Hypnosis for weight loss is a field that is fraught with lies and misinformation. Gyms and companies that make diet pills and exercise equipment tend to say it is nonsense. On the other hand, psychologists, hypnotherapists, hypnotists, companies which make hypnosis CDs say that of course it works. Medical doctors are divided and so are the people who have tried it. Those who succeeded in losing weight say that weight loss hypnosis works, while those who failed say it doesn't. So who is right?

Honestly, who cares. If you have tried everything else and failed, what have you got to lose by trying hypnosis for weight loss as well? After all, if you have tried everything else, that means the goal of losing weight actually has some meaning to you. So spending a little bit of time and effort to try out some weight loss hypnosis programs can't hurt, can it?

Having said that, there are actually many different methods of hypnosis for weight loss. Some of them work directly, others work indirectly, and a few of them are not traditionally classified as hypnotic techniques at all. Some weight loss hypnotic techniques can be done on your own for free, while others need some equipment or assistance. Much like medication for a normal illness, not all techniques will work for everyone.

Techniques Of Hypnosis For Weight Loss Which Act Directly

Of the direct hypnotic techniques for weight loss, one of the simplest is to associate a food which you like to eat with a disgusting or unpleasant sensation. For example, let us say that you tend to gain weight because you binge on chocolates. If you go to a hypnotherapist or NLP practitioner, he might use various methods to put you into a trance state and associate the taste of chocolate with spicy chili (if you do not like the taste of chili or other spicy foods). Of course, some NLP practitioners might argue that they do not put their patients or clients into a trance state, but some modern psychological research into trances and hypnotic states has shown otherwise. The great advantage of this technique is that it works fast, and the results are obvious.

The limitations of this technique are that it is largely limited to people who binge on only a few different foods. What if you do not binge but eat normally, and your overweight condition is caused by lack of exercise? What if you start binging on a different food, so instead of binging on chocolate you start binging on ice cream?

If you have read some of Anthony Robbins earlier works, he actually describes some successful case studies which use this technique. Whether he still subscribes to this method is not known, because a number of psychologists and mental researchers are starting to feel that adding yet another negative program into the mental cauldron of someone with issues may have unpredictable long-term consequences. Of course, they do not have proof. After all, it is too dangerous and unethical to conduct this kind of dangerous human experimentation.

Another variation of this negative association method is to just anchor the general act of eating with something undesirable. However, a weight loss hypnotic method that is so imprecise can be very dangerous if it works. Fortunately, no reputable hypnotist will do this. Still, you need to be careful of quacks and self-hypnosis CDs which use this technique of hypnosis for weight loss.

Does that mean there is no safe way of using hypnosis for weight loss? No, there are actually two hypnotic techniques which have worked for many people. The first weight loss hypnotic method again uses association. This time, it uses a positive association - connecting the act of exercising with something enjoyable. When properly executed by a qualified and experienced hypnotist or NLP practitioner, it is both safe and effective. However, it is unlikely to work through a static non-interactive medium like a self-hypnosis CD. However, if you have learned NLP or self hypnosis, this technique is worth experimenting with.

The second safe way of using hypnosis for weight loss actually combines it with guided visualization. Basically, you go into a hypnotic state and then imagine yourself in your desired physical form. If you have trouble with visualization, you might use a photo of yourself when you were younger and in good shape, or get some help with a graphics program like Photoshop. The advantage is that you do not need to depend on expensive hypnotherapists to help you - there are many different ways to put yourself into a mental state where you become more suggestible. If you want to learn self hypnosis, a good book is Dr Melvin Powers' Practical Guide To Self Hypnosis, available for free at Project Gutenberg's website. For NLP, look for books by Richard Bandler and John Grinder (the two researchers who developed it) on Amazon.

Techniques Of Hypnosis For Weight Loss Which Act Indirectly

Why consider indirect methods of losing weight through hypnosis? Isn't direct weight loss hypnosis good enough? Wouldn't the direct methods work better?

For many overweight people, hypnotic methods which directly attack their problem work well. But just like there are many different antibiotics to treat different types of bacterial infection, there are also different hypnotic techniques to treat different causes of obesity. Where direct techniques treat your symptom of being overweight, indirect techniques try to treat the underlying cause. This is somewhat similar to how a traditional family practitioner would take care of his patients' health by giving them advice on healthy living and a Medical Certificate for a day of rest, while the doctor in a HMO would give them an injection to reduce their symptoms so that they can still go to the office.

