The problem with talking about hypnosis and weight loss, or hypnosis and many other things for that matter, is that there often are few, if any, studies on whose results you can hang your hat. In this world where it seems everything is studied from every different angle, it seems that the final conclusion is that hypnosis can help you lose weight…or not.
There are plenty of claims of success by the myriad of hypnotherapists of all kinds who have put up websites and gone into the “Hypnosis can cure…” business.
Actually, the problem is not even whether or not hypnosis can or cannot be a tool in a healthy weight loss program. That much, at least, is pretty well agreed upon. The question seems to be how to use it and how much effect it actually has on an individual’s weight loss.
That brings us to another factor. We are dealing with individuals, and individuals tend to react differently to the efforts of hypnotherapists in ANY attempt to produce a viable effect.
Most claims found for hypnotherapists on the internet, whether they are claiming that hypnosis is effective for weight loss or not (and most are) is that they ARE successful. Like many other things that can be effective and valuable in weight loss, or almost any other endeavor, the unknown fact is what does “effective” mean to these people and can they define “effective” in terms of so many successful outcomes in so many total attempts. This is the problem. There are no numbers, at least none that I could find.
However, many studies DO exist that show that hypnosis CAN be combined with other standard weight loss efforts to produce a better outcome. For example, it has long been known that changing eating habits and attitudes towards food can help with weight loss. It has been found that hypnosis, combined with behavior modification, tends to meet with greater success than behavior modification or attitude alteration alone. It seems that the hypnosis does what it often does best…it relaxes the subject, allows them to focus and concentrate, and helps them learn their lessons, if you will, more quickly and efficiently.
Bottom line? Hypnosis alone is not very likely to produce profound effects on weight loss. This is particularly true in light of many hypnotherapists’ claims that “only one session” will cause a massive, immediate, and continuous weight loss. If anything, for most people, hypnosis is simply one more weapon in an arsenal of weapons in the war against obesity. As always the main weapons will be regular physical activity and sensible eating habits.