Does Hypnosis for Weight Loss Actually Work?

Are you wondering, does hypnosis for weight loss actually work? We live in a world with countless diets, supplements, and exercise regimens. They all promise to help shed unwanted pounds. So many people struggling with weight loss find themselves yearning for a more effective, sustainable solution. Among the myriad approaches available, let’s talk about hypnosis for weight loss. Does hypnosis for weight loss actually work? In this article, we will delve into the world of hypnotherapy and explore its potential as a powerful tool in the quest for lasting weight loss. For information about my hypnosis for weight loss sessions, click here.


Does Hypnosis for Weight Loss Actually Work?


Does hypnosis for weight loss actually work?


Hypnosis, for a long time was misconceived as a mystical or mind-controlling practice, is, in fact, a well-established therapeutic approach, rooted in psychology and neurology. It entails guiding an individual into a state of deep relaxation and heightened suggestibility, allowing access to the subconscious mind. This altered state of consciousness, known as trance, opens the door to addressing various psychological and behavioural concerns, including weight management.

In the past the concept of hypnosis would conjure images of a hypnotist swinging a pocket watch, the reality is far less dramatic. Hypnotherapy, as I use it, in the context of weight loss, involves guided imagery and other techniques. I help clients modify their eating habits, attitudes towards food, and exercise routines. The goal is to encourage healthier behaviours and empower people to make lasting changes.


Hypnosis for weight loss and the power of suggestion


At the core of hypnosis for weight loss lies the power of suggestion. During a hypnotherapy session, individuals are encouraged to adopt positive beliefs and behaviours related to their weight management goals. These suggestions can include developing an aversion to unhealthy foods, boosting motivation for exercise, and fostering a strong sense of self-discipline.

The process also typically incorporates reinforcement. Clients are taught relaxation techniques that can be practiced outside of sessions. These relaxation techniques, often based on mindfulness or self-hypnosis, can help manage stress and cravings in everyday life, contributing to long-term success. So, if you are asking, does hypnosis for weight loss actually work, you can see already that its an in-depth and empowering process.


The Science Behind Hypnosis for Weight Loss


Scepticism often surrounds the effectiveness of hypnotherapy, and understandably so. To answer the question, Does hypnosis for weight loss actually work? scientific studies have explored its impact. A series of studies have shed light on the potential of hypnosis to facilitate weight loss and long-term maintenance.


Study One

The study conducted by Bolocofsky, Spinler, and Coulthard-Morris in 1985 examined the effectiveness of hypnosis as an adjunct to behavioural weight management.

This study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, divided 109 people into two groups for a 9-week study. The members of the first group were treated with changes in diet and exercise habits (the only way to lose weight) without the addition of hypnosis. The participants in the second group were given the same diet and exercise treatment and were also provided hypnosis for reinforcement.

After 9 weeks, not surprisingly, both groups lost weight due to the changes in diet and exercise while under supervision. What happened after the 8-month and 2-year follow-ups might surprise you:


  1. The group that did not have hypnosis did not lose any more weight, and, in fact, most gained most of their weight back.
  2. The hypnosis group, however, continued to lose weight during both intervals, and the studies showed that far more people in the hypnosis group met their long-term weight-loss goals.


The most important thing to realise is that the hypnosis group continued the eating and exercise habits learned in the experiment, while the non-hypnosis group did not. There is no magic pill for weight loss. They simply have to follow a healthy eating and exercise plan. From this study, it is clear that hypnosis supports diet and exercise adherence.


Study Two

Another study conducted by Cochrane and Friesen in 1986 investigated the effects of hypnosis on weight loss for a group of females who were at least 20% overweight.

This study, published in the “Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology,” investigated the effects of hypnosis in weight loss for 60 females at least 20% overweight and not involved in other treatment. The researchers interviewed each participant this time about their family background, educational background, and their belief as to their hypnotisability.

The group was split into hypnosis and non-hypnosis groups, with both groups being given weight-loss behavioural treatments and counselling. The results were very interesting. The group using hypnosis lost an average of 17 pounds at the  six month follow-up. The group that did not receive hypnosis only lost half a pound. It was also found that “hypnotisability” and social and educational backgrounds had nothing to do with the results.


