It may sound like hocus-pocus, but there’s some evidence that hypnosis – also known as hypnotherapy – can help with weight loss.
The jury is out on whether hypnosis is really effective for weight loss. Some early studies found that people who experienced hypnotherapy lost more than two times the weight of those who simply dieted. But results from other studies were dismal. Still, doctors and therapists remain enthusiastic as hypnosis is a gentle form of mental coaching to help patients work towards the best version of themselves.
How it works: In a typical hypnotherapy session, you are put into a light trance while the therapist takes you through visualising exercises and helps make suggestions in your subconscious state that will translate into real-life behaviour changes. For instance, you may be taught to deal with cravings by walking away from the thought or choosing fresh fruits instead of chocolates.
(Also read: 10 Ways to Kickstart Weight Loss in 10 Days)
What to expect: In itself, hypnosis isn’t going to directly help you shed weight. However, thanks to the meditative effects of hypnosis, you may find yourself being more mindful of your actions and feeling more positive towards healthy food and exercising, both of which are important for weight loss.
Should you try it: If you are prone to emotional eating or lack the willpower to stick to your workout or diet, them hypnotherapy may be effective in getting you over the hill. It’s important to find a therapist who’s credible so get a referral or check out your options at local hospitals.
On the flip side, a Stanford University study found that one-quarter of people can’t be hypnothised simply because of how their brains are wired. If you belong to this camp (or if you’re not fully invested in the idea of hypnotherapy), then this is probably not for you. Hypnotherapy is also not suitable for those with mental health illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
(Also read: Will Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight?)