top of page

Hypnotherapy and Weight Management

The weather is getting nicer, we’re digging out our Summer wardrobes and we’re thinking about our next holiday. Then for many of us our thoughts turn to our weight and that little voice inside tells us we need to start getting that number on the scales lower.

When I shared with people that I was re-training as a hypnotherapist, one of the most common questions I was asked was ‘Can you help me lose weight?’

The short answer is yes I can. But if we want to be technical and get into the detail of it all then what I should say is… I can help you lower any stress and anxiety you have; get you sleeping better and help you develop a healthy relationship with food and exercise. And the result of all this is that you’ll be able to cope with life better, make better, healthier choices and this will have a positive impact on your weight.

Weight Management

That’s why in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy we use the term weight ‘management’ rather than weight loss. We use the word ‘management’ because just like anything that is long lasting and effective, it’s not an instant fix.

Unfortunately, I can’t just wave a magic wand and Voila! You’re now at your goal weight. (If that was the case, I would be writing this from my mansion on an exotic island somewhere!)

So do you hypnotise people to have imaginary gastric bands?


I know that there are forms of hypnotherapy which offer ‘gastric bands’ and claim to help shift x amount of weight within a particular time. But the simple answer is that they are not effective in the long run. Yes, you might not fancy eating whatever sweet treats you have in the house but after a short period of time your brain is going to know that you haven’t actually had a gastric band and it will override this. Next thing you know you’ll be reaching for a snack and because it feels like you’re been restricting yourself, the chances are it isn’t going to stop at just one sweet treat or carby delight…

The Neuroscience behind it all

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is underpinned by neuroscience, which is why my clients who are fully committed to the process see great results.

We know that deprivation doesn’t work. I am willing to bet there have a been more than a fair few times where you have told yourself you aren’t going to eat something ever again. You might do well for a short period of time but as time passes it soon becomes the only thing you can think about. Before long you’ve caved in, your diet goes out of the window and you find yourself bingeing on something unhealthy which overrides all the hard work you did. Sound familiar?

Often people put this down to willpower. It actually has very little to do with your willpower but more the functioning of your brain.

Your primitive brain (also known as the reptilian brain) is the part of the brain that is responsible for our survival instincts. If it senses any form of danger or threat, then it will go into panic mode in order to protect you. Back when we were cavemen this would have been useful particularly if some scary polar bear or random from another tribe was approaching us and could potentially cause us harm.

But rather annoyingly we still respond in the same way in day-to-day stressful situations. Even if they are not life-threatening experiences (an argument with a someone, our boss upsetting us etc…) or they are imagined scenarios. The primitive brain kicks in because it thinks it is protecting you from something dangerous and scary.

So when we restrict our food, the primitive brain goes into panic mode thinking that there is no more food out there and that you will son starve. It becomes obsessive, which is why you can’t stop thinking about food when you’re on a diet. And when you do eventually succumb to the food, you are more than likely to binge because your brain worries that it’s going to be starved again so it tells your body to keep eating to stockpile the energy.

Stress and eating

Stress has a huge impact on our eating. When we’re stressed cortisol is released, which increases blood sugar and aids in fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism.

For some people stress can cause them to stop to lessen their eating but others

Our brain goes into that fight or flight mode (thinking it has seen a polar bear) and its aim is to get as far away from danger as possible so you don’t need to think about food. But for others it’s all about emotional eating to reward ourselves with that hit of dopamine.

When we’re constantly stressed and producing excess cortisol then it affects our lipid metabolism. This results in us clinging on to fat more, particularly around our middle area. Cortisol also stimulates hunger and when we’re stressed we tend to reach for high fat, high carbohydrate options like cookies, crisps and chocolate.


Sleep plays such an important role in all our bodily functions, including our weight management. I could literally write so much about it. (I highly recommend reading Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep if you’re interested in learning more). There is so much scientific evidence out there that shows links between lower amounts of sleep and obesity.

When we lack in sleep our body produces a hunger-inducing hormone called grehlin. It makes us crave fatty, sugary food and is why we find ourselves reaching for unhealthy snacks when we haven’t had enough sleep.

We all know as well that when we don’t get enough sleep we have less tolerance and we are more likely to feel stressed. It all ends up being quite a vicious cycle.

So how can I help you?

But the good news is that Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help!

It works by focusing on your overall well-being because your stress levels, sleep and mental health play a huge role in managing your weight successfully.

My goal is to help you develop a positive relationship with yourself, food and exercise so that you can lose weight in a responsible way and for you to effectively manage it in the long term. Alongside talk therapy, we use trance to cement the work we do. Clients leave feeling calm and relaxed, which has the added benefits of lowering stress levels and increasing quality sleep.

As with any therapy or product there are no guarantees but if you are willing to put in the effort then you will see yourself making positive changes towards your goals.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how I can help or would like to book a free initial consultation then reach out to me.


bottom of page