The most classic and expensive method is to use a combination of psychoanalysis and hypnotherapy to discover and clear the root causes that are keeping you fat. Obviously, you need to go to a registered psychiatric practitioner for this kind of treatment. Depending on the skill of the therapist, this might take only a few sessions (Dr Milton Erickson, a highly skilled medical hypnotist, is famed for only needing two or three sessions with most of his patients) to years of treatment. The famous author on hypnosis and self-hypnosis, Dr Melvin Powers, wrote that a good medical hypnotist should have dozens of different hypnotic techniques in his arsenal, switching from one technique to another technique if the first one failed. He also wrote that an ethical hypnotherapist should willingly recommend a patient to another therapist if there is a misfit in personalities between patient and therapist.

Overeating Due To Stress

Two of the main reasons why people eat too much and get fat is because of self esteem issues and stress. That is why hypnotic and other therapeutic methods which attack these two issues can work well for some overweight people. Many people who are under stress turn to eating, drinking or smoking. In the workplace, drinking alcohol is not practical, so many people munch on a chocolate bar (or two) or take a smoking break. None of these methods of handling stress are healthy, and are best replaced by techniques which put them into a light hypnotic state. So if you snack whenever you are under stress or tension, you will find such techniques, some of which are labeled as relaxation techniques, useful. For example, some classic techniques which put their practitioners into a relaxed light hypnotic trance are guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), autogenics, meditation, yoga, and taichi. These are all techniques which you can learn on your own for free on the internet.

In recent decades, mental researchers have developed or made available many other techniques which help people to deal with stress. Some of these include Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Sedona Technique, 7th Path, Silva Technique and Ho'oponopono. EFT can be learned in its entirety for free from its website, although there are CD courses that you can order if you want. The basic form of the Sedona Technique can be learned from its website for free. The advanced form of Sedona can be learned from CD/DVD courses and training programs. NLP, CBT, Silva and Ho'oponopono can be learned from books. NLP and Silva techniques can also be learned from CD/DVD courses and training programs. 7th Path needs to be learned in a small-scale classroom setting conducted by a certified hypnotist.

Many of the techniques mentioned earlier are not technically hypnosis for weight loss. However, many of them put their practitioners into a relaxed state, which a number of mental researchers consider to be a light form of hypnotic trance. A few of these techniques have a complete form which really relaxes you and removes your stress by putting you into a medium or heavy trance state, a short form which you can typically do anywhere to put yourself into a light hypnotic state, and an anchor which is useful for emergencies (like dealing with an unpleasant customer or when your boss is on a rampage).

Some easier ways of reducing stress are to use CDs with guided meditation, guided imagery, special music, Holosync technology, or Binaural technology. Some are quite affordable, while others can be rather expensive. CDs with special music can help you to relax at work, while the other types need some privacy.

Overweight/Obesity Due To Poor Self Esteem

Self-esteem issues which make you eat too much or exercise too little are harder to resolve. They are best handled through consultation with a certified and successful psychologist and hypnotherapist. Otherwise the thousands of self-help books that have been written would be a lot more successful in actually helping their readers. If your obesity is due to poor self esteem, direct hypnosis for weight loss may not be the best approach.

Two of the more successful self-help techniques which work with self esteem issues are autosuggestion and self talk. Many people have heard of Dr Emil Coue's "Day by day, in every way, I'm getting better and better." You are supposed to repeat this statement twenty times before going to sleep, and twenty times just after waking up. It is actually designed as a general cure-all and has been around for nearly a century. This statement has actually become the basis of further development in many of the newer mind therapy and self-help schools. To many researchers, autosuggestion is just another name for self hypnosis or auto hypnosis.

For weight loss, for self esteem issues, or anything else ... many people claim that Dr Coue's technique works, while just as many claim it doesn't. Before you decide whether or not it works for you, learn it and do it properly. Do not just try half-heartedly. As Yoda said in Star Wars, "There is no try, there is only do or do not." You can find a good description of both the basic and advanced forms of this technique in the book Autosuggestion at Project Gutenberg's website. The author's name is Harry Brooks. Just note that you need to be patient. Some people have reported near instant cures, while others have reported cures only after a year of continuous practice.

