Does Hypnosis Work For Weight Loss? A 6 Week Experiment
By: “In the trenches product tester” Amie Gantt
Every now and then you hear an advertisement on the radio around here for ‘weight loss hypnosis services’. Though it’s usually the domain of magicians and nightclub acts, hypnosis has gained popularity for helping with personal issues: easing spider phobias, quitting smoking, overcoming abuse, exploring past lives, etc.
So to learn more about hypnosis for weight loss and whether it was a viable option for me, I turned to our favorite source of information, the wondrous and infinite Internet. I found plenty of information. One site, www.HypnosisDownloads.com, featured very prominently among the search results.
I reviewed the information on the site and found it fascinating. I couldn’t believe the range of topics their sessions covered. And though I admit I did not look up exactly what they stand for, both Mark Tyrrell and Roger Elliott have many titles after their names and seemed to be professional. The site supports the Make a Wish Foundation, and says that a doctor in New York has contacted them and is using their scripts in his practice.
I however, wanted my own medical doctor’s opinion on it before I spent the money.
To my surprise, she agreed that it couldn’t hurt to try it. I chose three sessions (they have a discount for multiple downloads), and decided to focus on listening to just one at first.
I was a little paranoid: after all, I had just downloaded a hypnosis session from the Internet and was about to let some strange man with a heavy English accent fool around inside my head.
I sat through the first session just listening and not trying to actually relax or ‘work it’; I wanted to see what it was all about in case there was some random message in the middle telling me to go out in the street and cluck like a chicken (or worse, to log on and give up my account numbers or something).
There was nothing at all strange in the recording, and nothing weird happened to me at all. It was quite pleasant.
After listening, it was about a week later that I saw actual, real, measurable, noticeable improvement to the issue it was addressing! Immediately!
Yes, after ONE session!
There might be something to this hypnosis after all. And no, I never did start clucking like a chicken or spouting account numbers like a whale.
To the Weight Loss Sessions!
To that end, I downloaded three that addressed specific problems I identified with my own ‘weight loss journey’. These are abbreviated descriptions of the sessions I chose from www.HypnosisDownloads.com:
Weight Loss – Eat Healthy (click here to check out the program!)
“Using this download, you can re-educate your unconscious mind to stop craving fatty, high-sugar foods. You can develop a healthy eating habit that feels like second nature. When you start actually preferring healthy, low calorie food weight loss becomes so much easier.
Of course, for lasting weight loss, this needs to be part of a healthy lifestyle, but once you have got your unconscious mind on your side, things are so much easier. Eat Healthy will not only give you deep, refreshing relaxation, but it will help you enjoy foods that are good for you, foods that help you achieve the weight you want.”
Exercise Motivation (click here to check out the program!)
“What would it be like if you could maintain that initial enthusiasm that gets you exercising? What can you do when the urge to exercise flags and your willpower seems to seep away? Think about those days when you exercise almost without thinking.
Your unconscious drive to exercise is strong enough that you never even ask yourself “Shall I exercise today?” Not doing exercise just isn’t an option. The Keep Exercising Resolution Reinforcer boosts that unconscious drive so that exercise becomes a habit. You won’t have to argue yourself into exercising any more, and you’ll find yourself motivated to exercise without even thinking about it.”
Portion Control (click here to check out the program!)
“Too much of a good thing really can be bad for you when you need to lose weight. We eat because it’s time to eat (even though you had a snack just half an hour ago). We overeat out of politeness, or not wanting to ‘waste’ what is on our plate, or just because we are so used to stuffing ourselves that we have forgotten how to recognize when we’ve had enough.
You need to overcome habit and compulsion – and that’s where hypnosis can really help. Food is fuel, and fuel needs to be of the right quality and quantity. Portion Control will take you into a deeply relaxed state and quickly train your unconscious mind to know instinctively when to leave excess food alone. You will rediscover the pleasure of being in tune with what your own body really needs for nourishment.”
Purchasing and downloading the sessions really couldn’t have been easier.
