“Let me explain our weight-reduction program,” the hypnotherapist said to the inquiring prospective client. “We don’t, in most cases use diet procedures. We find that a problem with diets is that there is a major change of eating habit patterns and that all the time the client is looking forward to achievement of the weight goal, at which time the client can resume eating “normal” food.

“Once the weight loss is achieved, the client celebrates by enjoying a reward meal of favorite tastes. Then there often begins an upward weight trend which can recover all of the lost weight and even add a few pounds more.

“Therefore our approach is that the client, if this is a personal enjoyment, may eat steak and potatoes, or perhaps spaghetti and meat balls-whatever is most desired. The only difference is that, through the effects of hypnosis, a much smaller amount of food will be desired and consumed.

“The advantage is that since no enjoyable foods are denied, nothing is given up; there is no need or desire to return to foods that have been forbidden. The client simply continues to eat what has been enjoyed all along, except the quantities are vastly reduced and through hypnosis the appetite is fully satisfied with modest portions of food.”

The above scenario and weight-reduction program is just one of the many that utilize the powers and benefits of hypnotherapy to enable client to take off unwanted pounds and keep them off. In this program, the client need not give up enjoying cocktails or hors d’oeuvres at a party. The client will enjoy one of whatever is served, but on  completion of this “taste” wilJ be completely satisfied, neither desiring nor accepting further offerings. The hostess is satisfied that her efforts have been appreciated. Everybody wins!

The above procedure is particularly effective with people whose excess weight is from overeating, especially where the habit involves taking of multiple helpings at meals. There are those whose excess weight is due to physiological causes. Such cases may require medical intervention.

However, where undesirable weight is due to overeating, metabolism is likely much less involved than the mind. Changing thoughts and attitudes of the mind can lead to major changes in life. It can be very helpful, therefore, to determine what may be the causes of a tendency to overeat.

Sometimes this information is evident or well­ known. Other times it may be suppressed, buried in some incident or event of the past for which overeating provides a sense of compensation or relief from pressures or anxieties, lacks in life, grief, anger or other emotions, sometimes dating back to childhood. Regression under hypnosis is often effective in ferreting out causes, and sometimes even the simple understanding of causes can result in elimination of the problem.


Overeating usually fills a need-or at least is viewed as doing so. The possible needs, real or imaginary, are many. Some people overeat to compensate for an unpleasant experience. Others eat excessively to reward themselves, or possibly for self-entertainment. Some want to be noticed, and may use a large body to offset a small ego. Eating is used to compensate for the lack of love, to offset fear, to overcome frustration, to deal with boredom, or sometimes even to avoid sex.

Helpful to the therapist are lists answering such questions as WHEN overeating usually takes place-what psychological or emotional activity is associated with excess eating, and at what usual time of day or night. WHERE the overeating is done is important-home, at parties, in restau­rants, while watching television, etc. And WHY (for what purpose or to satisfy what need) is also a factor in understanding the problem.

The consideration of the above-mentioned matters leads to the establishment of three goals: To achieve the desired weight loss; To maintain the desired weight once it is achieved; To adopt permanently the new habit patterns that make the first two goals possible.


A hypnotherapy program for weight reduction will involve several specific elements which are essen­tial to the achievement of established objectives:

The client’s self-esteem and confidence will be evaluated and fortified as necessary to achieve a positive outlook and the ability to visualize mentally the perfect, desired body structure, at the appropriate weight and with the physical modifications important to the client.

The client’s attitude toward food, overeating and related satisfactions
will be altered to reduce the conceived importance of food as it relates to feelings of well-being.

The client’s food interests and tastes will be modified to increase the desire for healthy foods with appropriate nutrition, and reduce the desire for foods high in fats and other harmful elements. Emphasis will
be placed on such matters as quantity consumption, special tastes (sweet-tooth enjoyment) and negative calorie foods (wherein digestion requires more calorie burn-up than the total calories in the food consumed).

Finally, programming will deal with such behavioral matters as establishing times, places and patterns for future eating, elimination of harmful habits, and positive reinforcement for relief of stress or anxiety factors or other causal elements which may require hypnotic desensitization. It must be kept in mind that very slow reduction in weight is the safest procedure. Weight will and should come off very slowly -perhaps two pounds per week on average. Much reinforcement of the programming can be accomplished by tapes specifically created to save time and money for the client.