Hypnotherapy for weight management

Why do people find it so hard to lose weight? Well, it's helpful to recognise that we live in a culture that promotes weight gain. Over the last 30 years, portion sizes have increased, and ultra-processed food is widely available and heavily advertised. Alcohol is aggressively marketed, and wine glasses have increased in size, as have dinner plates. We are surrounded by tasty but frequently unhealthy food. Not surprisingly, obesity has increased alongside these changes.


Most diets will work initially. People will lose weight for a while. Diets are unsustainable in the long term. Typically, when the diet finishes, the weight problem will return over time and weight will be regained and even added to if fundamental mindset changes have not been made. This is where hypnotherapy comes in. I call it learning to think like a thin person. Thin people don’t obsess over food. They eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full.

Questions to consider:

  • What is causing the weight?
  • Is it poor habits, possibly learned during childhood?
  • Are other close members of your family overweight?
  • Or are you an emotional eater?
  • Do you respond to stress or other feelings by comfort eating?
  • What changes would be practical for you?

What happens in a hypnotherapy session?

The first session is used to narrow down what is causing the weight. Then clients are helped to look at achievable realistic goals. It is hard to lose weight, and people sometimes set themselves unrealistic goals that they find difficult or impossible to achieve, setting themselves up for failure. There are simple practical steps that people can start to incorporate into their life from the very first session. Lots of baby steps in the right direction can together add up to big change.

I have often noticed that weight clients may be conflicted. Part of them wants to lose weight. But there is another part that wants to eat, causing people to feel two conflicting feelings. This is where parts therapy is used to help clients identify exactly what is happening in their lives and how they can find a new way of dealing with it. It helps people take a step back and be objective about themselves and their issues. When you can really see yourself, you start to be able to make changes. (You can’t change what you can’t see).

The last 15 or 20 minutes of any session are used for hypnosis. This can be recorded so that clients can listen to the customised recording as often as they wish, reinforcing the new learning and helping with motivation. It is suggestion work, which can be very powerful in bringing about change.

Hypnosis works directly with the subconscious mind promoting change easily and naturally. The conscious mind may decide that losing weight is desirable. This is where ‘willpower’ comes in. It does of course have a part to play. But it is when the subconscious mind is in alignment with the conscious mind that people really make progress. These are changes that are sustainable for life, not just whilst the client is in therapy.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Crowthorne RG45
Written by Ann Kenney, DipHP, MAPHP, CNHC -Adults, Children & Teenagers
Crowthorne RG45

I am a fully qualified hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner with over 13 years of experience.

I am also a yoga teacher, currently teaching two classes weekly. I have myself practised both meditation and mindfulness for many years. I include these two subjects in my yoga classes as well as my hypnotherapy practice.

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