Are you struggling to shed some extra pounds, lose a little weight? Do you find it difficult to muster enough energy to hit the gym? Do you use food for comfort? Have you tried every diet possible and failed? You’re not alone. Obesity is one of the most significant health challenges of the 21st century. In the U.S., more than a third of all adults are considered obese.
Food is always available. When we feel upset, we usually do not limit ourselves in what we eat. Food is socially acceptable. Even other people use it to comfort you and nurture you.
We probably all know that excess weight drastically increases your risk of developing various chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. Moreover, it causes different physical disabilities and psychological problems—something you need to cope with on a day to day basis.
Although there is no panacea for obesity and every approach requires some effort on your part, there are ways to make the weight loss journey more comfortable.
Hypnotherapy can be used alongside other methods (diet, exercise, counseling) to help you lose weight. Here is how:
1. Hypnotherapy can help you make better food choices: A healthy diet, low on sugars and processed food, is at the foundation of most weight-loss programs. However, it can often be difficult to resist all the temptations and stay disciplined throughout the day. Since hypnosis takes you to a state of inner absorption and concentration, you become more susceptible to suggestions. For instance, you receive suggestions that will make you more likely to stick with healthy food choices. Moreover, gut-directed hypnotherapy is now being promoted for people experiencing gut-related symptoms. Studies show that through the subconscious mind, we can control and normalize our gastrointestinal function (which can be disturbed in people who are overweight).
2. Hypnotherapy can help you become more physically active: Only 1 in 5 American adults move enough. Most of us have become extremely sedentary. Similar to your diet, hypnotherapy can also be used to boost your physical activity by giving you the right suggestions and supporting behavior change geared towards daily exercise.
3. Hypnotherapy can help you reduce stress and anxiety: Since stress is one of the main culprits for overeating and weight gain, hypnosis can be of great help in achieving a more relaxed lifestyle. Start with hypnotherapy, if you experience periods of feeling stressed, instead of food. It gives you power and freedom to understand the difference between eating and blindly reacting. You may have tried to lose weight before, and thought that the mountain was too high to climb. But you can learn the tools to ascend to a place you have not been before and realize you can do it. Using the power of hypnosis to say to yourself that excess food is not good for you. You do not want it. Give yourself the security to say, “I can do this. ” Some studies have shown that for some people, practicing relaxation through hypnosis might be as effective as doing exercise. This is not to say you shouldn’t try to get fit, but to point out the importance of feeling more balanced and less stressed. Learning how to do self-hypnosis exercises at home can be very helpful in maintaining your zen state. This is another thing your hypnotherapist can help you learn.
4. Hypnotherapy can help you address the underlying emotional issues: Often, our excess weight connects with a myriad of psychological and emotional challenges. Some are more deeply ingrained (and sometimes subconscious), while others have to do with shame, body image and our levels of confidence. While these issues are often complex and require input from a skilled professional, hypnotherapy can help you heal some of the emotional injuries preventing you from living a full life. For example, hypnotherapy can help reduce emotional distress, as well as manage specific emotional disorders.
Lastly, make sure you find a properly qualified and licensed hypnotherapist who works with you comfortably. Then, set some realistic goals regarding your weight and lifestyle. We are only given one body, so we should treat it well and invest in its health and well-being as a priority.
 Peters, S. L., Yao, C. K., Philpott, H., Yelland, G. W., Muir, J. G., & Gibson, P. R. (2016). Randomised clinical trial: the efficacy of gut-directed hypnotherapy is similar to that of the low FODMAP diet for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 44(5), 447-459. doi:10.1111/apt.13706
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facts about physical activity. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/data/facts.htm
 Kavanagh, T., Shephard, R. J., Doney, H., & Pandit, V. (1973). Exercise versus hypnotherapy in coronary rehabilitation. Canadian Family Physician Medecin De Famille Canadien, 19(10), 62-66.
 Alladin, A. (2016). Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Accessing and Healing Emotional Injuries for Anxiety Disorders. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 59(1), 24-46. doi:10.1080/00029157.2016.1163662