It sounds too good to be true: sit still long enough to hypnotized, and the pounds will melt away. There is some truth to the benefits of hypnosis for weight loss, though, but if you look closely at how it works, you can apply those same principles to any weight loss program – whether you get hypnotized or not. Ultimately, hypnosis can only motivate you to do the things that are required for weight loss, but for some of us, finding the motivation is the hard part.

Its all in your mind. Sure it is – we are reality creating machines. Our minds are more powerful than we ever imagine, and part of the success of hypnosis is to engage some of the mind's powerful abilities to change our lives. Change your mind; change your body. Simple.

Hypnosis does its work through motivation. We all have “old tapes” we play to ourselves when we get down. Sometimes we can tell ourselves things as overtly negative as “you can not do this”, “you've failed every time before, do you really think this time is going to be different?” Other times we do it more subtly – “so what if I'm a size 16?”, “Who cares about what other people think of me anyway?” In a black moment, we can easily talk ourselves into yet another pint of Haagen Daaz.

Hypnosis counteracts those negative messages. And it works a bit more powerfully than anything we can usually conjure up because a trained hypnotist will know how to relax you, how to turn off your conscious mind and get down deep to the source of where those negative messages come from. But you have to cooperate. If you simply do not buy into the idea that a hypnotist is going to cut it, save your money. Which brings another problem – you may be saying to your friends “yes, yes I believe in hypnotherapy completely” while under your breath you wonder if you have lost your mind for hand over $ 100 for a thirty minute session, or even $ 19.95 to get that hypnosis package you saw online.

Frankly, even if hypnosis does work for you, the pounds are not going to magically melt away. But you may have an easier time getting yourself to the gym, you may have more willpower to pick the salad over the cheeseburger deluxe, and you may even hold on to that willpower significantly longer than you would have if you simply got really motivated on your own. People who have one to three in-office hypnosis sessions do take off an average of six pounds according to the Mayo Clinic, but there have been no follow-up studies to see if they actually kept the weight off.

Remember those two week patches where you were completely devoted to your weight loss program, until you kinda fell off the wagon? Hypnosis can extend that motivation quite a bit longer – some studies have shown even two years longer. But you are still going to have to take the actions that create the weight loss.