Weight Loss Hypnosis- Is it for You?

By Susanna Sweeney, MSC, MBACP, CHT

Weight loss hypnosis has become very popular. This is reflected, for example in how many celebrities seek out hypnosis to shed a few pounds (see info graphic).

weight loss hypnosis

It is also reflected in media reports on weight loss by hypnosis. This article featured in The Cut is just one example of many success stories out there.

Yet, it is hard to find good and comprehensive information on the topic.

I have dedicated this brief article to looking ta how weight loss hypnosis compares to other weight loss programs. I will explain the philosophy behind hypnosis for weight loss so that you will be in a position to decide for yourself whether or not the approaches used in hypnotherapy for weight loss appeal to you.

This article is also the starting point for a series of articles on hypnotherapy for weight loss to answer some other questions you may have. You will find links for them at the very end of the article. But before I send you of in other directions, allow me to talk you through the basics.

People’s Experiences With Other Weight Loss Programs

Hypnosis is often seen as a last resort. Many people who decide to lose weight through hypnosis have tried losing weight with other programs before. In fact, many may have been in and out of other programs for years. Often,  negative experiences they have with other weight loss programs are ultimately what brings them to hypnotherapy.

Most other weight loss programs:

  • Assume it is enough to make a plan and tell people what to do for them to be able to lose weight and keep it off. For a lot of people, that is not enough.
  • Certain programs assume that weigh-ins help people become motivated to persist with diet plans.
  • Some programs focus on weight loss products which are hailed as the answer to excess weight.

The following list describes some experiences of other weight loss programs I repeatedly hear reflected back to me:

  • People have felt humiliated by weigh-ins and targets they could not meet.
  • They find weigh-ins unhelpful and the feedback given has, at times, been shaming.
  • As a result they find their relationship with their bodies has become even worse than it already was.
  • They find that there is no difference in the levels of food cravings they experience.
  • Many report that using willpower for losing weight only works for a short while, and that emotions and emotional cravings will soon take over.
  • With certain programs, people felt pushed into a dependency on having to buy certain prescribed foods.
  • Some lose weight for a short time and then gain it again as soon as the program finishes.
  • Where there are weight loss products involved in programs, as soon as people stopped buying these, the weight comes back on.

weight loss hypnosisSee how weight loss hypnosis compares to other weight loss programs.

Do any of these experiences sound familiar to you? If so you may be ready to hear about the very different approaches used in weight loss hypnosis.

  • The basic premise in hypnosis for weight loss is that, for long term success, the mind and emotions have to come on board with the weight loss process.  What does this mean?

  • In concrete terms this means that your beliefs, attitudes and emotions have to come in line if you want to lose weight.

  • The model we use in hypnosis identifies beliefs, attitudes and emotions as being anchored- to a large extend, in the subconscious mind.

Hypnosis Addresses the Subconscious Mind Directly:

  • Via the subconscious mind, hypnosis can help you develop a new and better relationship with food, where, for example, you suddenly find yourself preferring healthy, nourishing foods and disliking junk food and sweets.
  • Hypnosis for weight loss can help you become motivated and determined to exercise and do whatever it takes to achieve your weight loss goal.
  • Addressing the subconscious mind directly can also save you many detours that you would be taking with a psycho-therapeutic approach involving painstaking work to dismantle emotional issues underlying excess weight.
  • For many clients, using weight loss hypnosis, this journey feels easy and almost playful. When you work directly with the subconscious mind, you can save yourself much struggle involving willpower and efforting.
  • The attitude weight loss hypnosis takes in all of this is a non-judgemental attitude towards the client, one that promotes self-compassion and a positive relationship with their body at all times.
  • There are no weigh-ins. There are no weight loss products. You are empowered to lose weight at your own pace and the natural way.
  • There is no diet involved with weight loss hypnosis. You are empowered to choose the nutrition that is right for you.
  • Research has shown that weight loss hypnosis has benefits well into the future after the treatment is finished (1,2,3). This is because hypnosis works deep by addressing subconscious mind programming.

weight loss hypnosisCelebrities who have used weight loss hypnosis.

Is Weight Loss Hypnosis for You?

Weight loss hypnosis may be for you if:

  • You want a slow and gentle approach to weight loss

  • You want to take the mental conflict and struggle out of the weight loss journey

  • You want a non-judgemental approach based on teaching the subconscious mind self-compassion.

