Skip to main content

Hypnosis Weight Loss: Does it Work?

5 min read

By Clarissa Vanner

Losing weight is not easy. We get it! Most people already know about the usual weight-loss tactics like seeing a dietician or personal trainer but have you ever thought about hypnosis weight loss? Forget everything you know about hypnotherapy because how it’s portrayed in the movies, is nothing like it is in real life.

Hypnotherapy isn’t a party trick that will have you clucking like a chicken, or under the spell of someone else. In fact, you’re not even unconscious during a session. Hypnosis is more like a deep state of relaxation that helps you be more susceptible to change. This is how it may help with weight loss. So if you’re interested in losing weight then you should consider hypnosis for weight loss. In this article, we dig deeper and explore exactly what is hypnotherapy and does it actually work for weight loss?

What is Hypnotherapy?

So what is hypnotherapy anyway and how does it work? Some therapists use hypnosis as a way to help people reach a state of total relaxation. Healthline explains, “During a session, practitioners believe that the conscious and unconscious mind can focus and concentrate on verbal repetition and mental imagery.” This allows the mind to be open to suggestions and change.

Did you know hypnotherapy has been used since the 1700s? Not only is hypnosis used for weight loss but it may also help people quit bad habits like nail-biting and smoking.

Who Should Try Hypnosis?

Anyone who is having difficulty sticking to a healthy diet and workout program should try hypnosis. If you eat a whole quart of ice cream instead of stopping when you’re full, then there may be a subconscious problem. Bad habits are very hard to quit and hypnotherapy may be able to help.

Further, hypnosis is also for anyone who is looking for a gentle way to lose weight and for anyone who wants to make healthy eating habits. It’s worth noting, hypnosis is not for anyone who is looking for a quick fix. This type of therapy takes time and it may take a few months to start seeing results.

How To Use Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss

Hypnotherapy isn’t a diet per se, but it can be a tool to help you make healthy choices. This includes eating nutritious foods and sticking to an exercise plan. Hypnotherapy may be able to help you change the underlying psychological problems you have that cause you to hate exercise and eat poorly.

This type of therapy may help you identify what triggers your bad habits and how to get rid of them. Essentially, hypnotherapy may help you change your way of thinking and in turn, help you lose weight.

What To Expect From Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy sessions can last anywhere from 40-minutes up to several hours. Ultimately, the duration of the session will depend on the practitioner.

Hypnotherapy is nothing like it’s portrayed in movies but instead, is more like a therapy session. In general, hypnotherapy involves lying down with your eyes closed. While you relax, the practitioner will guide you through techniques and suggestions to help you reach your goals.

The Benefits of Hypnotherapy

The biggest benefit of hypnotherapy is that it may make you more responsive and open to suggestions in order to change certain habits. This can happen when you enter a relaxed state of mind. Again, it’s important to point out that hypnotherapy doesn’t involve mind control or brainwashing.

Some studies suggest certain personality traits like being selfless and open may make you more responsive to hypnosis. Another study found that women, in general, are more likely to be receptive.

Risks of Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy should always be performed by a trained professional. It should never be performed on a person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

This type of therapy is considered safe but may not be suitable for anyone with a severe mental illness. Mayo Clinic explains that adverse reactions are rare but some potential risks may include:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • anxiety or distress
  • false memory creation
  • headache

The Cost of Hypnotherapy

The cost of hypnotherapy will, of course, vary depending on where you live and what therapist you choose. That said, the average cost is often between $75 and $125 per session.

To find out how much it will cost make sure you call ahead. You might also want to check if your insurance company covers this type of therapy. Some companies cover up to 80-percent of therapy if it’s provided by a licensed professional.

Does Hypnosis for Weight Loss Work?

So does hypnosis for weight loss really work? Currently, there isn’t enough research to conclude whether hypnosis alone works for weight loss. That said, several studies believe it can work in combination with diet and exercise.

For example, Healthline explains that one controlled trial looked at two forms of hypnotherapy versus simple diet advice for weight loss and sleep apnea. All 60 participants lost up to 3-percent of their body weight in three months but at an 18-month follow-up, the hypnotherapy group lost another 8-pounds. While the effectiveness of hypnosis is still uncertain, it may be worth trying.

How To Choose a Hypnotherapist

It’s important to find the right hypnotherapist for you to ensure you feel comfortable working with them. First, make sure you find a certified therapist. You can do this by asking your primary doctor for a referral. You can also search online using the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis database.

Once you’ve narrowed your search, call their practice and speak with them on the phone. Ask any questions you have and pay attention to how they interact with you. Are they friendly? Do they welcome questions and answer in an understandable manner? These are important things to consider. It’s important that you feel safe and comfortable with your hypnotherapist.

Weight Loss Tips

Along with hypnosis, there are some other things you can do at home that may help your weight loss efforts. For starters, keep a food diary. This will help you track how much you’re eating, when you’re eating, and to help identify poor habits you need to change. If you often skip meals, it’s time to stop. Eating throughout the day can help keep your metabolism running as it should.

Further, it’s important to stay hydrated as this can prevent overeating. You should also consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and you’ll want to aim for about five servings per day. Further, consuming enough fiber (about 25 to 30-grams per day) can also help prevent overeating.

Finally, try and move your body most days of the week whether that’s doing an at-home workout or going for a walk. Healthy adults should aim for 150-minutes of moderate activity and 75-minutes of vigorous activity each week.

Junior Managing Editor

Clarissa is the Junior Managing Editor of ActiveBeat. She aspires to live a healthy lifestyle by staying active and eating foods that nourish her body, but she isn't afraid to indulge in a little chocolate here and there! Clarissa loves cooking, being outdoors, and spending time with her dog. In her free time, you'll find her relaxing in her hammock or curled up on the couch reading a book.

Your Health


Regulating ‘Forever Chemicals’: 3 Essential Reads On PFAS
By Jennifer Weeks Your Health

Regulating ‘Forever Chemicals’: 3 Essential Reads On PFAS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to release a draft regulation limiting two fluorinated chemicals, known by the abbreviations PFOA and PFOS, in drinking water. These chemicals are two types of PFAS, a broad class of substances often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they are very persistent in the environment. PFAS are widely […]

Read More about Regulating ‘Forever Chemicals’: 3 Essential Reads On PFAS

4 min read