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Hypnosis for Weight Loss: Work With Your Mind to Transform Your Body

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Summary: Does hypnosis for weight loss work, or is it just a myth? Explore how hypnotherapy can help with your body transformation journey.

You may be doing all you can to take care of your body, but psychological distress and resistance can be the blocker from getting the results you desire. So if you’re in the process of changing your lifestyle, consider working with your mind as well—hypnosis for weight loss could be an answer to your concerns.

This is a truly misunderstood practice, but there are huge benefits to be reaped. So keep your mind open and let go of the limiting beliefs you may have had about weight loss until now.

What Is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is essentially a relaxed state of mind induced artificially by a trained professional, such as a hypnotist or a psychotherapist. During this process, your attention is fully channeled inward, being more open to suggestions. Additionally, your conscious mind is gently weakened, making it more susceptible to accessing your subconscious. 

Now, hypnosis is the state of mind used in hypnotherapy for therapeutic purposes. It can also be a transformational growth tool in your process of healing different parts of your psyche.

Whether you believe it to be real or not, hypnosis has been around since the 18th century. However, Dr. Milton Hyland Erickson is credited as the inventor of the clinical version, which is the one commonly used today.

Benefits of Hypnotherapy

Modern studies have discovered a multitude of benefits that hypnotherapy can bring into people’s lives. Here are some main ones:

  • Overcoming addictions to nicotine, alcohol, and drugs
  • Change destructive behaviors
  • Release stress and anxiety
  • Improve certain health conditions
  • Supporting the natural healing processes of the body
  • Creating new neural connections
  • Change eating habits and promote weight loss
  • Rewire the human brain to achieve goals

The beneficial effects of hypnosis can help you have more control over the undesirable behaviors you experience in your life and replace them with new ones. It’s also important to know that through hypnosis, although your subconscious mind is open to suggestions, you’re still aware and in control of your senses.

AI-generated image of a woman having undergone hypnosis for weight loss

How Does Hypnosis for Weight Loss Work?

During a hypnotherapy session, you enter a trance-like state, guided by a hypnotherapist. This is where you can work on changing limiting beliefs, letting go of social conditioning, and healing blockages that prevent you from achieving your goals.

According to Paul McKenna, renowned hypnotist and trainer of Mindvalley’s Certified Hypnotherapist Program, when it comes to weight loss, “diets are essentially training courses in how to feel fat and feel like a failure.” 

Hypnosis can help you have a smoother transition to a healthier lifestyle through different techniques, such as:

The switch pattern

This technique is basically transmitting to your mind a message of “not this behavior, but rather that one.” This pattern is used to change unwanted habits by remembering a triggering image and replacing it with a new one.


Through this method, you can be guided back to memories in the past that subconsciously determine your future. Hypnosis helps assign and recode a different meaning to situations that negatively affect your weight loss journey. 

Timelines allow the practitioner to create a compelling future and set goals clearly in order to be driven to achieve them. It’s basically a way of changing perspective and rewiring your brain to behave differently.

Your experience of life is primarily affected by the perspective you view it from. Depending upon the meaning we give to situations or events, we will feel and behave differently.

— Paul McKenna, trainer of the Mindvalley Certified Hypnotherapist program

The 6-step reframe 

The technique consists of six steps where the hypnotist guides their clients through to change the undesirable behavior (binge eating, self-sabotage, stressing, etc.).

  1. Identify the behavior that needs to be addressed.
  2. Create communication with parts of the psyche responsible for that behavior.
  3. Separate the behavior from its “positive” intention (for example, some people eat emotionally because they subconsciously believe that it’ll help them stop feeling empty or alone anymore).
  4. Create a new behavior that will serve the positive intention.
  5. Imagine what the future looks like with this new behavior.
  6. Find the reasons why these newly instilled habits might not work.

Paul underlines the importance of training your mind to constantly release stress because this is how your body will also thrive. The mind-body connection can’t be neglected when it comes to losing weight.

Limit the amount of toxins you put into your body while simultaneously increasing your body’s stress-hardiness. The single biggest cause of ill health is an inappropriate response to stress.

— Paul McKenna, trainer of the Mindvalley Certified Hypnotherapist program
Paul McKenna, UK's #1 hypnotherapist and the trainer of the Mindvalley Certified Hypnotherapist program
Paul McKenna, trainer of the Mindvalley Certified Hypnotherapist program

Hypnosis for Weight Loss: Frequently Asked Questions

Hypnosis is still unchartered territory for a lot of people. So understandably, there are a lot of questions that come up. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions people have before going to their first hypnotherapy for weight loss session.

What does science say about hypnosis for weight loss?

There are studies that prove the effectiveness of hypnosis for weight loss, but overall there isn’t enough evidence on hypnosis alone. However, here are some interesting facts:

  • This 2009 study mentions hypnosis as part of mind-body solutions for overweight people. It states, “Hypnosis can remove psychological obstacles to weight loss and strengthen the ego.”
  • A 2021 report on the use of self-help strategies regarding obesity treatment suggests that “both hypnosis and mindfulness provide a promising therapeutic option by improving weight loss, food awareness, and self-acceptance of body image.” 
  • A 1995 meta-analysis of 18 studies suggests that hypnosis combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy increases the chances of behavior improvement compared with 70% of clients not undergoing hypnotic treatment.
  • One research published in 2003 found the benefits of hypnosis for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) which can also support weight loss in some people.
  • A 2016 paper published by Standford University showed that hypnotherapy alters brain areas correlated with stress and trauma. A well-balanced mental state can support making healthy lifestyle choices which will result in weight loss in the long run.