The other technique, "Self Talk", was originally described in a book written by Dr Shad Helmstetter, and mainly deals with how people sabotage themselves. It is not about improving your self esteem, but does have a few formula to prevent you from sabotaging your self esteem. Since then, he has written more books developing that idea, as well as created some CD sets to help people deal with various mental health issues. You can find out more at his website or look for his books at Amazon. Other psychologists and mental researchers have also developed self-help materials based on his ideas, sometimes in combination with self hypnotic techniques. Among these are the CDs in the "Think Right Now" program. You can find both general self-help programs as well as more specific weight loss programs. Does self talk count as a weight loss hypnosis technique? Maybe. If you buy or create your own self talk CD, and constantly listen to it, sooner or later you will go into a sort of light trance where you will accept the things you hear without critical thought. This is certainly one definition of hypnosis, isn't it now?

Besides "Self Talk", a few other techniques which directly or indirectly deal with self-sabotage and psychological reversal are EFT and 7th Path. What is psychological reversal? Basically, this is a disconnect between what you say you want and what your subconscious wants. For example, you say you want to lose weight, but your subconscious does not. If you undergo a lie detector test, saying "I want to lose weight" would be detected as a lie. In fact, if you pay attention to your own mental state, any time you say you want to lose weight, you will feel bad or hear some contrary or sarcastic statement from within you. Dr Coue's autosuggestion treatment completely undercuts this issue, so it soon becomes a non-issue. On the other hand, "Self Talk", EFT and 7th Path help you to neutralize the problem by giving you tools to directly tackle and get rid of these issues.

One point to note is that self esteem issues frequently crop up as a stressful reaction to interacting with a particular person, for example, parents who are always dissatisfied with how you live your life, or a spouse who constantly puts you down. In the case of overweight persons, this stressful feeling causes them to go on an eating binge after the unpleasant interaction. The Sedona Technique and Ho'oponopono are both systems which are very good at helping you deal with this sort of problem person. Experienced practitioners can slap down the negative feelings they feel about the person on the spot. Sure, that person will still be an irritating and nasty P.O.S. But at least he will not be able to drain your energy or make you feel bad. As they say, the best revenge on someone is to live better than your enemies.

CBT, NLP, PMR and autogenics are also very helpful once you have done the initial preparation. CBT has a number of self-training exercises which will help you to deal with the anxiety of dealing with this person, while NLP, PMR and autogenics require you to do the proper conditioning and anchoring. With CBT, you will still feel bad, but the feelings will not overwhelm you anymore. With the other three, using the anchors will help you to remain calm even while your problem person is trying to mess with your head.

If you are already seeing a hypnotherapist for weight loss hypnosis or for poor self esteem, he should also be able to help you to get rid of your issues when dealing with this particular person. Of course, this is only an intermediate step in getting rid of your real problem, but it can still provide you with a lot of relief.

Note that the fastest results will come from Sedona, Ho'oponopono and hypnotherapy. When used together with direct hypnosis for weight loss, you can find yourself making great improvements towards your goal.

Stress is not the only issue that makes people fat. Many people who are obese over-eat because they feel depressed. But light depression can be easily cured by getting up and moving your body. Just go for a brisk walk, or jump rope, or play with a hula hoop and you will soon feel better. You do not need medication or hypnosis or anything else fancy. One major plus is that the light exercise will also help you to lose weight. Hypnosis for weight loss thus becomes unnecessary.

Other workable alternatives are Dr Coue's autosuggestion statement, Self Talk, EFT and CBT. Experienced 7th Path practitioners would not normally get depressed for long, and if you do the proper anchoring, NLP can also be very powerful as a way to get rid of your depressed feeling. Depression is often a major blocker which prevents direct weight loss hypnosis from succeeding.

Of course, if you frequently get into a deep depression, going for a proper medical or psychological consultation is advisable. Once your depression is treated, whether with medication or hypnosis or some combination of the two, you will, like many other people, find that you almost magically lose weight seemingly without effort.

Recommendations For Choosing The Best Hypnosis For Weight Loss

If you have money to spend and a good network of reliable, trustworthy friends, the best and fastest way is to look for a good hypnotherapist who can help you to lose weight. Just keep in mind the general considerations above on using negative associations (or anchoring) to discourage binging or overeating.

If you prefer free self-help techniques, learning self-hypnosis (or learning how to put yourself into a relaxed mental state) and visualizing your ideal look is probably the safest and most effective general method of hypnosis for weight loss.

Those who know they overeat and gain weight because of stress are probably best off learning simple, free relaxation techniques instead of buying into expensive weight loss hypnosis programs or treatments. There is no good way of handling self esteem issues on your own, although starting with Dr Coue's technique in the freely available Autosuggestion book is a workable idea, and many people have also reported success from using EFT.

There are many free hypnosis for weight loss techniques, and just as many alternatives to them. If one fails, just try another, and another, as many times as necessary until you achieve your goal of losing weight.