Hypnotherapy and Weight Loss

The role of hypnotherapy in weight loss has not yet been fully and conclusively studied by scientists. Some research results suggest a positive effect whereas others do not. In theory, hypnosis should have the potential to help people change their habits in ways which result in a slimmer body.  However, motivating someone to lose weight is more complex than, for example, stopping smoking.

For smoking the goal is clear and simple. At the end of the session the client stops putting cigarettes in their mouth. Weight loss, on the other hand, is more complex. Is it going to be achieved by more exercise or a change in diet? If exercise, which type of exercise and when? If diet, which sorts of foods are to be chosen or rejected and what quantities are involved? For one person, changes in diet may be more appropriate, for another it’s exercise. The variation in the results of scientific studies into hypnotherapy and weight loss may, in part, be caused by these complicating issues. Many commercially available self-hypnosis recordings are full of numerous vague and complicated suggestions. It is no wonder the listener becomes so confused they fail to make any changes which result in weight loss.

Hypnosis works best when there is a clear, definable and achievable behaviour change goal that is being applied. At Melbourne Clinical Hypotherapy, a tailored approach is applied to help each person identify a single goal for behavioural change that is specific, achievable and if possible, enjoyable. Hypnotic procedures are employed to support the desired change in behaviour with a clear focus being on creating a healthier body, happier life, better relationships, and better ways of managing situations that influence their unhealthy eating or lack of exercise.

Case Study

John is working on a major project at work and he knows that if all goes well he could be up for a promotion once it is completed. He is starting work early, picking up a take away breakfast on the way in to the office with his coffee, and he stays until late, usually ordering delivery or stopping by drive-through for dinner because he has had no time to shop or energy to cook.  With so much of his time at work he has no time for exercise and he has noticed his body changing and health getting worse. He tried having a new years resolution to cut back on junk food but its just so easy a way to have a meal and there is always more work to do and he really wants to make sure his bosses and the clients are happy so he can get that promotion.

John started hypnotherapy because he had tried several diet and weight loss programs which did work initially, but he very quickly reverted back to old habits. With hypnotherapy he focused on a goal to integrate exercise into his daily commute home from work and the hypnosis helped him to value and reprioritise his own enjoyment and health needs resulting in much more successful and long-term behaviour change.

Melbourne Clinical Hypnotherapy Program - Weight Loss

The Melbourne Clinical Hypnotherapy weight loss program uses hypnosis to support a well established and researched method of behavioural change called the Transtheoretical Model designed by Prochaska and DiClemente. Typically the Melbourne Clinical Hypnotherapy Weight Loss program is structured around specific weight loss related behaviour goals that are identified during the first session and hypnotherapy is used to motivate the achievement of this goal. The goal needs to be something you believe, with a little effort, is possible for you to achieve. It also needs to be something you believe you will enjoy in the long term. There is no point in setting yourself the goal of running, if you hate running. Some examples of specific goals are:

  • “I don’t buy or eat chocolate”
  • “When I buy take-away it’s Japanese instead of Pizza”
  • “I go to the gym every Tuesday and Thursday at lunch time”
  • “I don’t drink alcohol unless it’s a social function”

A second session normally follows goal setting and one week later. The second session is used to resolve any issues which may have developed and also to reinforce the goal with a second session of hypnosis. A third session occurs about one month later. Assuming the first goal has been established and maintained for five weeks a second goal is formulated and motivated using hypnotherapy.  The process continues until sufficient behavioural changes have been established to result in overall weight loss.

Booking information

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Private Health Insurance: Hypnotherapy can often be included as part of private health insurance coverage. A list of private health insurance providers that are known to include hypnotherapy in some of their products is provided here. Please check your individual cover to confirm if you are eligible for reimbursement or rebate.


"Hi, just let you know that I have been going to Dr Bruce Alexander for 3-4 sessions now and it’s amazing. In a world where everybody  need instant  results, boy this is instant results. I went with a open mind to lose weight I noticed the results straight away, [and] I mean instantly. I could not be more happier with myself and what Dr Bruce Alexander has done for me" - Ian, March 2018*

Testimonial: Hypnosis Weight Loss

Testimonial: Hypnosis Alcohol, Smoking and Weight

*The testimonials presented are applicable to the individuals depicted and may not be representative of the experience of others. The testimonials are not indicative of future performance or success.