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Hypnosis for Weight Loss

Weight loss is without question one of the most sought out areas of hypnotherapy and can be one of the most complex as well.  In a hypnotherapy for weight loss certification class taught by the American Hypnosis Association in 2009, it was cited that the current statistics showed Americans were spending 30 billion dollars a year on weight loss, diet programs, products, foods, and fads.  The text went on to cite that 50 million Americans would go on diets in that particular year, but of those that took weight off, only 5% would manage to keep it off. 

The reason for this low success rate is that many people look for a quick fix and easy solution to their weight problem.  In this day and age of scientific breakthroughs and medical miracles, people think, “why can’t I lose weight effortlessly?”  People don’t realize that for permanent weight loss, they need to change what’s going on inside, mentally, emotionally and physically.  There is no pill, drink or magic bullet for their weight problem.  It is a very complex issue because there is so much involved.  It’s not just about food and exercise, but  many other things such as, emotions, stress, relationships, self‐love, worthiness,  beliefs, fears, habits, old knowns and associations to food and comfort, as well as many other things.   (Kappas, 2009)

This subject of obesity and weight loss is prevalent throughout our society today.  Many say it’s not because we’re eating more food, but because we’re eating more “food-like” products.  With the many premade, ready to eat, boxed foods processed carbohydrates have become more commonplace than ever before.  In fact to put it into perspective, in a hypoglycemia class taught at the College of Hypnotherapy it was cited that at the present day, the average American eats 135 pounds of sugar a year.  Twenty years prior that number was a mere 26 pounds of sugar a year, and 100 years ago when we grew our own food, it was only 5 pounds of sugar per year.  Another school of thought is that in our current information age many lead a much more sedentary lifestyle.  A productive worker may sit at a keyboard for hours as there is no longer a need to get up and walk to the file room, or even go to the copier. 

Add to the above that people will often eat for different reasons.  For some it may be that the processed foods break down much more quickly and you get hungry again.  Other people don’t necessarily eat because their body is physically hungry.  They may eat because they’re down, have had a bad day, or simply because they’re bored.  Other emotionally charged reasons people may eat are to relax, for comfort, because they’re lonely, stressed or are having anxiety issues.  Some will eat as a reward, others to deal with guilt, and still others because they’re tired, but mostly just because it feels good.  The common thread for the hypnotherapist is that these situations all tie directly into the Theory of Mind which is at the very core of how hypnosis is able to allow a client to alter habits and behaviors. 

Make no mistake, as referenced above there is no magic bullet.  A client seeking hypnotherapy to lose weight must be committed to and involved in the process.  When approached in this manner however, long term success is attainable, and while each person is different studies have documented favorable results.  More importantly, not only do studies show hypnosis as the definitive link in the equation such as demonstrated by Cochrane & Friesen, (1986), but perhaps even more importantly studies have shown that years later those who used hypnosis continued to lose weight whereas those in the studies who used other modalities were not so fortunate (Bolocofsky, Spinler, & Coulthard, 1985).

It is important to note that obesity can also be caused by underlying medical issues and one should consult with their physician before beginning any diet or weight loss regimen.  Additionally nutritional requirements can vary greatly from one individual to another depending on your medical history.  Therefore sessions for weight loss may require a medical referral.

If you would like to speak with someone regarding hypnotherapy for weight loss, contact us online, or call the office at 469-225-9040. 

William Carpenter is designated as a Certified Hypnosis and Weight Loss Specialist by the American Hypnosis Association.



Bolocofsky, D. N., Spinler, D., & Coulthard‐Morris, L. (1985). Effectiveness of hypnosis as an adjunct to behavioral weight management. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 41(1), 35-41.

Cochrane, G., & Friesen, J. (1986). Hypnotherapy in weight loss treatment. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 54(4), 489.

Kappas, S. (2009). Weight Loss 101: The ultimate weight loss seminar certification course. Tarzana California: American Hypnosis Association.