hypnosis
Weight Loss

Does Weight Loss Hypnosis Work?

Weight-loss hypnosis may help you shed an extra few pounds when it’s part of a weight-loss plan that includes diet, exercise and counseling. But it’s hard to say definitively because there isn’t enough solid scientific evidence about weight-loss hypnosis alone.

Hypnosis is a state of inner absorption and concentration, like being in a trance. Hypnosis is usually done with the help of a hypnotherapist using verbal repetition and mental images. When you’re under hypnosis, your attention is highly focused, and you’re more responsive to suggestions, including behavior changes that can help you lose weight.

A few studies have evaluated the use of weight-loss hypnosis. Most studies showed only slight weight loss, with an average loss of about 6 pounds (2.7 kilograms) over 18 months. But the quality of some of these studies has been questioned, making it hard to determine the true effectiveness of weight-loss hypnosis.

Weight loss is usually best achieved with diet and exercise. If you’ve tried diet and exercise but are still struggling to meet your weight-loss goal, talk to your health care provider about other options or lifestyle changes that you can make. Don’t rely on weight-loss hypnosis alone because it’s unlikely to lead to significant weight loss.

This article originally appeared on the Mayo Clinic website and is reprinted with permission.

As a specialty editor for the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.

A Marinette, Wis., native, Katherine is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.

She is active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition education related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.

Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.

She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.

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