Using Hypnosis and NLP To Create
Appetite Suppression and Weight Loss
By Alan B. Densky, CH
Hypnosis, thanks to the movies and TV shows, the very word conjures up the image of a beady-eyed hypnotist swinging his pocket watch and chanting the words, “You are getting sleepy.” Do a Google search, and you will find several million web pages devoted to the subject. Unfortunately, many websites that sell self-hypnosis programs make wild, unsubstantiated claims. I’ve been in the business since 1978. So I think that I’m more than qualified to set the record straight on weight loss hypnosis.
First of all, hypnosis is a tool, just like a scalpel is a tool. Just as different surgeons have varying skill levels in the use of a scalpel, different hypnotists have varying skill levels in the use of hypnosis. And to complicate the matter, there are many different forms and types of hypnosis. Here are just a couple of the wild claims that I’ve seen on websites, along with the truth of the matter:
Hypnosis will speed up your metabolism. The truth is, that hypnosis cannot directly speed up your metabolism. But it can be very effective at helping to program your unconscious with increased motivation to exercise, and that exercise can increase your metabolic rate. Similarly, hypnotherapy to speed up the metabolism for quick weight loss can be effected by programming the unconscious to motivate the intake of increased amounts of protein, because that intake will step up the metabolic rate.
Hypnosis will make you lose weight. This is false. But hypnosis can be used to help eliminate your appetite, so that you eat less, and eating less can help you to lose weight.
The average person’s appetite and cravings for food and an urges to eat are caused by two unconscious programs:
A. When you pair eating with any other behavior, the other behavior will trigger cravings for food and a compulsion to eat. This is called a conditioned response. For example, if you eat when you watch TV, you will automatically get an urge to eat each time you sit down to watch TV.
B. When you feel tense, you feel compelled to put
something into your mouth for relaxation and pleasure. This
is the result of programming that you received as an infant.
When you got cranky, your mom put a bottle in your mouth.
You got distracted, relaxed, and probably fell asleep. Now
when you get cranky (anxious or tense), you feel compelled
to put something into your mouth for relaxation and
C. There is a third unconscious program that is present for some people. It’s called emotional eating. Emotional eating takes place when a person is motivated to make him or herself fat, because by being fat they will protect themselves in some way. For example, if a person got their heart broken in a relationship, their unconscious might motivate them into a behavior that would prevent them from getting their heart broken again. Example: They are motivated to get fat to keep them out of another relationship, because that will eliminate the possibility of another broken heart.
D. I have written several articles on this complex topic that available elsewhere. There are some powerful ways to use hypnosis for emotional eating.
So just how can
weight loss hypnosis fix the above problems? Let’s cover
them one at a time.
“A” above: Conditioned responses can be
“extinguished” quickly and easily using a technique that
I call the “Flash.” The Flash trains the mind to setup a
new set of triggers. In the above example, the subject had
unconsciously associated the image of food in the hand, with
the TV. Each time he / she sat down to watch the TV, the
unconscious mind filled in the missing part of the picture,
it “Flashed” the image of the food in the hand, and the
subject felt a craving, and an urge to eat.
The Flash is a
method that allows us to program the unconscious to use the
image of the TV as a trigger for an image of the
self-watching TV without eating. When we lose the image of
the food, we lose the cravings.
momentarily disassociate (see ourselves from the point of
view that someone else would), we are not able to feel our
feelings (cravings and urges).
When we see
ourselves in a behavior (watching TV without eating), we
feel compelled to generate that behavior. So the subject
loses the cravings, and actually gets a compulsion to reject
In paragraph “B” above: The subject is eating and drinking for relaxation and pleasure. We teach the subject self-hypnosis for weight loss, because the very essence of the hypnotic state is deep relaxation. And we utilize the “Flash” to program the unconscious to use the thoughts and mental images that are triggering feelings of anxiety and stress, as triggers for secondary thoughts and images that will trigger relaxation instead. When the subject feels more relaxed overall, oral cravings are greatly diminished.
In paragraph “C” above: We discussed emotional eating which makes the person overweight. The “behavior” of being overweight then provides some sort of emotional protection. So we use a technique called a reframe, which programs the unconscious to assume responsibility for making the subject automatically substitute some other more acceptable behavior that will provide the same emotional protection, in place of being overweight. And that reframe will eliminate the compulsion to eat for emotional purposes.
Self-hypnosis for weight loss can be a very effective method. I can only uncover the tip of the iceberg in this short article. Please see my website for more comprehensive information.
©2007 By Alan B. Densky, CH.
This document may NOT be re-printed. All