I got an email this morning from a perspective weight loss hypnosis client in the Salt Lake City Utah area. She asked a number of excellent questions about using hypnosis for weight loss that a lot of people ask so I felt it appropriate to share my answer.
First Question: Will hypnosis give me noticeable results in a single session or do I need multiple hypnosis sessions?
One of her experiences has been sticking to a diet or exercise program for as long as 2 weeks but then petering out and giving up because of lack of noticeable results.
Can you relate to that? She feels like she eats healthfully, and in moderate proportions most of the time but sits for her job 8 hours a day. Weight related illnesses also run in her family. So in her late 40’s she is getting the message that it is time to do something significant to address the weight/lack of movement in her life.
Before trying hypnosis most clients wonder if hypnosis work for them. You probably are reading this article because you are considering giving hypnosis a fair trial.
This morning, my prospective client was asking if hypnosis would give her tangible results so that she could end the frustration of trying and trying and getting nowhere.
Here’s my reply to her.
I really get the “not seeing results” challenge. That’s why we focus on a lot of different areas besides “the scale”.
For example, one of my clients had been through a lot of intense stress and life challenges. At age 50, he had packed on about 15 or 20 pounds of belly fat. Because he’d lost his successful business and experienced a difficult relationship breakup all at once, he was “way stressed.”
He had been working out twice a week with a personal trainer. He was eating healthy whole grains, lots of veggies, and healthy organic fruits and grass fed hormone free, lean meats.
He was not eating junk food. He was not eating a bunch of sweets or drinking beer.
After 6 months of working out two to three times a week with his trainer, there was NO change in his weight.
Needless to say it was frustrating for him. Okay it was more than a bit frustrating.
BUT he could tell he was getting stronger. He could feel his metabolism cranking for hours after the workouts.
He decided to try hypnosis. In our first hypnosis session I introduced him to the idea of self hypnosis and taught him to create a channel of communication between his conscious mind (seat of will power) and his unconscious mind (source of all emotions, habits and learning). I had him ask his unconscious mind, “What am I not getting that if I got would allow me to let go of the extra inches and pounds?”
Then he “got” some information. It just bubbled up:
“I’ve been eating whole grains…. I tend to not do well on those foods but they had been “slipping” back in to my food choices. I was eating really good, healthy organic grains. All the “health experts” say they are wonderful for you. But my body just doesn’t do well on them. That’s the message I’m getting…”
So he cut out all grains and he lost 4 inches around his middle in a couple of weeks. His weight continued to stay the same. Now we all know that muscle weighs more than fat. It’s denser and it uses more energy. So it’s the inches are a better determinant. He continued to crave exercise. He continued to eat healthy foods. But now he ad significantly cleared a hurdle that was quietly stopping him…
One day his personal trainer disappeared! He just never showed up again. The gym had no clue where he went!
But my client had learned some good work out skills and how to use the equipment in the gym safely… With the support of our regular hypnosis sessions, he kept working out on his own. In those six months a new habit had formed…
Then he hit another plateau… he came in for another self hypnosis session and got the realization that he was eating quite a lot of fruit…. Even though the “experts” tell us that fruit is sooooo good for us. His unconscious mind gave him the clear message that fruit was something he had to cut way back on.
So he cut the fruit out and almost instantly dropped 10 of the 20 pounds he had been working for a year to lose.
Now he could have gotten frustrated and given up because he doing everything right. He was eating healthfully and working out but still not getting results.
Working with a trained hypnotherapist enabled him to learn to communicate with his own unconscious mind and get information that was key for his success–it was the key to getting real world results. With some clear results it’s easier to maintain a pattern of positive behavior. By tapping into his own inner wisdom, he was able to make the changes necessary to get LONG TERM results. The short term fluctuations are seductive. But if he kept in mind an image of himself in his 90’s, slim and trim and full of energy.
Most people don’t have the tools to keep persisting on their own. And even we hypnotists do much better with our own weight and fitness goals when we are actively working with weight loss clients! So the support piece is HUGE.
BTW if you ever meet a hypnotist or hypnotherapist who doesn’t see the need for their own hypnosis sessions where they work on their own challenges, run the other way. The best hypnosis practitioners have experienced the benefits of hypnosis and continue to use it for themselves…
We get results in hypnosis because we understand how your unconscious mind works. That is where your metabolism is regulated. your appetite is regulated, your cravings are regulated, your craving to move, to stretch, to snack on super-foods instead of “comfort” foods… etc.
Ironically we often have cravings for foods that we have sensitivities to or even out right allergies. With hypnosis we can get straight answers from your unconscious mind about what works well for you as fuel. We are all different. What works for my body doesn’t necessarily work for yours and vice versa.
Next Question: How much does it cost?
My prospective client also wanted to know the cost. That is always one of the first questions and justifiably so. We are ok spending money if we get results but it’s hard to justify an expense if it doesn’t deliver. This is a bit tricky because unless you are willing to value yourself enough to invest in a program for a long enough time to clear the blocks and address the underlying issues behind over eating or weight loss and exercise issues, then you aren’t considering the cost of continuing on without changing.
For many people if they don’t stop doing what they are doing to their bodies they may quite literally die.
If you don’t take care of your body where will you live?
Seriously consider the consequences of not making the changes now that you know in your heart you need to make.
As far as cost, I charge an hourly rate. How many sessions depend on each individual person. Generally, I have found it takes between 4 and 10 sessions for change.
Now, I have had a number of clients who came in for a single session and 6 months later were 60 pounds lighter…
That’s what we ALL want! Right! Magical, instant results… with very little effort…. without having to change anything…
The truth is those clients were so ready, so motivated, so determined to transform their lives that all they really needed was a little nudge. With a little bit of support and alignment and they were off to the races.
But more typically, weight loss success requires some ongoing support.We have years and years of failure and frustration to deal with. While hypnosis is an amazing tool and can seem to work miracles, a single hypnosis session vs. 40 years of bad eating habits and self defeating thought patterns is like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. But several weeks or months of hypnosis can begin to significantly re-route your neurology so the years and years of negative patterns are gently extinguished and new pathways are formed that lead you to the results you want.
I’m currently working with a client who works a high stress job, and who’s the primary caretaker of an elderly mom who is battling an illness. Talk about stress!
In our last hypnosis session she said,
“I’m making better food choices, Stopped eating fast food. I am craving greens and fresh vegetables. I’m walking and taking the stairs and working in the yard more and it’s not a struggle to motivate myself. BUT even if I had none of those results, I would find it to be worth the money just to spend the hour or so in peace and feeling the support every week or so. It has enabled me to set down the chronic stress that was grinding me down…”
Most of us need the steady support to be ongoing because we have to eat every day, we deal with life stresses and relationship stresses and family “stuff” every day that impacts how we feel and we tend to use food to soothe ourselves.
And most importantly no one teaches us how to communicate with our unconscious minds. That takes some practice. But once you learn how to do it in any area of your life, say food and exercise, it makes anything possible in any other area.
Also the food advertisers know how your unconscious mind works and they are actively using hypnotic techniques to get you to eat more of their super sized junk. Learning how to push your own buttons instead of being vulnerable to them doing it to you is a huge step in empowerment.
Hypnosis for weight loss is not about a “diet” or “fitness regimen” it’s a about a positive and long term lifestyle change which starts with your mind. A change of heart and Mind.
Wow, I got a bit carried away with this post. I hope you’ve stuck with me so far.
– William Wood, Northern Utah Hypnosis Center