Article by ACTABIT.

Today we hear a lot about beneficial effects of hypnosis in weight loss treatment. When surfing the net you find plenty of sites and ads about hypnosis and weight loss. Advertisements offer CD’s and DVD’s for miraculous healing of obesity. Is hypnosis really so effective for weight loss?

What is hypnosis?

Specialists from the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis define hypnosis as “a state of inner absorption, concentration and focused attention”.

The effectiveness of hypnosis for weight loss is a very controversial subject: while some doctors and researches admit the value of hypnosis in weight loss, others do not.

Dr. Irving Kirsch noted that people who used hypnosis managed to lose on average 11.83 pounds, while patients without hypnotherapy lost only 6 pounds. However, Dr. Allison and Dr. Faith disagreed and argued that hypnosis enhanced weight loss slightly if at all.

The Controlled Trial of Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss study conducted in National Health Service hospital in the UK proved that hypnosis can be used as an adjunct to dietary advice to achieve moderate weight loss.

Hypnosis cannot help you lose weight in some magical way. Beware of advertisements that promise you rapid and permanent weight loss through hypnosis without diets and exercise programs. Hypnosis does not increase your metabolism. People who promise that you will shed a number of pounds with the help of their audio/video program without any efforts just want to make a profit out of you.

How can hypnosis help you lose weight?

Hypnosis can help you lose weight only if combined with a healthy diet and fitness program. Hypnosis does not reprogram the mind; it can only help you stick to your weight loss program if you really want this.

Michael Lovitch, the co-founder of the Hypnosis Network, says: “Hypnosis can help a person lose extra pounds by helping her adhere to a sound eating and exercise plan.  It simply helps you actually implement what you decide to implement.  Good hypnosis will stress that you get to a healthy weight and maintain it by changing your lifestyle to one where you eat healthy foods, appropriate portions, and exercise regularly.”

What you need to know about hypnosis

How many pounds can you shed through hypnosis?

Michael Lovitch says: “This has nothing to do with hypnosis. Different people need to follow different plans – hypnosis helps you then you follow the plan that is right for you.  There is no such thing as a hypnosis diet.”

How fast can you lose weight through hypnosis?

You cannot lose weight for good after a hypnosis session. Michael Lovitch pointed out: “Again, this [weight loss] is based on the diet and exercise plan you are following.” Hypnosis can only enhance weight loss slightly.

How do you choose a qualified hypnotherapist?

The effectiveness of hypnotherapy depends on the professional skills of the hypnotherapist. You need a licensed health care professional using hypnosis. Ask if the person is licensed (not certified) by the state. Check for membership in the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, etc.

We asked Michael Lovitch about negative side effects hypnosis may have, and he reassured us that “hypnosis done right really has no negative side effects.  It either helps change your subconscious believes towards what you want or not.  It can not make you do anything against your will.”

Can you lose weight through hypnosis without making any changes to your diet?

Hypnosis will not help you lose weight if you do not stick to a healthy diet and exercise program. Audio and video hypnosis programs may be useful only when combined with other weight loss treatments.

Michael Lovitch recommends: “Make sure you find a healthy plan – maybe go to a dietician.  Joining buddy groups is always a good thing as well as finding a workout partner. In short, hypnosis is the best thing you can do so that your actual behaviors support your plan.”


Bianca Hitt. “Weight Loss Through Hypnosis?”

Kirsch, Irving (1996). Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments-Another meta-reanalysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64, 517-519.

Allison, D. B., & Faith, M. S. (1996). Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for obesity: A meta-analytic reappraisal. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64, 513-516.


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Article source: How effective is hypnosis for weight loss?

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