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Why I Never Lost Weight With Hypnotherapy: Case Study

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 29 Feb 2012 | comments*Discuss
Weight Hypnotherapy Diet Pounds

Amy Zuroff had never been really fat, but after she gave birth to her two sons, she wanted to lose about a stone and a half. The problem with losing weight in the past had been a lack of willpower, and she was afraid this time would be no different.

“I knew all about healthy eating and the importance of exercise, but I just couldn’t begin a real diet or exercise plan,” said Amy, a web designer from London.

“I’d start with the best intentions, but after two days of lean fish and veg I’d be back on the chocolate. And I only managed to go running with my husband twice in the last two years!”

Nothing Seemed to Work

Amy had tried loads of diet plans, including Slimming World and her own personally devised diets, but nothing seemed to work. Then several of her friends started seeing a local hypnotherapist to lose weight and said the pounds had literally dropped off.

“They told me that the hypnotherapist, Gillian, had identified their cravings, as well as why they felt inclined to overeat, or their eating ‘triggers’, in just the first session. She then taught them coping mechanisms whenever they wanted to snack, such as tapping or pinching their palms.

“She talked this over with them when they were lying down in a very relaxed state, and it all seemed to sink in. Whenever they had a craving for something that wasn’t on their diet they’d start to tap, and soon they didn’t want it anymore at all.

“One friend practically lived on Spag Bol dripping with cheese, but after just a week she had stopped eating it entirely and no longer had a craving for it. Within a month she lost 12lb.”

Open Mind

The thought behind hypnotherapy is that most of us can be open to suggestion, and that hypnosis just provides extra support to those who are ready to do something anyway, like quitting smoking or giving up alcohol. It can’t really make people do what they don’t want to do, contrary to popular belief, and the outcome will only be positive if you allow it to be.

Amy booked an appointment with Gillian with an open mind, and looked forward to her first session. “I was skeptical but not overly so, mainly due to my friends’ positive experiences. And Gillian was sweet and made me feel comfortable,” she says.

“We had a chat about why I overeat, why I rely on bread and chocolate as comfort foods, and how being overweight made me feel.

“Then I lay down and closed my eyes and she kind of intoned to me for about 20 minutes, saying over and over why I would resist certain foods and concentrating on the positive aspects of being thinner.

“She also suggested activities to take the place of eating chocolate in front of the telly, such as talking on the phone, which put my mouth in motion doing something else.”

Not Sure How to Cope

Amy left the hypnotherapist’s office feeling calm and relaxed, but unsure of how she would cope next.

“My friend had told me that within a day she didn’t want spaghetti anymore, so I was looking forward to giving up chocolate immediately. But that evening I found myself tucking into a chocolate bar after the boys were asleep, as usual, and only feeling a bit guilty.

“I think my friends felt they’d be letting Gillian down if they ate bad things, which made them eat healthily, stick to their diets and lose the pounds. But I barely knew Gillian, and didn’t really care if I let her down or not. I just felt like the same old me!"

Amy went back to the hypnotherapy session the following week, but this time found it almost impossible to concentrate.

“I had been eating the same rubbish all week, and when I lay down on the couch I didn’t feel relaxed, just anxious that I was wasting time when I had other things I’d rather be doing,” she said.

“Finally, after what seemed like hours staring at the ceiling while Gillian mumbled on, she told me it wasn’t working and that I wasn’t really in the right frame of mind for it.

“I felt bad but agreed with her, and told her I’d ring if there was any change. That was two years ago, and I haven’t rung yet!”

Amy still hasn’t lost the weight, but is now spending her time concentrating on working and being with her boys, instead of obsessing about how she looks. “I really only needed to lose weight to look better, it wasn’t really a health issue or anything, so now I am learning to live with it,” she says.

“Maybe someday I’ll ditch the pounds, but not now – and certainly not through the use of hypnotherapy. I love my food and I hate exercise, so obviously there is a price to pay!”

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