Study Three

Kirsch’s 1996 meta-analysis reinforced the findings of previous studies. In this meta-analysis, (which is when researchers correlate the results of multiple studies), the results of the two studies mentioned above and other studies were confirmed. In the studies of hypnosis versus no hypnosis, the average short-term weight loss was 6 pounds for those not using hypnosis and 11.83 pounds with hypnosis.

Even more importantly, over the long term, the average weight loss without hypnosis remained at six pounds, but with hypnosis, it jumped to 14.88 pounds, indicating again that the effects of hypnosis seem to continue over time. What is impressive about these results is that doing hypnosis under controlled conditions is extremely difficult, and to have the research indicate that people are losing anywhere from about 2 to on average 16 1/2 times more weight under hypnosis than when they do not use it, clearly indicates that hypnosis should be used by anyone who is serious about weight loss.

These studies provide compelling evidence that hypnosis can be an effective tool for weight loss, offering a sustainable approach for individuals seeking to shed excess pounds and keep them off.


Does Hypnosis for Weight Loss Actually Work London


Does hypnosis for weight loss actually work? – The Benefits


It’s essential to understand the numerous benefits hypnosis for weight loss offers, while dispelling common misconceptions.


Benefit One: Behaviour Modification


One of the primary benefits of hypnosis for weight loss is its capacity for behaviour modification. Hypnotherapy delves deep into the subconscious mind, addressing the root causes of unhealthy eating patterns and sedentary lifestyles. This therapeutic approach empowers individuals to recognise and change their eating habits and attitudes towards food.

During hypnosis sessions, individuals receive positive suggestions that foster healthier behaviours. These suggestions may include the desire to eat nutritious foods, the motivation to exercise regularly, and the development of self-discipline when it comes to portion control and snacking. The lasting behavioural changes cultivated through hypnosis can lead to sustained weight loss and better long-term health.


Benefit Two: Stress Reduction


Stress and emotional eating are common obstacles to weight loss. Hypnosis for weight loss equips individuals with relaxation techniques that help manage stress and curb emotional eating. Techniques empower individuals to address stress and anxiety in a healthier manner, reducing the likelihood of turning to unhealthy comfort foods.


Benefit Three: Enhanced Self-Esteem and Confidence


A critical aspect of successful weight loss is a strong sense of self-esteem and confidence. Hypnosis for weight loss can play a crucial role in boosting self-esteem and enhancing self-image. By addressing negative thought patterns and self-limiting beliefs, weight loss hypnotherapy helps individuals build a positive self-concept. This newfound self-assurance can inspire them to set and achieve their weight loss goals with determination.


Hypnosis for weight loss misconceptions


Misconception One: Instantaneous Weight Loss


One of the most prevalent misconceptions surrounding hypnosis for weight loss is the belief that it produces instantaneous results. So, does hypnosis for weight loss actually work? Yes, it does,  While hypnotherapy can help individuals make significant strides towards their weight loss goals, it is not a magic bullet that guarantees immediate and effortless weight loss. Weight loss remains a gradual and ongoing process that requires dedication and commitment.


Misconception Two : Loss of Control


Another misconception is the fear of losing control during hypnotherapy sessions. In reality, hypnosis is a collaborative process between the client and the hypnotherapist. Clients remain in control throughout the session and cannot be made to do anything against their will. Hypnotherapy fosters a sense of heightened focus and concentration, allowing individuals to better access their inner resources for positive change.

In conclusion, the benefits of hypnosis for weight loss are rooted in its capacity to modify behaviour, reduce stress, boost self-esteem. I also offer a highly customisable approach. We look at what you truly need. It is not a quick-fix solution but a tool that empowers individuals to make lasting changes. Does hypnosis for weight loss actually work? is answered with growing evidence and my own may years of success helping people achieve their weight loss goals. If you would like to book an initial hypnosis for weight loss session, get in touch today.

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Jason Demant Clinical Hypnotherapist
London hypnotherapist. Seeing Clients in King's Cross and online.