Self-hypnosis may be effective for weight loss when combined with other strategies to lose weight such as diet and exercise
Your mind plays an important role in weight loss. But can self-hypnosis really help you lose weight? While some studies have found that hypnotherapy helped some groups boost their self-control before eating, there isn’t enough research to say with certainty that it works.
Self-hypnosis techniques alone won’t deliver drastic results and should not be viewed as a substitute for already established ways of losing weight, such as diet and exercise. However, if psychological or emotional issues are hampering your weight loss progress, self-hypnosis may help enhance other weight loss measures.
How can self-hypnosis help with weight loss?
Hypnosis involves practicing techniques that help you enter a relaxed state of mind and then address the thinking and behavioral patterns that are blocking your efforts towards your goals.
For example, hypnotherapy may help you tackle feelings of discouragement or low self-esteem, which may stem from previous failed attempts at losing weight. It can also help you resolve emotional conflicts that are making you turn to food for comfort or self-reward.
A study conducted in 2018 found that participants who received dietary and exercise plans in addition to self-hypnosis techniques consumed fewer calories and lost more weight compared to the group that was only on dietary and exercise plans. The self-hypnosis technique was directed at gaining self-control around food.
Some researchers therefore found hypnosis to be effective when combined with other weight loss approaches that center on healthy eating and exercise.
How can I perform hypnosis on myself?
To be able to practice self-hypnosis and make it help you in your weight loss journey, it’s important to have strong willpower and a readiness to change.
Hypnotherapy is usually performed in several sessions, with each session lasting between 45-120 minutes. Each session involves a hypnotherapist leading you through breathing exercises and suggestions to replace negative thinking with healthy thought patterns. They may ask you to repeat certain self-affirming phrases to focus your attention on the present.
Once you have understood the process, you can use self-hypnosis techniques on yourself as needed. Your hypnotherapist may suggest ways to self-induce hypnosis that you can use later.
Are there any side effects of self-hypnosis?
Hypnotherapy is a relatively inexpensive and easy form of psychological therapy. It does not have negative side effects and may be effective when combined with other weight loss strategies.
However, if you have a health condition that is causing you to gain weight, it’s important to treat the underlying condition with traditional medical care. Hypnotherapy can be tried as an add-on alternative therapy.