Has anyone used hypnotherapy?

Now recognised that I have pyschological issues regarding food. Yo Yo dieted for years, lose the weight then pile it back on. Need a complete lifestyle change. Seeing a qualified hypnotherapist next week to discuss a virtual gastric band. Has anyone any experience of this?

Just discussing it this morning.

There is little to no evidence that hypnotherapy has any impact on long term changes, such as losing weight. The most significant trial reached the conclusion that it lacked evidence - but did not rule out that it might be helpful. It certainly accepted that behavioural techniques can be useful when combined with exercise and diet (ah, those two things).

One of the things I hate is descriptions like “virtual gastric band”. This has in my opinion snake oil sales technique written all over it.

It is common to take something seen as positive and then use that word or phrase to help sell your product which is really unrelated.

So I am going to call it the way I see it and give an opinion. It is a complete waste of money.

However, confirmation bias, placebo effect may have short term benefits which after the fact convince people it was and is valuable.

It may be worth discussing your particular case in more detail on the board and seeing if anyone has any ideas of how to limit the yoyo element of your weight loss.

I’m pretty sure that @mikesquestforfitness had this and thought it was good up to a point. He discussed it on’t old forumhttp://manvfat.com/forums/topic/alreet-from-up-north/ but I’m sure he’ll share his views.

Appreciate your comments Dolman. I have also been sceptical but this practioner is licensed and works for the NHS. Apparently the four-session treatment helps with food cravings and supposedly trains you to feel fuller whilst eating less. It will be combined with a healthy eating and exercise program. There are further sessions when ideal weight is achieved which hopefully stops the Yo Yo effect.

The NHS employ a surprising number of quacks - here is the official NHS page on advice on hypnotherapy - really love the NHS website these days, very straightforward advice.

“Overall, the evidence supporting the use of hypnotherapy as a treatment in these situations is not strong enough to make any recommendations for clinical practice.”

If you are paying for it, I continue to hold my view that it is a waste of money. However if it gives you the placebo it needs, that may have value and as long as you can afford to spend the money.

To give you a practical suggestion rather than just be a cynic, I might suggest buddying up as a technique with better long results.

Not for weight loss, but for other stuff. It did sod all for me. Perhaps it’s because that at heart I’m a scientist and a cynic…


I have indeed had hypnotherapy for weight loss. My initial experience was very positive and infact using the techniques I was given by my therapist lose the first 5 stone, of my 12 stone current loss.
The guy I saw, and yes I paid for it myself, was also a nutritionist so a lot of what he did was around weight loss.

I had 4 hour long sessions, the first session was spent learning about me and my problems with food. We then went through some deep relaxation and started to put things in place to help me deal with cravings.
The following sessions carried on in a similar way, and I found I was able to resist cravings and began to eat healthy and exercise a bit more.

My down fall was on a family holiday, it wasnt a great place to stay and we ended up having a few takeaways. this started a slippery slope to making bad choices. I then put on a few stone, and all I had learnt from Hypnotherapy was forgotten.

I did decide to go back a year or so later to try again, but I found the second time it didnt really work for me. I cant put my finger on why, but since then Ive learnt to love exercise and are getting my food choices sorted. Currently on a total weight loss of 12 stone, and although have had a little stumble on my journey I continue to get healthy slowly and surely.

In short if you believe hypnotherapy will work for you it will


Thanks for a very helpful posting Mike. It sounds as though your therapy is very similar to that proposed by my potential hypnotherapist. She proposes four sessions accompanied by a CD, MP3 file and follow-up work. I will also be paying for myself but if it helps with my cravings etc it will be money well spent.
Congratulations on your superb weight loss. Cheers, Tim

I had it for smoking and found it didn’t really help. I don’t see the harm in trying it and I can imagine it can help with pointing your head in the right direction but (and sorry to be so bleeding obvious) it’s not a magic bullet and needs to be accompanied by a conscious choice to choose a healthier lifestyle. Don’t see why it couldn’t give you a kick-start towards that mind.

I reckon that’s the key. Good luck Tim

Well I took the plunge and went for it! Really happy as it has really helped with my snacking and food cravings. Went to Egypt on an all-inclusive holiday just after the hypno and lost 3 pounds! Completely lost the urge to eat between meals and seem to be fuller far more quickly. I’m only halfway through the course but so far so good!!


Great to hear :smiley:

There are actually lots of studies that support hypnosis actually works to help you master your eating habits and more. I experienced it myself and it’s created a lot of healthy habits while flushing off everything that held me back for the longest time to look after my own health and wellness.

A lot of your questions can be answered by this post with scientific basis too!