By Susanna Sweeney, MSC, MBACP, CHT
The idea to lose weight by hypnosis has become very popular in the last decade or so, and there are countless success stories in the media, like this one here in the NY Post.
I have written this article as part of a series of articles on weight loss hypnosis so that you can form a picture if it may be suitable for you. Throughout, you will find links pointing you towards other information worth reading.
To identify whether you could lose weight by hypnosis, you should first rule out any medical
conditions potentially underlying your weight gain, such as issues to do with hormone imbalance.
If your issues are not of a medical nature, you may benefit from weight loss hypnosis.
If you want to lose weight by hypnosis and have ruled out underlying medical issues, you then need to think about whether or not you like the idea of working with hypnosis.
First of all, you will have to become familiar with the philosophy underlying weight loss hypnosis and naturally you would have to like the approach.
Generally speaking, people for whom weight loss hypnosis is suitable, fall into two categories.
The first group are people who want to lose up to around stone in weight whose weight issues simply come down to a lack of conscious eating. The second group are people who come with a bigger weight issue that may have been going on for many years and is underpinned by emotional eating issues.
Below you will find two sets of questions that can help you identify where you fall on the spectrum. Finding out where you fit in is important because that will determine what your weight loss hypnosis treatment should focus on and how it should be structured.
Those who overeat because of a lack of conscious eating would typically answer ‘no’ to the majority of the following set of conscious eating questions, and ‘no’ to the majority of the set of emotional eating questions below.
Those with emotional eating issues would typically answer ‘no’ to the majority of the conscious eating questions, and ‘yes’ to the majority of the emotional eating questions below.
Both groups can lose weight by hypnosis.
See below which group you belong to.
The more questions you answered with 'no', the more you may benefit from weight loss through hypnosis.
The more of these questions you answered with 'yes', the more you are on the emotional eating side of the spectrum. Find out below what that means.
From these two sets of questions you can begin to appreciate that weight loss hypnosis views issues with excess weight as a complex issue that involves the mind and emotions as much as the body.
We start developing our relationship with food during infancy where we learn how hunger feels in the body, how to ask (cry) for food, how to ingest food (fast or slow), how to sense when we have enough, and feel satisfied after a meal.
As our relationship with food develops throughout childhood, we often pick up bad habits from parents and carers. One such bad habit, which often features in weight loss hypnosis is the habit to get emotional needs met through ingesting food. Bad habits can become deeply ingrained and can be hard to shake.
Weight loss hypnotists, in designing a treatment protocol, will want to have a detailed consultation with you to evaluate where you fall on this spectrum and what your particular needs are. The design of your program will be based on this consultation.
If you veer towards the conscious eating side of the spectrum your practitioner will recommend working with suggestion hypnosis to help your subconscious mind around getting on top of cravings, motivation for exercise, starting to eat slowly and really listening to your body’s signals.
If you veer towards the emotional eating side of the spectrum, as well as the above issues, your practitioner will likely also recommend some work involving life regression hypnosis, where present day issues are resolved by revisiting the source experience and dealing with associated emotions.
Using regression hypnosis, your weight loss hypnotist will help you revisit source experiences in an easy and very doable way so you do not become overwhelmed. They will help you make sense of those experiences, re-interpret them from an adult’s perspective and feel the associated emotions in hypnosis trance where they are bearable so that you can let them go and move on with your life.
It’s important for you to understand from the start that weight loss is a complex issue which does not resolve overnight. As a rule of thumb, the more you veer towards the emotional eating side of the spectrum, the more long term you can expect the work to be.
On the plus side, hypnotherapy does not involve the same regular expenditure
that you would have to plan for typically weekly psychotherapy sessions.Typically, your practitioner will suggest regular but infrequent sessions. They may be spaced fortnightly or, later on, even monthly. Later sessions may be shorter as they may be focused on maintenance.
Depending on how much weight you want to lose, plan hypnosis into your life for at least a few months, and for up to two years. Remember, the approach is to lose weight gradually and naturally, at your own pace. Give your mind and body time to adjust at every step.
Yes, hypnosis can be more costly than other weight loss programs.
The first thing to consider, however, is what you get from weight loss hypnosis compared to other weight loss programs. If your preference comes down on the side of hypnosis, there are a couple of things you can do to make hypnosis workable for yourself financially.
I hope this article has helped you to form a picture whether or not you think you could lose weight by hypnosis. Please do check out the other articles in this series to get a complete picture of what weight loss hypnosis has to offer.
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