Hypnotherapy for Weight Loss
According to a recent Gallup poll, more than 51-percent of Americans want to lose weight, but only about 25-percent have found a way to seriously work toward their goal of shedding pounds and losing inches. Diets are complex, and most weight loss plans either do not work or work slowly, meaning results are not seen for weeks or months. Add to this the fact that many individuals fail to address the underlying reasons for obesity, and it easy to understand the large discrepancy between those who want to shed pounds and those actually doing something about it.
In an ongoing effort to find new methods that help individuals work through the physical and psychological reasons behind being overweight, there is a resurging interest in hypnosis for weight loss. With hypnosis, individuals are able to change their perspective about food, disassociate their real self from negative thoughts and images that are inside the mind, re-frame negative images to ones that are more positive and learn how to recognize what they really want when they are using food as a coping mechanism.
Undergoing a hypnosis session for weight loss involves entering an altered state of consciousness that allows for a new level of relaxation. In this state, individuals are more open to positive suggestions and often realize the inner strengths that can help them to lose weight effectively and keep unwanted pounds off. Hypnosis sessions might also include guided visualization which helps you to see the journey you are on and watch yourself eating healthier foods, making positive lifestyle changes and losing unwanted pounds. Visualizing yourself as success can be very powerful, and it can help to re-frame any negative thoughts that currently exist inside your mind.
The idea of undergoing hypnosis for weight loss is sometimes scary, but it helps to realize that hypnotic trances occur normally in our day to day lives. Self-induced states of hypnosis occur when individuals fall into a daydream at the office, feel zoned out in front of a favorite television show or in any way become less aware of the outside environment. While in a hypnotic state, the mind is simply more open to suggestions, and individuals cannot be forced to do anything that goes against their moral beliefs or personal values.
One of the most effective ways to use hypnosis when trying to lose weight is to combine it with cognitive behavioral therapy. This form of therapy offers very effective strategies that can help you to develop coping techniques and overcome negative thought patterns. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you to recognize barriers to your weight loss, develop techniques to overcome those barriers and set realistic goals that can help you to obtain a healthier lifestyle and body. Your therapist provides regular feedback regarding your efforts and results and keeps you motivated with positive reinforcement and a re-framed mindset focusing on what you can achieve when it comes to losing weight.
While skeptics still exist regarding the effectiveness of combining cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy for weight loss, research on this subject has surprisingly positive outcomes. In a 1985 issue of The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, a study was analyzed that included 109 people who completed a behavioral therapy program for weight loss. Half of the subjects had a hypnosis element added to their program. Subjects with receiving solely cognitive behavioral therapy had as much weight loss success as those receiving additional hypnotherapy, but the subjects who participated in hypnosis continued to lose weight at eight-month and two-year follow-ups in significant numbers. Those who received only cognitive behavioral therapy did not.
Another important piece of research conducted by the University of Connecticut regarding hypnosis as a form of therapy to benefit weight loss efforts looked at 19 studies comparing cognitive behavioral therapy as an exclusive program for weight loss versus cognitive behavioral therapy subsidized by hypnosis. Findings showed that adding hypnosis increased weight loss efforts for 90-percent of the participants and helped subjects to maintain their weight loss efforts up to two years after studies ended.
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and practicing therapist, it is my professional opinion that the best approach to losing weight is to combine healthy eating habits, regular exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, and hypnotherapy. When taking this approach, it is important to seek out a qualified therapist with experience in various interventions. Visit with the therapist prior to your hypnosis session, and make sure that the individual helps you to feel relaxed and comfortable in the office. Your therapist should empower you with words and coping techniques in order to assist you in conquering your negative mindset so you can overcome your weight loss challenges. If you are interested in hypnotherapy for weight loss in San Diego, contact my office to schedule a consultation.