Did you gain “Covid Couch Pounds” that are still hard to lose? It doesn’t have to be so difficult. Would you be surprised to learn that everything you experience originally starts with your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and mindset? Hypnosis has increasingly become a popular, research-supported solution for weight loss, and it is a friend with benefits.
Your success is tied to what you believe when it comes to weight loss, including managing cravings and feelings of deprivation. Using hypnosis to lose weight makes it easier and more lasting and can help you sleep better, have more confidence, and feel more energized.
According to research, hypnosis is experiencing a surge in popularity and, according to a recent New York Times article, now has “a wide following for its help in overcoming many psychological challenges, from imposter syndrome to anxiety to chronic pain.” The Times article, “What Can Hypnosis Do for Your Health” also noted that “it remains a mainstay for those looking to lose weight or quit smoking.”
What is Hypnosis?
It’s a combination of deep relaxation and focus, like the state you are in when you read a good book or watch a captivating movie. As discussed in the Times, “The patient should be so focused on the hypnotist’s words that everything else falls away,” says Dr. David Spiegel, a psychiatrist at Stanford University and leading hypnosis researcher. The aim is for the suggestions you hear in that trance-like state to shift your perspective, feelings, and—eventually—behaviors.
A study done in 2016 by Irving Kirsch, a director at Harvard Medical School, showed that patients who used hypnosis and psychotherapy lost twice as much weight as those who just did therapy. The group that did hypnosis also maintained the weight loss longer. (Time magazine, March 2, 2023).
Being overweight affects your energy, posture, and confidence. And it can become a vicious cycle. You promise yourself not to eat or drink certain things, and if you try to do that using willpower and fail, that leads to feeling disappointed and angry with yourself —and activates the urge to eat or drink even more in an attempt to get rid of those feelings.
Using hypnosis to lose weight is not only more successful, but the process does not have to be torturous or even daunting, as shedding pounds otherwise often is. With hypnosis, people are finding that they can slim down without cravings, feelings of deprivation, or yo-yo dieting.
What the Mind Believes
If you think it will be hard to lose weight, it will be. If you think it will difficult to give up sugar, you’re right—it will be. If you think you will be plagued by cravings and feeling deprived, you can count on it.
Changing your thoughts is not that easy, unless you enlist the support of your subconscious mind. In the relaxed state of hypnosis, that is more than just possible; it’s almost inevitable.
How can hypnosis help? There are four areas that are essential to losing weight and keeping it off, and hypnosis helps enormously with all four:
- A healthy diet
- Good Sleep
- Regular Exercise
- Low Stress
How Habits Help or Hurt Progress
Habits are stored in the subconscious mind, and once there, they can’t easily be changed with willpower alone, which comes from the conscious mind.
When you learn to drive a car or play a musical instrument, you learn with your conscious mind, and with repetition, it becomes an unconsciously generated behavior.
This is how habits, good and bad, are formed. If you want to make changes that require different habits than the ones you currently have, you need to enlist the help of the subconscious mind, and that is where hypnosis excels.
Reducing stress is key, as stress causes the release of cortisol, and excess cortisol triggers the body to hold on to every calorie. Research has shown that hypnosis can reduce stress enormously.
Self-image is another component of losing weight and keeping it off. If you visualize yourself in hypnosis as someone who enjoys taking care of yourself, your subconscious mind will respond to that as if it were a blueprint, bringing increased energy and the motivation to follow through with your goals.
Improving your sleep is another factor. Studies have shown that people who don’t sleep long enough or well enough snack more and reach for food more often, thinking it will create more energy. Going to sleep to a recording of hypnosis can help you let go of the thoughts and cares of the day, relax, and fall asleep more quickly so you have more natural energy and impetus to be active during the day.
Hypnosis provides the motivation to eat healthfully, drink enough water, and do some type of exercise regularly. Your mind is like a computer, and you can reprogram it to sleep well, crave healthy food, and enjoy exercise. That increases energy and raises self-esteem, creating an un-vicious cycle that leads to weight loss.
Hypnosis is a very powerful tool, but it’s not sorcery or a magic wand. It helps change your relationship with food so you don’t see it as a reward or an antidote to boredom or anxiety, and that alone increases the odds you will be a winner at the weight-loss game.
Negative beliefs can become self-fulfilling prophecies, but these beliefs can be transformed into positive ones through hypnosis. You can visualize yourself as someone with no interest in sugary, high-carbohydrate foods, and your subconscious mind will accept that as true.
Hypnosis at Home
A recent development is that many hypnotherapists are working online instead of in person. Because your eyes are closed and you are listening to a comforting voice give you suggestions, you don’t have to be in the same room or state. You can do it from the comfort of your home.
By reducing stress, making healthier food choices, changing your beliefs, improving your sleep, and staying active, losing weight can be far easier than you think, with the added benefits of greater peace of mind and tranquility.
As one hypnosis client said, “I used to wake up in the morning feeling a little depressed. Now I wake up looking forward to the day ahead. I now have this compulsion to exercise and love every minute of it. My blood pressure and my cholesterol have both gotten lower. I was constantly hungry and thinking about food. Now I no longer desire foods with empty calories… these behavior changes feel normal and effortless.”