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by Devin Hastings







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A client of mine who is married to a doctor told me how her husband has said over the 30 years of his career (and their marriage): “Nobody ever loses weight.” 

Understandably, his words have had a hypnotic effect on her.  And, where are the long term studies to prove him wrong?  Well, finally there is one really good study. 

With the above in mind it is the purpose of this article is to present compelling evidence that supports the idea people can truly lose weight in the long term.  And, equally importantly, that hypnosis can absolutely help.

We will take a concise look at a study which shows long-term weight loss is definitely possible and then that information will be joined with equally valid information about hypnosis.  Putting the two together makes a compelling case for the use of hypnosis for long term weight loss, diabetes prevention/remission and overall improved health. 

The study being referred to is titled: Look AHEAD: Action for Health in Diabetes.  It is a study of overweight or obese patients with type 2 diabetes.   In the 2014, January 2nd issue of the online journal Obesity, Thomas Wadden, PhD states after reviewing the study: “The primary finding is that overweight participants with type 2 diabetes could lose weight and were very successful in keeping their weight off at 8 years.”

In the Look AHEAD study it showed that at 1 year, 68.0% of participants who received intensive lifestyle counseling vs 13.3% of participants who received usual care lost at least 5% of their initial body weight. At 8 years, these percentages were 50.3% vs 35.7%, respectively.

Dr. Wadden noted that a 5% weight loss can result in significant improvements in type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, depression, and physical functioning.  He also stated that the Look AHEAD study is the largest and longest controlled evaluation of a behavioral weight-loss program to date.   

Now before someone reading this groans, “Only 5%? Why bother?” I want to remind you that often a small difference can make a huge difference.  For example, if a person with diabetes lowers their average blood sugar level by 1%, they are much, much less likely to suffer from a stroke or blindness.  And besides, think of the alternative: would you like to be 5% heavier and more prone to devastating health consequences?

A little bit more about the study: 5,145 overweight or obese adults from a wide variety of backgrounds participated.  They were randomly assigned to either intensive behavioral intervention or standard care. 

The behavioral intervention was adapted from the Diabetes Prevention Program.  In the first year, the behavioral intervention consisted of frequent group and individual counseling sessions which were conducted by either a dietician, psychologist or exercise specialist.  Years 2 through 8 consisted of monthly individual counseling sessions.

"This (study) sets a new bar in terms of thinking that you can lose weight, and if you continue to receive some monthly ongoing support, you've really got a good shot at keeping the weight off," Dr. Wadden summarized.

Being overweight is a known leading cause of diabetes.  Furthermore, it is conclusively shown that diabetes, in a significant percentage of the population, can be prevented and/or reversed by achieving and maintaining a reasonably healthy weight.

Now, what does hypnosis have to do with all this?  If you have never seen the amazing clinical testimony as to what hypnosis can accomplish then let me share just the tiniest tip of the “proof pyramid” with you. 

Medical professionals (and many others) have seen hypnosis help people to: put cancer into remission, eliminate warts, significantly reduce or eliminate pain,  help broken bones to heal faster, control bleeding even in hemophiliacs, heal burns much faster than normal, reduce or eliminate herpes symptoms, reduce or eliminate anxiety and the list goes on and on.  In my book, 21st Century Medicine: Clinical Evidence For The Healing Power of The Mind, I discuss 50 different serious medical conditions that have been improved in some way with the power of hypnosis but that list is far short of what can be done.

Here’s the ultimate point: Long term weight loss is proven possible - finally.  Hypnosis is proven to help people achieve positive change that sometimes borders on the miraculous.   

So, for persons looking to truly achieve a happier, healthier body shape and weight then hypnosis must be part of their solution because it is a proven power for positive change that can be the small difference that makes the big difference.

Now, before finishing, it is necessary to point out something that is so obvious it is well hidden and it is this: healthy sleep is essential to weight loss.  When I say this to my clients I then say: “Wait!  Before you say “I know that” and therefore effectively put wax in your ears please ask yourself what you do not know about that because then you will learn what you need to learn to implement what you know.”

And can hypnosis help people sleep better?  Absolutely.

Let me conclude with a quote made by two very reputable doctors in a book they published in the 1970’s: 

“Hypnotherapy can often help in treating obesity, an observation that is one of the most clinically confirmed in all the literature on hypnosis (1).”

(1) Clinical Hypnosis: Principals and Applications, by doctors Crasilneck and Hall


Devin Hastings has written 4 books and created over 30 audio/visual products on the applications of hypnosis and behavioral change methods and he is an international speaker on these subjects.  He has given presentations to AT&T, the Better Business Bureau, Law enforcement agencies and many others. 


He has also created the following websites with many self-help articles addressing issues such as anxiety, diabetes, depression, OCD, resentment and more:








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