Hypnosis for weight loss. Does it really work?

Have you ever fallen asleep, on your sofa in front of the television, but you can still hear sounds in the background?

You may well have been in a state of hypnosis yourself without even knowing.


Hypnosis is when your conscious mind has fallen asleep but your sub-conscious mind is still awake. Your sub-conscious mind is responsible for behaviours and habits and absorbs any information given and does exactly what you want it to do.

The aim of hypnotherapy for weight loss is to help you change the way you feel about what you eat. For example, if you are finding it difficult to completely cut chocolate out of your diet, the therapist will discuss this issue and steer you away from it by explaining why eating chocolate is not particularly good for you.

What happens when you are hypnotised?

To perform hypnosis, the therapist will usually use a ‘food and mood’ technique to get you to talk about food in the conscious state, getting you to think about which types of food you are eating and why in order to change your attitude towards them. You’ll then be encouraged to close your eyes and countdown into a nice relaxation mode, which enables you to settle into a calm place.

hypnosis for weight loss

This eliminates most people’s common misconceptions of a hypnotherapist waving a pendulum in front of somebodies eyes and clicking their fingers until they have fallen asleep, much like we see in the media performed by magicians.

Your legs and arms may feel a little heavy, but you’re the one in control and can conclude the therapy whenever you want.

Will it work for everyone?

hypnosis for weight loss

Lynne Kavanagh Jones, a hypnotherapist of The Hypnotherapy Room found that there is a direct correlation between stress and over-eating, and most of her clients have a problem with ‘comfort eating’. She says,

‘Getting people into the most relaxed possible state is very important for the sessions to be successful’.

The success of the therapy entirely depends on the client, and how relaxed they can become. Those who struggle to get in the state of hypnosis will benefit less than others and those who expect the therapy to work straight away, may not work at all. This is because the conscious mind will override your subconscious mind and they may go back to eating what they once prevented.

Rindercella, a member of MumsNet commented on a thread about the topic of hypnosis.

‘I actually did weight loss hypnosis recently with a local therapist, and whilst I was seeing him it worked brilliantly – I lost a total of 12lbs over the 4 weeks. Sadly, I had a couple of bad weeks and got back into my old ways’.

Hypnosis for weight loss has increased in popularity, more so now because of celebrities such as Nigella Lawson who paid £295 in hypnosis lessons at The Harley Street Clinic lost two stones as a result.

However, most people do not have celebrity bank accounts, and this has seen a rise in a cheaper, more accessible option for hypnotherapy that is just a click away.

hypnosis for weight loss

The virtual Gastric Band Easy Weight loss app hypnotises the user into believing they have undergone gastric-band surgery by taking them through the procedure step-by-step as if it were in real time.

Marigoldandsparkles, a user of the app says, ‘I was fed up with all of the damage dieting had done to my body and my mind. This is the best money I have ever spent and has completely changed my life’.

However, the app does not give them a personalised chat due to its wider audience with differing needs, so it is not specifically tailored to each individual.

Benjamin Bonetti, a self-help author and celebrity hypnotist who was the original founder of The virtual gastric band, fully believes hypnosis is the best support mechanism when it comes to dealing with weight related subconscious issues.

hypnosis for weight loss

He does however think that hypnosis does not work when people fail to change their diet and nutrition, exercise at least three times a week and keep opting for the cheapest options.

‘It isn’t that hypnosis or hypnotherapy doesn’t work, it does, and it’s very effective. It’s more that people should use it as a supportive tool and be fully aware that their diet and fitness are also large contributing factors’.

So, does hypnotherapy work for weight loss?

weight loss

It’s a difficult one to answer, because not everyone can get into a relaxed state of hypnosis. And if you can, it isn’t necessarily the solution to losing weight that you’ve been searching for.

Hypnotherapy needs to be treated as a complementary tool that works alongside a healthy diet and lifestyle, because if you rely solely on the services of hypnotherapist or the guidance of an app without addressing your existing eating habits, then you might be disappointed with the results.

Have you used hypnosis for weight loss? Did it work? Tell us in the comments section below!