Hypnosis for Weight Loss: Does It Work?

by Matt Wilson
Last Updated: 15/03/2021
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Hypnosis for weight loss? Isn’t hypnosis like a made-up thing? 

That thing where a guy holds an old timey pocket watch and waves it in front of your face, and now you are convinced that you’re a turtle, and everyone laughs at you. No? 

There is actual evidence that hypnosis is real and that it may help with weight loss? 

If you are interested in reading more about hypnosis and hypnotherapy and how it can lead you to a better and a more healthy lifestyle, then you have found yourself in the right place! 

We will spend time reviewing the way hypnosis may affect your eating habits, your mind, your subconscious, and much more. 

So, feel free to stick around, and continue reading, because this one is going to be a page-turner (or a scroll-downer-really slowly so you could read everything?).

What Is Hypnosis And How Does It Work?

Hypnosis is an altered state of mind. It is said that people undergoing hypnotherapy have higher attention focus, reduced peripheral awareness and are more likely to respond to suggestions [1]. 

During hypnotherapy, hypnotherapist eases a patient through relaxation, into a naturally occurring state of mind  which puts many people into a position where they are more prone to suggestions. 

During these sessions, the therapist can affect the subconscious part of the client’s mind and use it to imprint positive (or negative, if he is a bastard) affirmations, that can actually have a big impact on the habits that the person is trying to get rid of or enforce.   

If you want to improve your health by quitting smoking, hypnotherapy can help you with that. A lot of people  have tried it, and the results they had were amazing [2].  

Now that we’ve covered  the basics, let’s change the topic, and go back to the original question about hypnotherapy and can it help with weight loss.

How Effective Is Hypnosis For Weight Loss?

Can hypnotherapy get you to actually lose weight, without the proper diet and exercise? Well, the answer is simply, no. 

But the thing that hypnosis may help someone with, is giving them the motivation and changing their mind about the exercise in general (giving them a better outlook on things). To try and put it into caveman’s words: Eating fatty food – BAD! Exercise – GOOD!

Like with a lot of different stuff, our motivation and perspective (all of which is mostly controlled by our subconscious) can determine the outcome of our weight loss progress, and overall exercise gains. 

To help you reinforce good habits, and get rid of the bad ones, hypnotherapy may be the best solution for you.

But before you make any decisions, let’s take a look at some research about hypnotherapy and see what it says.

Kirsch’s research has found that people who are undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) coupled with sessions of hypnotherapy have shown better results at losing weight than people who just undergo CBT [3].

Hypnotherapy had an effect on more than 70% of the people in this study, and research has also shown the long term benefits and continued weight loss of people on whom the hypnosis was used on.

So, to summarize, hypnosis coupled with CBT, had a profound effect on people who were struggling with food addiction (that lead to obesity and health problems). 

Clients who were under hypnosis, lost more weight and had better long term results, which lead to them living a more healthy life.

I know that  a number of you are reading this and are still trying to get used to the fact that hypnotherapy works. For you I can only say one thing, and that is, don’t knock till you try it.

At worst it’s like a bad yoga class, and at best it may help you with your bad eating habits, as well as possibly changing your state of mind about exercise while improving your self-esteem and giving you a positive outlook on life.

How Do You Lose Weight With Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation and focus, where you are more susceptible to new ideas and improvement of your bad ones that’s based on years of habitual behaviour.

Everyone likes to eat! I would personally say it’s more than a like, it’s like a necessity. You need food in order for your body to function properly. I know I’m stating the obvious but just bear with me.

The problem becomes when you eat too much, or when you’ve developed or are starting to develop bad eating habits. 

A lot of people eat when they are stressed, when they are generally feeling bad about themselves. 

It’s not unusual to see people who are depressed move in one of two directions – They either gain a large amount of weight or they lose a lot of it (in both cases they can experience health problems) [4]

In both of those cases, your body suffers, and you may experience a lot of different health issues. 

So, it’s really important before something bad happens to get the help that you need with your weight management. Be that through hypnotherapy, or diet and exercise  coupled with hypnotherapy. 

One thing that is also important to keep in mind, is that bad habits are hard to change, and hypnosis sessions have proven themself to be really great at helping people do just that. 

When you are in a hypnotic state your patterns can be more easily changed, because you are not just tapping into your conscious mind, but your subconscious as well. 

During a session, you can more easily make adjustments to your behaviour, and can be put in a position that can help you with weight loss, as well as a number of different issues that you may be experiencing (problems with sleep, nicotine addiction…). 

How Much Time Does It Take For Hypnosis To Work? 

Some may experience benefits after the first session, but it usually takes between 10-15 sessions to achieve the intended results. 

Getting yourself into a relaxed state of mind while under hypnosis, with the help of your hypnotherapist may be the key to your weight loss. 

If you want to put yourself into the right state of mind for a workout, and also help yourself to do better at your day to day routine, getting a hypnosis session may be the right thing for you.

What Is Virtual Gastric Band Hypnosis?

A relatively new hypnotic method used to help you with weight loss.

Virtual gastric band hypnosis taps into your subconscious mind while making you believe that you had a gastric band operation, without having the actual operation. 

This is a great type of hypnosis for weight loss.

It requires no surgery, and a lot of clients of hypnotherapists find it extremely useful in combating bad eating habits, as well as one of the best ways to lose weight by hypnosis.

A lot of different men and women have testified that they have lost weight due to virtual gastric band hypnosis. 

Even though there hasn’t been a lot of research done on this topic, the one that has been done says that it can have a profound effect on your body, eating habits and even facilitate a change in your self-esteem [5].

Does Weight Loss Hypnosis Work?

A lot of anecdotal evidence says that hypnotherapy works. 

Research is a little bit lacking in this department, but what the majority of research says is that using hypnotherapy coupled with a diet and training can be the best way to lose the habit of eating bad foods which ultimately leads to weight loss.

It can also help you to change your mindset about working out. 

It’s not a perfect solution, nor does it help everybody, so don’t listen to anybody that says that. 

As someone who did have a couple of hypnotic sessions myself, and then later continued with self hypnosis, I can attest to their effectiveness (it helped me with my sleep problems). 

The Bottom Line

If you are addicted to food, cigarettes, if you can’t sleep for whatever reason, you might find the help that you require in hypnotherapy.

There is a long list of men and women who have said that hypnotherapy works for them, but that list can also be made for those who did not experience any benefits. 

Feel free to use any method that you deem is best for you. 

If you are afraid of the possibility of hypnotherapy not working for you, or don’t want to feel like you’ve lost money for nothing, maybe you should do self hypnosis, after all it’s free.

If self hypnosis is not something you’d want to check out, then maybe sleep hypnosis would be right for you. You really don’t have to do anything with this except go to sleep.

Going the first time might be scary, so you should be aware that the worst case scenario is that you experience a state of relaxation that I can only compare to a yoga class or a meditation, but better. 

You should listen to what the hypnotherapist says during the session. 

If your final goal is weight loss, there are a number of different options as far as hypnotic sessions go. Make sure that the type you choose is best for you, and obviously we wish you the best of luck!


  1. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-hypnotherapy
  2. https://www.choosingtherapy.com/hypnosis-to-quit-smoking/
  3. https://psycnet.apa.org/buy/1995-26166-001
  4. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1976-24201-001
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27585726/
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