Weight loss hypnosis is, as the name implies, the technique of using hypnosis to aid in weight loss. According to hypnotherapy advocates, weight loss hypnosis can be used in many variations to help a person break bad eating or exercise habits and develop good habits, such as sticking to a certain diet plan or avoiding specific foods. Typically, hypnosis is most reliably practiced by licensed hypnotherapists. Non-licensed individuals who have learned the techniques are also widely available, but some professionals claim that this option is not necessarily as effective or reliable. Self-hypnosis is another popular option, but one should make sure to learn quality techniques before attempting to perform any hypnosis.
A hypnotic state is commonly produced using a process known as hypnotic induction. Hypnotic induction usually consists of a series of directions given to the participant by the hypnotist. In a state of hypnosis, the mind is intensely concentrated on a specific thought or series of thoughts. The participant remains conscious and in control, but the mind becomes more receptive to suggestions. This makes it easier for the hypnotist to prompt the participant’s mind into developing ideas and behaviors. In the case of hypnosis for weight loss, these suggestions take the form of encouragement toward exercise and/or a healthy diet.
Weight loss hypnosis can be used in combination with other weight loss methods. Some studies have reported that using hypnosis in conjunction with other types of therapy may help with behavioral issues. This principle is often applied to weight loss specifically, with some people receiving both weight loss hypnosis and additional weight loss therapy. With few exceptions, medical professionals agree that for any long-term weight loss benefits to be achieved, one must undergo repeated hypnosis sessions for a substantial period of time.
Proponents of weight loss hypnosis claim that it produces very noticeable benefits that go beyond the normal effects of diet and exercise. Several studies have shown a small to moderate increase in weight loss with diet, exercise, and hypnosis versus diet and exercise alone, but the merit of some of these studies is uncertain. Most medical professionals argue that hypnosis cannot reprogram the brain, as is often claimed, and if any benefits are experienced, they will not be dramatic. Some report that there is not enough evidence to assert whether weight loss hypnosis has any effect at all, and even that some effects could possibly be detrimental.