Ah, weight, a topic that just won’t seem to go away. I was talking to a friend from high school last night, and the subject came up on how necessary the gym is as one gets older. The days of carefree Girl Scout Cookie chomping and beer binges catch up eventually as metabolism slows down, and a focus on overall health in terms of lifelong health, a concept that seems an eternity away when you’re a teenager, begins to preoccupy your thoughts.
… takes practice, discipline, and constant vigilance.
However, there are some that will give any sort of easy way out a try, whether it be ephedrine, plastic surgery, or … hypnosis?
Las Vegas’ Qua Spa offers the services of hypnotist Michael Smith, who is “dedicated to helping people improve their lives rather than making them cluck like a chicken on stage.”
During a session, Smith spends time helping his client into a relaxed state so together they can tap into the unconscious mind and “plant” positive suggestions about making life better. He might, for instance, suggest slowing down, being more mindful during meals and slowly savoring every bite of food. He often encourages his client to view the process of weight control as a joyful, lifelong weight maintenance project versus a painful, quick fix weight loss endeavor.
Smith believes positive suggestions are much more readily accepted by the mind and therefore have the potential to last a lifetime. “Your mind tends to reject negative suggestions,” he said. “They may stick for a while but they generally wear off in about eight weeks.”
So basically this dude is telling the subconscious mind the exact same thing a doctor or nutritionist will tell you to your face. I don’t know, guys, it sounds a little hokey to me. I’m all about the power of positive thinking, but is it really necessary to have something you already know drilled excessively into your head?
There is a smattering of scientific evidence in favor of hypnosis for weight loss. When hypnotherapy was combined with sound dietary advice, one study published in the journal Nature, found it produced a small but statistically significant result in favor of hypnotherapy. (The authors speculated that more intensive hypnotherapy might have produced even better results.) Other studies have shown that the use of motivational suggestions while under hypnosis — exactly the technique advocated by Smith — produced an average 17 pound weight loss after six months compared to only half a pound weight in a similar group who didn’t undergo hypnosis. Some small studies show that participants who undergo hypnotherapy can lose as much as 12 to 15 pounds. And studies where subjects received follow up hypnosis sessions after their initial weight loss were able to double their weight loss over time.
I’m not one to argue with science, although I can’t help but notice that anyone willing to shell out big bucks to a Vegas hypnotist is fairly motivated to lose weight … ridiculously open to suggestion, if you will.
And the thing is, if I want to eat a half carton of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream in lieu of carrot sticks or fiber bars or whatever, my brain, conscious or otherwise, knows that it’s a stupid decision. The scale has driven that point home pretty effectively … is an extra subconscious push going to make any sort of difference?
Smith likens hypnosis to an “accelerated form of meditation,” but it just seems to me that anybody who thinks going with Ben and Jerry’s is not unaware of the consequences. They just have crappy self-discipline, and no offense but I don’t see hypnosis, meditation, or any other sort of mind trick making a marked difference.
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, of course, so I guess it might be worth a try if you have the money (and the need), but I prefer jumping onto the treadmill for a set period of time when Ben and Jerry start singing from the freezer … I find it quiets their voices nicely.
Would you ever consider giving this a try?