mind and body’s homeostasis is not a quick fix. In fact, it is an emotionally laborious process that requires you to work with your subconscious mind - “changing your psychology”.
Because, when you start to work on the root of your problem on a subconscious level, almost automatically the actions that will take place ‘consciously’ will begin to correspond and align with what your subconscious is ultimately trying to achieve.
Another thing to consider is that every behavior you do is because you personally feel like you gain something from it. Either it makes you happy or brings you some sort of joy or comfort, these feelings to you are positive gains.
But not all gains are created equal and not all gains are obvious.
There are the first obvious gains which are called “primary gains”. These are the ones you knowingly can identify, like if you feel guilty for missing school, but you get a medical leave, and now you don’t feel so guilty.
“Secondary gains” on the other hand are the ones you have no idea you are after. Like skipping school because you didn’t study for the test. In this case, skipping school gives you a secondary gain which is a “sense of safety” of not failing.
For many of us, we all have different reasons for why we’re putting on weight or believe we can’t lose weight.
Aside from genetic factors, there are other deeply ingrained psychological factors - the “secondary gains”.
“So what are secondary gains exactly and why are they important?”
A “secondary gain” is usually the reason why you believe you're doing everything possible to lose weight but it’s still not coming off.
That's because you're not dealing with the underlying issue, which is essentially your secondary gain.
Secondary gain is a “secondary subconscious reason” you’ve given yourself for keeping your weight on. It could take any form, one example is not wanting the attention to your sudden weight change and just wanting to blend in and go by unnoticed.
Another more common reason for some people is when they've been labeled as overweight or fat during their development years from early in their childhood.
They grow up self-identifying with that constantly reinforced belief system. Over time they develop an subconscious secondary gain that if they change and lose weight, they lose the identity of who they are.
It may not immediately seem obvious to you that this could be a problem, but imagine this for a scenario...You've self-identified your whole life as being overweight and that’s the only version of yourself you’ve known.
It can be very hard to consciously let that part of you go.
So, the reason why hypnosis works very well with weight loss is because you work with your secondary gain and learn how to release and let it go.
Additionally, you also learn how to eat more mindfully, put your needs first and stop putting other people's needs ahead of yours.
The short answer is “no”, there is no magic happening in weight loss hypnosis, nor is it the fastest way to lose weight. It requires long term commitment and work on your part.
Weight loss hypnosis is there to serve as a tool to help you tackle and take control of a problem that you’ve tried your whole life to fix yet can’t seem to shake it off. This usually points to something deeper than just eating habits, and that’s why you would want to resort to hypnosis to lose weight.
The process of hypnosis is all about getting your mind into a state where it can accept a suggestion.
There is, however, a form of weight loss hypnotherapy called regression therapy, and in many cases, it has helped address weight loss struggles of many people in only one to three sessions.
Let’s have an example of regression therapy at work:
Let’s say that in your childhood your mom constantly scolded you for your bad behavior and banned you from sweets.
You behaved over the next week, and as a reward, you got your sweets back, and in turn, you feel good!
Over the years this positive reinforcement of your good behavior rewarded with sweets results in you having a positive relationship with comfort foods whenever you feel bad.
You basically end up using junk food as a crutch to make yourself feel good when you’ve had a bad day.
When you work with a certified hypnotherapist, you will be able to locate the core problem that led you to form this relationship you have with junk food.
Hypnotherapist and Founder of Rapid Transformational Therapy® (RTT ™), Marisa Peer, has over three decades of experience in helping people free themselves from unwanted behaviors and habits.
During her hypnosis sessions, subjects can take a trip deep into their subconscious to eliminate beliefs and habits that may be a detriment to their everyday life.
This is why hypnosis is so popular for those seeking to lose weight.
Where hypnosis really helps is in the long run. It’ll help you shed the weight off and keep it off because you’ve dealt with the core of the matter and not just the surface.
This is where many people end up yo-yo dieting their whole life, and they do so because there is a bigger underlying issue that they’ve not looked into yet.
Forcing yourself on a restrictive diet won’t only not work, but it can have the opposite results. Because when you deny yourself from something, by nature your mind and body want it more.
— Marisa Peer, Hypnotherapist and Founder of Rapid Transformational Therapy®, and creator of the Hypnotic Weight Control Audio
Another way of explaining how weight loss hypnosis works would be by giving you a classic example of how motivation and your mind work together.
Have you ever heard of someone envisioning their goals and achievements every morning when they wake up?
These practices are called visualizations and affirmations, and they are said to help you achieve the goals you set for yourself or even big life plans.
Bill Gates, for example, was famously quoted for his vision of "A computer on every desk and in every home”.
“Why do you think this practice works so well?”
It’s because they practice visualizing and vocalizing out loud what they want to achieve on a consistent basis.
You hear of many reasons why affirmations and visualizations work, but one of those reasons is because it is basically a form of self hypnosis. And it’s to no surprise that some people use this practice of self hypnosis for weight loss too.
The gist of it is, you start to understand what your deepest drives and motivations are and keep yourself motivated towards your deepest desired goals.
Practicing self hypnosis for weight loss daily through affirmations and visualizations can start to get your subconscious mind geared on track to lose weight.
Self hypnosis is a powerful thing. You may not believe this but hypnotizing yourself is much easier than you think, and you’d be surprised by the results!
It all comes down to, yes you guessed it, programming your subconscious.
If you think about it, that is what the advertising industry does to you almost every time you’re shown an ad.
The advertising industry uses all sorts of clever psychological tactics to get you to buy into a product or a brand without you being aware of it.
One such tactic is “Affective Conditioning”, that's when advertisers put their product next to something you already have positive feelings about, which in turn begin to make you subconsciously project those feelings onto their product.
It's no different than hypnosis because it’s all about tapping your mind and tricking it to reprogram itself to whatever desired behavior you want to achieve.
During hypnotherapy, you are guided into a state of deep relaxation.
This puts your mind in a highly suggestible state, in which it's much easier―using visualization and guided imagery―to reprogram negative, destructive behavior and eating patterns into positive thoughts that can help achieve your desired change.
— Marisa Peer, Hypnotherapist and Founder of Rapid Transformational Therapy®, and creator of the Hypnotic Weight Control Audio
So when it comes to self hypnosis for weight loss, you will need to reprogram your subconscious.
One of the best ways of doing so is to regularly practice ten minutes of visualization on your weight loss goal every morning.
You can also incorporate affirmations. Affirmations are basically short phrases or statements you tell yourself about what you want, and you say them as though you’ve already achieved it today!
You can try practicing using any of the Marisa Peers, Hypnotic Weight Control Audio
I know what you are thinking, and this could sound a little bit silly to you if you’ve never even considered it before. But this isn’t some temporary party trick, it really works, just as long as you do it consistently.
So give it a try and practice affirmations and visualizations every morning. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
The simple truth of the matter and what makes this practice more practical than it is ‘woo, woo’ stuff, is that repetition is known to be one of the ways we get through to the subconscious mind.
Psychologists, behavior analysts, and hypnotherapists all use this same basic technique. Because the fact of the matter is, it works.
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Regression therapy is an approach to treatment that focuses on resolving significant past events believed to be interfering with a person’s present mental and emotional wellness. Only people with sound mental health who are confident that a review of past events will not adversely impact their emotional or mental health should participate. We request that you do not participate in regression therapy if you or your treating practitioners have any past or existing concerns about your mental health.