  • You want a better relationship with your body.

  • You are fed up with dieting.

  • You want an approach that avoids scales and weigh-ins.

  • You want a weight loss program that will have benefits well into the future.

  • You have identified emotional issues that underlie the weight issue.

Use Hypnosis in Combination with Sensible Life Style Changes

When dealing with a complex problem like weight loss I think it's always advisable to come at the issue using two or  maybe even three interventions together.  Expect to change your life style somewhat, your nutrition, how you deal with stress and emotional problems. Thankfully, hypnosis supports you in making sensible lifestyle changes.

Working with hypnosis will help you look after your mindset, motivation and determination, it will help you to deal with food cravings and with any underlying emotional issues that caused the weight gain in the first place. Hypnosis will make it easy for you to stay calm and focused in the face of major changes you are making in your life, and over time it will produce a profound sense of well being.

Expect to include gentle and consistent exercise into your lifestyle. Used on its own, exercise is unreliable for weight loss, but when we look at the overall scheme of things it is of course good for your body and health to get moving. Go walking, swimming, do yoga- take up any physical activity you like. Do it gently, give yourself time to adopt it into your life.

It is self evident when I say that some sensible dietary changes can and will help with weight loss. Rather than just reducing portion size, you might consider other dietary interventions. Start checking the labels of the foods you buy in the supermarket. educate yourself around hidden sugars and the many different names used for them on food labels. That is a good starting place.

You may also consider changing your nutrition in more fundamental ways. I will never recommend doing drastic diets that promise weight loss over a short period of time.  Always choose sensible and balanced, dietary interventions and take your time with losing weight to go easy on your body.

There are some dietary interventions that people use successfully to lose weight. One of the better interventions I have come across is the keto diet which some of my clients have used successfully alongside hypnosis to lose weight.

Keto is a complex system and many myths about it prevail. If you are considering it, go to a reliable source for information. Here is a great website  that I have checked out thoroughly, written by an expert on this dietary system, and this particular article will help you develop a ketogenic diet plan.

weight loss hypnosisWeight loss hypnosis- is it for you?

Other About Weight Loss Hypnosis

Weight Loss Through Hypnosis- What Science Says

Hypnotherapy is often portrayed as unscientific. In this article I have  gathered the available scientific evidence that backs weight loss through hypnosis as a valid and valuable treatment...

Hypnotic Weight Loss- How to Get the Best from Your Treatment

This article advises you as to what you can do in order to get the best out of your treatment if you have decided to lose weight through hypnosis. Some of this is bound to surprise you...

Could You Lose Weight By Hypnosis?

Find out if weight loss hypnosis is suitable for you, what the underlying issues may be and what to expect from a program of hypnosis.

Gastric Band Hypnosis

Gastric band hypnosis has become a popular alternative to actual surgical intervention. But does it live up to expectations? Find out what it does and what results you can expect.

Weight Loss Hypnotists- How to Find the Right one for You

It can be very daunting to look for a practitioner of a therapy you have never tried and heard mixed things about. Let me hold your hand with some sound advice...

Weight Loss by Hypnosis- 7 Benefits for You

Find out how you could benefit from weight loss by hypnosis.

Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight

Find sound advice and guidance if you want to quit smoking without gaining weight.

Self Hypnosis for Weight Loss- 7 Huge Benefits for You

Find out what benefits self hypnosis for weight loss has on offer for you compared to conventional weight loss programs and compared to attending weight loss hypnosis.

I hope this article has helped you to gain an understanding of how weight loss hypnosis works, and has helped you to see whether or not hypnosis may be for you.



(1) Mewes, I., Stich, A., Habermüller, M. S., & Revenstorf, D., 2003. Weight reduction by hypnosis and behaviour therapy. Verhaltenstherapie und Verhaltensmedizin, 24, 499–512.
(2) Bolocofsky, D., Spinler, D. and Coulthard-Morris, L., 1985. Effectiveness of Hypnosis as an Adjunct to Behavioral Weight Management. Journal of Clinical Psychology. January, 1985, Vol. 41, No. 1.
(3) Kirsch, 1996.Hypnotic Enhancement of Cognitive-Behavioral Weight Loss Treatments—Another Meta-Reanalysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1996. Vol.64, No. 3, 517-519.

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