Can Hypnotherapy Help with Weight Loss?
Early in my career as a Hypnotherapist, my 80-year-old, fairly conservative grandma suddenly expressed a real interest in my alternative career choice when she asked with excitement, “Wait, so can you hypnotize me to lose weight?!!”
I didn’t want to burst her bubble, but I had a feeling for how she might be angling this question. “I can certainly hypnotize you to be more motivated to make healthier choices, if that’s what you mean,” I responded.
Her brow furrowed as the wheels churned, “So, what you’re saying is that it won’t work if I continue having cocktails and dessert every night, and all the other good stuff?”
“Yeeahhh….” I replied, “it’s really designed to help you feel more motivated to make the changes that are necessary to lose weight. It doesn’t mean you have to write off cocktails & dessert forever, but it would certainly involve some daily habit changes.”
She broke out with a chuckle when she realized that changing her deeply ingrained habits was not what she had in mind when she had been excited about the idea of hypnotherapy!
While hypnosis might not be as simple as waving a magic wand and the weight just automatically falls to the floor, in a lot of ways, it does feel pretty magical.
“How is this possible?!” I’ve had numerous clients ask incredulously after just a session or two of hypnotherapy when they’ve suddenly turned a corner with something like a life-time habit of late-night snacking, or curbing a particular craving, or suddenly feeling more motivated to move their body.
The answer is that the mind is incredibly powerful. And when given the right tools and suggestions in a hypnotic state of deep relaxation, the mind is primed to put its focus on what it wants most of all (not just the short-term temptation).
In a hypnotherapy session, we spend time discussing the potential pitfalls or hold-ups to success. We look at the the deeper needs, come up with healthier replacements to fill that need, and visualize (prime the brain) to actually see that that desired scenario playing out. Doing all of this in a hypnotic state allows the brain to relax and let go of past habits of thinking, and create new neural networks that are aligned with the deeper desire for change.
With follow-up hypnotherapy sessions, we also look at the role that stress plays, since high cortisol can make it that much harder to lose weight. Not only does hypnotherapy tune the nervous system to a much more relaxed & calmer state of being, I teach de-stressing tools for clients to use in the moment to help dial back stress and cortisol levels.
We address sleep and hydration as well, since hormone signals get out of whack when we are depleted in either of these. When the brain is sleep deprived or even unknowingly thirsty, hormones will often drive us eat whatever sugary, carb-heavy, or fat-laden food is the easiest to obtain!
It’s this combination of nutritional knowledge and education, paired with the magic of hypnotherapy that gets my clients excited about the change they see possible, rather than feeling stuck in a rut. They feel empowered knowing that they are no longer ruled by their cravings, and instead, have more control over the choices they make.
If you are someone looking to continue to eat mostly processed foods or a daily dessert of choice, while remaining stressed & inactive, then sadly, hypnotherapy probably won’t help.
But if you are genuinely open to stepping into the driver’s seat when it comes to making real change, then hypnotherapy can help catapult you out of whatever rut you’re in, and into a healthier, and happier, way of living.