You pick which ones you want (I kept a list on a piece of scratch paper as I went through the descriptions-there are really quite a number to choose from, and it’s easy to forget what you’ve already looked at), add them to your cart, and complete your payment.
Though the company is in the UK, they accept US dollars. The payment page links you right into the download page, and it sent me e-mail confirmations within seconds.
Just right-click on the download link and ‘save target as’ somewhere on your drive. I put mine on my iTunes, and download them into my iPod. To sum up the purchase: it was instantaneous, the downloads took just a minute or so each, and it was totally painless. If you prefer, you can order your downloads on a CD.
Also, my credit card has never been charged for anything without my knowledge, they didn’t sign me up for anything strange, and I don’t get any more spam after downloading than I did before.
The Listening Begins: January 10, 2008.
My plan is to rotate the sessions, listening to one each day. Each session starts off with a welcome, a reminder not to listen while driving (duh), and a few words about the issue the session is intended to address. Keep in mind that the speakers are from England, so if you have trouble with accents this might not work for you. Every once in awhile they will use a euphemism or pronounce something uniquely, which can be just a little distracting.
I have downloaded a total of eleven sessions to date, and they range from about 14 to 30 minutes each, with 20-21 minutes being the average. It does not say on the website how long each session is. As to when to listen to it: I found bedtime ok, but they do wake you up at the end with the suggestion to be ‘refreshed and energized’, which can then make falling asleep challenging.
I’m always a little sleepy after lunch, so I decided to listen for a post-lunch rest time. My starting weight is around 163-165. Unfortunately, at 5′ 2″, that weight puts me just over the line into the ‘Obese’ category of the Body Mass Index-even with my large-boned frame.
The First Update: February 9, 2008
After a month of listening, I’m noticing some things. The Eat Healthy and Portion Control sessions say much the same thing, though their descriptions were different. I fully admit, though, that I haven’t stayed fully awake during either of them so there may be some difference I am not consciously aware of.
The Portion Control session does address the propensity to over-eat. It uses the phrase ‘excess sludge’ repetitively, to illustrate the effect of too much food on your body’s system. I actually hear the phrase in my head as I eat, and it really is making me think harder before I have that next bite. Also, I’m not putting as much on my plate to begin with.
The Eat Healthy session doesn’t really seem to match the description given. It says much the same things as the Portion Control session. I’m still making about the same food choices as I did before I started listening. But, at least with the Portion Control message in there, I only have one cookie rather than four.
And the Exercise session… well, I haven’t really been listening to that as much as the other two. I saw a little tip on TV to do crunches on your exercise ball during commercials, and have actually started doing that some… but not enough.
As a nice surprise, though, I weighed 157 today. That actually brings me down to the Body Mass Index category of just ‘Overweight’ rather than ‘Obese’. I’m going to let that be a good thing!
The Second Update: March 10, 2008
Things have really progressed much the same as after one month. I think I’ve done a good job with the portion control issues, and have noticed that I’m definitely eating less at once. It just seems like the way to do things. The healthy choices still don’t really seem to come very naturally. I have to make a real effort to remind myself to pick something better.
And the exercise? Well, let’s just say I should try listening to that one a bit more and see how it turns out.
All in all, though, I lost 10 pounds in the 2 months. Today’s weight was 154, and I did come down a category on the BMI scale.
So, for the money spent, I’d say that the hypnosis sessions were worth it. They guide you to change aspects of your lifestyle that are negatively impacting your weight. And the weight loss was slow, just like the doctor ordered. I really didn’t do anything but take a short nap each day, and I lost 10 pounds, and learned some better habits.
Yeah, I’d call that a success! Hypnosis does work for weight loss! I am definitely going to continue with using these programs. To visit the HypnosisDownloads web site and check out some of the programs, please click here!
Paul’s comments: I reviewed a hypnosis weight loss program a while back, and I must admit I was as skeptical as Amie. However, a friend of mine who is a pyschometrist told me that although hypnosis has its detractors, it is also growing in acceptance with some professionals.
And, since it’s affordable and you won’t find yourself naked in the street clucking like a chicken, what the heck… why not give it a try?