How Can Hypnotherapy Help With Weight Loss?

Hypnotherapy offers an alternative solution to dieting. It can help you to lose weight at a steady, healthy rate by making positive changes to your eating and exercise habits. By changing your thoughts and behaviour around eating you can adopt a new, healthy lifestyle – one that keeps you slimmer and fitter long term.

I’m often asked how hypnotherapy can help with weight loss so in this post I’ll try to explain some of the key points.

Why is losing weight so hard?
The problem is that diets often focus solely on restricting the amount of food you eat rather than looking at the reasons why you eat, when you eat, how you eat and what you think about food. The result is that ‘diets’ are impossible to maintain long term so that all too often you put back on those hard earned pounds, and sometimes even more. Dieting and constantly thinking about what you are allowed to eat can also make you very miserable and lead to an ‘all or nothing’ attitude.

We’re also bombarded with endless messages about diets and being thin through social media, advertising and magazines. It’s no surprise that some of us develop negative mindsets around our weight and what we’re ‘allowed’ to eat.

Why is losing weight through hypnotherapy different?
Weight issues are a result of eating. Eating is a behaviour. Behaviour is controlled by the unconscious mind, and because of this it stands to reason that you can’t lose weight without making changes at the unconscious level.

Hypnotherapy for weight-loss tackles the reasons behind why you over-eat, don’t eat healthily or fail to exercise. It works with your subconscious mind to replace negative beliefs, thoughts, feelings and eating habits with more positive ones.

The emphasis is on developing a healthy lifestyle, one that you can maintain long term and not just for as long as your will power lasts. The resulting weight loss is slow and steady rather than quick fix. It can also help to boost your feelings of well-being and confidence in yourself so that eating healthily and exercising feels good.

It can also help you to learn how to re frame your approach to weight loss. Instead of viewing the process as ‘hard’, ‘impossible’, or ‘bound to fail’, a hypnotherapist can help you to gain a clearer picture of your motivations for wanting to lose weight, helping you to become more focused and to stay motivated.

These are some of the common reasons why you might find it hard to successfully lose weight and how hypnotherapy can help:

Comfort eating: When we are babies we learn to associate feeding with the comfort of our mothers. Some experts believe this association never really leaves us, so, when life gets stressful, we can revert back to those early days of complete dependency. This is where emotional eating can become a problem. If you’ve ever found yourself reaching for a chocolate bar after a busy day, or ordering a takeaway when you feel lonely and sad, then you might be a comfort eater. As a comfort eater, you will find it more difficult to lose weight because you’ve let food become your coping mechanism and, without it, you might not know how to deal with your emotions.

Hypnotherapy can help to address this, helping you learn how to process negative emotions in a way that doesn’t lead to comfort eating.

Mindless eating: In order to lose weight, you have to be completely honest about how much you eat and exercise. Even when you keep a food diary or use a food-tracking app, it’s easy to forget about the odd snack here and there. Perhaps you pick at ingredients while you make dinner? Do you grab something on your commute to work, or tuck into a biscuit with your afternoon tea?

It’s often these ‘on the go’ foods that catch us out but they really do add up. Even if you religiously stick to salad for dinner, conveniently ignoring all the things you eat in-between won’t be doing you any favours. This type of mindless eating is something hypnotherapy for weight loss can help you to overcome.

If mindful eating is something you struggle with, gastric band hypnotherapy could help you. The idea is to make you feel fuller for longer, which can help to prevent constant grazing throughout the day.

Banning food: Like a mysterious box you’re told not to open, eliminating certain foods from your diet can make them all the more appealing. If you find yourself restricting the foods you eat, you’re more likely to want to binge when your willpower takes a dip.

The key to sustainable and healthy weight loss is to learn mindful eating. If you can eat mindfully, savouring every bite, then you’ll be able to enjoy your favourite foods in moderation and avoid putting on weight.

Significantly, a key part of hypnosis for weight loss is helping clients to eat consciously – putting emotional factors aside and develop a stable relationship with food that promotes a healthy weight, long-term.

Not exercising enough: Exercise is just as important as diet when it comes to losing weight. Sometimes mental blocks can stop us from wanting to exercise, including feeling a lack of energy, feeling too self-conscious to exercise in public, convincing yourself you’ll ‘go tomorrow’ (every day).

Weight loss hypnotherapy can help you break down those mental blocks that are stopping you from making the most of your body.

What happens during hypnotherapy for weight-loss?
Before you begin any hypnosis your therapist will explain hypnosis and how hypnotherapy works and answer any questions you may have. They should take time to get to know you, your background history with food and weight.

Most importantly they should work with you to understand which key areas need to be worked on and to establish a clear, achievable goal as well as helping you to understand your motivations for losing weight.

During a typical session, your hypnotherapist will guide you into a state of deep relaxation to access your unconscious mind and then use positive suggestions and techniques to empower you so that you can take control of your choices. Remember that you will always be in control during hypnosis and that your therapist can’t make you do, say or think anything against your will. The process is designed to support you to achieve your goal.

The number of sessions needed varies – some people experience positive changes after three or four sessions, others need ten to twelve.

Will it work for me?
Hypnotherapy has helped many people to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s hard to know if it will work for you until you try it for yourself. While it certainly won’t work in the same way for everyone, the process of talking about developing good habits, and getting rid of bad habits, should help plant a new level of awareness when it comes to food and exercise.

In order to get the most out of any form of hypnosis, it’s important to be fully committed to the process, keep an open mind, be open to change, and to work with a hypnotherapist you feel you can trust. Recognise that the power to change rests with you – your therapist will provide support and guidance but can’t do it for you.

If you’d like a chat about how I work with clients to achieve a healthy weight, please do get in touch.

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