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Can Hypnosis Help You Lose Weight?

It may sound like a pie-in-the-sky solution, but hypnotherapy may actually be useful to people who want to lose weight.

You probably have a friend who swears by hypnotherapy—whether to quit smoking, get better sleep, or lose weight. Though you may have witnessed the results yourself, you remain a skeptic. Maybe it seems like a waste of time or money. Maybe it seems too good to be true. And how can it possibly work for everyone?

Hypnosis is a state of inner focus and concentration, wherein a hypnotherapist helps the patient achieve a trance-like state using repetition and guided imagery. Hypnosis allows you to open yourself up to suggestions and zero in on behavioral changes—including those that can help you to lose weight.

While the scientific community isn’t yet behind weight-loss hypnosis due to a lack of reliable research on this particular technique, it’s safe to say that it can’t hurt your weight loss efforts. Indeed, hundreds of highly reputed American psychotherapists now offer hypnotherapy.

One of the keys to success is in seeing hypnosis as part of a comprehensive approach to weight loss. You still have to put in the work of getting regular exercise and following a balanced diet. You might still slip up once in a while. But on the whole, hypnosis is like a weight-loss enhancer, helping you to lose more weight and keep it off longer.

So why is hypnosis still considered a last-ditch, you-gotta-be-desperate-to-try-it measure? Because public perception of hypnosis is based on quacky stage hypnosis as opposed to a mind-over-body approach in the same vein as individual or group counseling.

For most people, experiencing it is believing it.

But you don’t have to be in a state of hypnosis to apply the principles of hypnotherapy—which may surprise you—to your weight loss strategy. For one, hypnotherapy posits that you already have everything you need to lose weight. That means you can do away with the crash diets and appetite-suppressing pills. According to hypnotherapists, you can lose weight if you trust yourself enough.

It’s all about harnessing the power of the mind. If that sounds like bull to you, just take a moment to reflect on all the mind-blowing feats human beings are capable of. Think of athletes who prepare for the Olympics by visualizing winning, or tightrope walkers who are able to conquer fear to cross canyons. Businesspeople use this technique, as do actors and actresses. Being able to see yourself shedding your unwanted pounds is incredibly important—and hypnotherapy can help you get there.

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