Hypnosis For Weight Loss Vs Hypnosis For Health

It’s one of the more common reasons for clients asking for a consultation – they want to lose weight and have struggled to stick with the various diets that they’ve tried in the past. And there are plenty of good hypnosis scripts available to help you work on this issue.

But I have a bit of a problem with some of the standard weight loss scripts that have been in use for a long time. You may take a different view to me on this, but it’s something I really believe is worth thinking seriously about. My problem is that the focus is so often on losing weight.

No I haven’t lost the plot! I know you might be thinking, “Well what the hell else is the focus going to be on, if my client wants to lose weight?” But bear with me!

It’s Not Always About Weight Loss

As clinical hypnotists, we gain the best reputation when our clients can say, weeks, months and even years later, “hypnosis really worked for me. Look! Smoking/ drinking/ my weight/ those headaches/ stress/ relationships/ public speaking or whatever – is no longer a problem for me, and it hasn’t been since those hypnosis sessions I had with [insert your name here]!” Wouldn’t it be brilliant if 99% of your clients were saying that five years after they had their last session with you?

And a lot of the time, that’s what happens… but with weight loss, I’m not so sure. As hypnotists, most of us are not trained nutritionists or personal trainers, so we’re not in a position to make decisions about exactly how our clients should go about losing weight.

Weight loss clients tend to come to us because they feel that they just don’t have the will power to stick with whatever diets they have been trying to use.

They’re looking to us to flick a switch in their head which will miraculously make them able to stick with whatever eating plan or exercise regime they want to adopt. But so often that means the emphasis is on loss, on discipline, on denying themselves something they really want.

And with recent research indicating that it might be the sugars in food that is the real culprit behind the obesity crisis rather than the fats, where does that leave us when we encourage our clients to make “low fat” choices, or encourage whatever the received wisdom of the time is, which later changes?

Surely it’s far more positive to use hypnosis scripts that are focused on making good choices, on feeling fitter and healthier (rather than being a particular size or weight), on choosing foods that make us feel healthy and energized rather than the specifics of small meal sizes and lower fat content?

Why would we expect to feel great when our minds are focused on constantly depriving ourselves, and the feeling that it’s all ruined because we’ve just eaten a donut?

If the dieting industry was truly successful, people wouldn’t have to keep going back to it (and they would make a lot less money!) Whereas, when someone finds a positive, healthy life style that suits them and works for them (and that can be quite different for different people), there’s nothing to feel “deprived” about.

You Can Never Go Wrong With Installing Healthy Choices

I have increasingly focused my “weight loss” sessions with clients towards a generic emphasis on making healthy choices in all aspects of their lives. I make sure before we start that I know what they feel a healthy lifestyle means, and how they want to see themselves, and I’ll incorporate some specifics from that, but mostly, I believe it’s about freeing them up to feel good about the choices they make, to be much more relaxed in their approach to food and exercise, and to think a lot less about it.

I also put an increasing emphasis on their ability to “tune in” to their body. Not in a weird and wacky way, but literally getting them to stop and sense how their body feels. Overweight clients who are worried about their diet have often lost (or never had) the ability to feel when their body is happy and well-nourished.

They no longer listen when their bodies say, “thank you that’s enough now”, or “wow I feel good after that long walk this morning”; they eat with their eyes, or because they’ve been “trained” to eat until the plate is empty, no matter how monstrous the portion may have been.

They need to re-learn how to feel comfortable about saying, “actually I’ve had enough thank you”; to put their own health above any slight that their host might feel when every morsel on the plate hasn’t been devoured, and to really notice and enjoy when their body feels good.

And there’s plenty of evidence out there showing that people who are naturally slim regularly enjoy all sorts of foods that overweight people would expect to be “banned”. But in between meals they just don’t think that much about food at all.

Overweight people who spend a lot of their time trying to diet are frequently found to be constantly thinking about food (whether dreaming of the next snack or meal, or obsessing about what they shouldn’t be eating).

Surely it’s our job as hypnotists to free them from that obsession, so they can have a life beyond what they will (or won’t) eat next, rather than helping them to focus even more on it?

Let Me Know What You Think

There are so many different aspects and possible reasons behind someone’s problems with their weight, that it seems to me that simple weight-loss scripts can’t possibly have a long term impact for most people. What do you think? I want to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.