09.04.2021 Weight Loss

Hypnosis help for weight loss

How you see yourself is key to losing weight, says psychologist Dr Katie Richard

Many of us are familiar with hypnosis and how it can be helpful for weight loss. The famous British hypnotist Derren Brown in one of his shows demonstrated the power of hypnosis by simply telling patients a pill he named “Rimoundy” (a word scramble of ‘your mind’) worked. But is it effective for everyone?

From the results of research at the University of Sydney, over 15 years of clinical experience and review of 396 research studies on weight loss, I’ve found substantial evidence again and again that weight loss and successful maintenance is never about finding the right “diet,’ avoiding particular foods, using willpower, taking a magic pill or potion or furiously exercising. It ultimately comes down to how you see yourself, and that’s how hypnosis can help.

When I’ve presented at conferences in Europe and Australia (including the Eating Disorder and Obesity Conferences), it’s clear that most professionals are still giving people advice about what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, the importance of physical activity, with some adding the need for stress management methods. However, many neglect to advise how people – who may feel eating is like an addiction – should follow these rules.

That’s why only 20% of people given the conventional advice to eat less and exercise more are able to succeed in weight loss.

For this, hypnosis is perfect – like a navigator in the car that gives you directions to the required address, hypnotic suggestions to eat in a certain way rewires your brain to do just that.

Performed by a suitably qualified and experienced hypnotherapist, hypnosis can activate the subconscious mind to help you eat less and exercise more and also make weight maintenance a piece of cake. Several pieces of evidence demonstrate the efficacy of hypnosis: “the addition of hypnosis substantially enhanced treatment outcome” according to the Journal Of Consulting And Clinical Psychology in which six studies on weight loss were investigated.

Depending on your individual requirements, suggestions may address impulse control over eating, emotional eating, anxiety about food/weight and body shape and improve engagement in exercise, turning your attention to other body signals that may not be hunger as well as assisting you to focus on the positive of eating small(er) portion sizes.

It’s important to realise that although hypnosis is very powerful, it’s not the only method that needs to be used in achieving weight loss, and is generally one component in a multi-pronged approach.

Whereas some people respond well to hypnosis, the effects may only be temporary or work at half-speed because of the presence of other issues that hypnosis alone cannot eliminate. These may include psychological trauma, nutritional deficiencies such as Vitamin D, iron or Vitamin B12,hormonal issues such as hypothyroidism or PCOS, or certain medications.

So, it’s crucial to identify and address the underlying issues that have resulted in overeating, binge eating and emotional eating rather than believing weight loss is about willpower. Once psychological and/or medical obstacles are overcome, the powerful effects of hypnosis can kick in.
Dr Katie Richard

Psychologist Dr Katie Richard is the author of the new book, Weight Off Your Mind, a step-by-step guideline to stop binge eating, lose weight and improve body image. www.weightoffyourmind.net