Does Hypnosis Work For Weight Loss?

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The attempt to lose weight is a struggle for so many of us, and there's a lot of thought that goes into diet and exercise, and habit/lifestyle changes. There's also a school of thought that hypnosis for weight loss is another strong point of support. But does hypnosis work for weight loss?

First off, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. According to Jane Pernotto Ehrman, a clinical hypnotherapist and wellness coach, “The clinical hypnotherapist is a 'facilitator' for the person’s process."


Of course, we can't just stop eating. Food is essential to staying alive. We just need to achieve a healthier relationship with what and how we eat. And learning how to lose weight means finding a balance between the two.

RELATED: If You Struggle To Lose Weight, There's A New Way To Help Shed Those Stubborn Pounds

Hypnosis is a focused state of concentration, but it's not mind control. “In the daydream state, we’re in our subconscious, which is 90 percent of the mind. In that state of mind, we’re connected to our values, beliefs, intuition, and long-term memories,” says Ehrman. “The client is always in control and will not do anything outside of their values and belief system.”


In this state of mind, we’re open to suggestion, too, but they are usually negative. And related to releasing excess weight, Ehrman say some examples are: “No matter what I do, I can’t lose weight,” “I’m a stress-eater; it’s the only thing that calms me down,” and, “I lose weight but always get derailed and gain it back.”

But are there benefits to clinical hypnosis? Can it help you in your weight loss journey? Here are a few ways hypnosis is effective for weight loss.

1. You understand how food affects your life.

“Helping someone recognize their relationship with food (food as comfort, safety, love, entertainment, stress relief),” says Ehrman.

2. You notice your inner critic.

According to Ehrman, hypnosis provides "awareness of conflicting inner dialogue that undermines their best efforts to make healthy lifestyle choices.” For example, the inner critic conversation that tells you that you always fail or cave to the pressure of others, rather than doing what is best for you.


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3. You connect to your inner self.

Doing so allows the client to hone into “the part of them that guides them in making their best decisions, has their back, and wants what’s truly in their best interest as a person,” Ehrman reveals.

4. You find your triggers.

That could mean resolving old issues that trigger things like binge-eating or yo-yo dieting.


5. You address food addictions.

“Sugar addiction is more prevalent than you realize, and it’s socially acceptable, besides that fact that the food industry knows we are wired to want sugar, fat and salt,” warns Ehrman.

5. You learn stress relief.

Not only can you become more in touch with yourself, but you learn effective stress relief tools and practices. This is “to literally rewire their brain to be more responsive, less reactive.” It’s called neuroplasticity.

When considering hypnosis for weight loss, Ehrman sees the best candidates as those who are “ready and committed to do the work of making serious changes.” But it's not recommended for “someone with psychosis, borderline personality disorder, or dependent personality disorder (DPD).”


RELATED: What Happened When I Tried Hypnosis To Cure My Depression

Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her at