Do Weight Loss Hypnosis Sessions Work?
Hypnosis is a superpower, but not the one you’d imagine or possibly hope for. If that were the case, we’d see Derren Brown basking in his millions after a big lottery win, or perhaps something more altruistic, winning the lottery and passing the money to charity. Hypnotherapists would have the highest paid jobs in the land, but they’d be many more because we’d all want the magic wand.
Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately, depending on how you view these things), hypnosis is not that kind of superpower, and changing aspects of the self doesn’t happen as easily as I sometimes wish.
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is therapeutic in a way. For some people, hypnosis creates temporary changes in the brain, visible in brain imaging scans. The changes mean anxiety is less possible, so the experience can feel relaxing. Although the activity in the part of the brain that deals with motion control and cognitive functioning reduces, there is significantly enhanced connectivity between the parts of the brain that deal with interoception, sensory processing, perceptual self awareness and emotional guidance of social behaviour. Also the parts of the brain that deal with body control and experience, emotion, empathy, self reflection, self monitoring, self regulation and pain processing.
Hypnosis will help enhance your self-awareness, physically and emotionally. This alone will help you understand yourself, so you can make changes more easily. But how can hypnosis help weight loss specifically? More importantly, how can hypnosis help you feel the way you want to? Weight loss is not always the answer to changing your body shape and feeling confident in your own skin. In my hypnotherapy sessions, I prefer to focus on health, body positivity and mental wellbeing. When you prioritise your health and wellness and start to take care of yourself in a way that demonstrates your love for yourself, your body shape is likely to change.
Continue reading to learn about the things we can do in a hypnotherapy session to achieve this.
Emotional eating is a thing for many people. You eat when you’re sad, when you’re happy, to be sociable, when you’re lonely, when you’re angry, frustrated, and frankly, when you experience any strong emotion. Generally, it’s only distraction from your own emotions that stops you wanting to eat.
Self-hypnosis is one tool to help you unlock a mindful way of living. Mindfulness, is a way of life in which you remain in the moment, non-judgmentally permitting all emotions. You feel open to the human experience with a desire to try it all. Not wishing to quash anything that you previously deemed negative. When emotions arise, you’ll let yourself feel, with curiosity rather than challenge. When you learn and practice mindfulness with your hypnotherapist, you’ll understand and learn how to meet your actual needs, rather than trying to fulfil everything with food.
If there is a specific food that you crave but know is not beneficial for your health, you can use hypnosis to create an aversion to it. Certain ingredients, such as sugar, meet a criterion for a substance of abuse and therefore act as addictive for some people, especially when consumed in binges. Although hypnosis itself will not change the processes in the brain that occur when you eat addictive foods, there are techniques we can use to make the food less desirable. Instead of feeling drawn towards it, you’ll feel repulsion when you think of that food. Rather than walking towards it, you’ll want to turn away. Your hypnotherapist will do this by creating a link in your brain to the food, and something you already have a strong aversion to.
Exercise is a key player in mental wellbeing. In general, it is a change in diet that will help you lose weight. However, regular exercise will improve your mental wellbeing and help build muscle (which requires more calories), so you’ll see more definition in your body shape. When you feel better, you’re more likely to eat better.
In 2019, researchers gave a group of 2,680 young adults a fifteen week exercise program and analysed their dietary choices. The higher the intensity of exercise, the more nutritious the food choices. The researchers believe this is because the exercisers became more aware of other ways to improve their health as they exercised, and because their bodies naturally craved healthier foods. A big win for exercise.
Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy. If you feel there is emotional depth to your weight problem, we can explore this and work through it together. Weight loss hypnosis is sometimes a quick fix, but more often there is therapeutic work that needs to happen first. Usually this is clear from the initial consultation, and we can discuss the best way to work together.