The bottom line is, hypnosis on its own might not be 100% effective for losing weight. But because it helps with removing mental blockages and correcting destructive habits, it can definitely support your weight loss journey along with eating healthy nutritious meals and having a regular exercise routine.

Paul talks about the importance of having a good relationship with food in order to overcome disordered eating patterns. “I’ve noticed a funny thing about people who are overweight,” he says. “They spend all their time thinking about food, except when they’re actually eating it.”

Can self-hypnosis work for weight loss?

Self-hypnosis could be an alternative for people who want to learn hypnotherapy in order to aid in their weight loss process. 

A 2018 study proves self-hypnosis to be effective for obese patients as it supports establishing and boosting self-control. As mentioned above, these self-help techniques were paired with a proper diet and exercise routine.

The key programs of human behavior are habit and imagination, and they are far more powerful than logic and willpower will ever be.

— Paul McKenna, trainer of the Mindvalley Certified Hypnotherapist program

How much does hypnosis for weight loss cost?

The average cost of one hypnosis session can range from $50 to $300. This depends on the qualifications of the professional you choose and how effective their own practice has shown to be.

Some other specialists also make online hypnotherapy courses for weight loss available for people who prefer to work on their own and learn hypnotherapeutic methods. This option could be more cost-effective in the long run, as the price varies between $500 and $2000.

Famous hypnotherapists

There are some very well-known hypnotherapists out there, like the founder of modern hypnotherapy, Dr. Erickson. Here, at Mindvalley, you can also find two of the best in the field. 

Paul McKenna on hypnosis for weight loss
  • Paul McKenna is a behavioral scientist and globally celebrated hypnotherapist in the world. He is well-known for his incredible ability to ignite dramatic changes in people’s behaviors and lives, through tools and techniques rooted in fields like hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

    He has been sought after for one-to-one hypnosis sessions by people all around the world. He now holds the title of the UK’s most successful non-fiction author.

    Paul is the trainer of Mindvalley’s Everyday Bliss and Total Self-Confidence Quests, and, as previously mentioned, the Mindvalley Certified Hypnotherapist program. 
Marisa Peer
  • Marisa Peer was named the “Best British Therapist” by Tatler and Men’s Health Magazine. She created the Rapid Transformational Therapy® method, which combines the best therapy practices with hypnotherapy. Through this technique, she unlocks the brain’s neuroplasticity and literally rewires her clients’ brains to achieve success in all areas of their life.

    Her therapy practice helps people remove limiting beliefs and open the doors to the life they desire to create.

    Marisa is the trainer of Mindvalley’s Uncompromised Life and Rapid Transformational Hypnotherapy for Abundance Quests.

Some other hypnotherapists who’ve made a name for themselves in this contemporary age are Peter Powers, Chris Hughes, Kimberly Friedmutter, Derren Brown, Boris Cherniak, and Giucas Casella.

Work With Your Mind to Transform Your Body

In this day and age, the mind-body connection cannot be denied if you want to achieve the best results when it comes to your health and weight loss journey.

And with hypnotherapy, you have another way to positively influence both. It can be your way to finding peace within that leads to peace without. And therefore you can get into the habit of practicing it whenever you want.

The trouble with happiness is people don’t practice it.

— Paul McKenna, trainer of the Mindvalley Certified Hypnotherapist program

If you’d like to deeply transform one or more areas of your life and support others while transforming theirs, Mindvalley can help you get there. With the Mindvalley Certified Hypnotherapist program, you have the chance to discover:

  • Foundations of hypnotherapy
  • Diagnostics and change work
  • Applications of hypnotherapy
  • Stage hypnotism
  • Peak performance
  • Building a hypnotherapy business

The best part of it all might be joining a community of like-minded people with whom you can connect over the same goals and values. This way, you don’t have to go through transformation alone. 

It’s all about the next level of learning for the next level you. Welcome in. 

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Written by

Alexandra Tudor

Alexandra Tudor is a former content writer for Mindvalley and a psychology enthusiast. From clinical experience working with both children and adults, she's now in the process of becoming a licensed psychotherapist, specializing in the IFS method and family constellation therapy.
Picture of Alexandra Tudor

Alexandra Tudor

Alexandra Tudor is a former content writer for Mindvalley and a psychology enthusiast. From clinical experience working with both children and adults, she's now in the process of becoming a licensed psychotherapist, specializing in the IFS method and family constellation therapy.
Learn from one of the world's leading gurus - Paul McKenna. Experience his unique brand of personal transformation for true self-confidence and success.
Expertise by

Paul McKenna, Ph.D., is the trainer for Mindvalley’s Everyday Bliss and Total Self-Confidence Quests, as well as the Mindvalley Certified Hypnotherapist program. Having helped millions of people successfully quit smoking, lose weight, overcome insomnia, eliminate stress, and increase self-confidence., Dr. McKenna was named by The London Times as one of the world’s leading and most important modern gurus, alongside Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. He has also worked his unique brand of personal transformation with Hollywood movie stars, Olympic gold medalists, rock stars, leading business achievers, and royalty.

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