It's All in the Mind
Companies that offer weight loss hypnosis claim that their services help their clients loose weight by retraining their minds to no longer crave sweet, fatty, and salty food; to be motivated to exercise, and to have the will power to stick with the program. The programs suggest a combination office therapy sessions and listening to self-hypnosis tapes/CD's when not in sessions for different specified amount of times (this varies between programs).
While it's true that will power is ultimately the deciding factor in any weight loss plan, it is also true that in order for any weight loss plan to work: Diet, exercise, medications, or hypnosis for weight loss; and the person must have real desire, commitment, and motivation must already be prevalent. This being said, losing weight by hypnosis is in fact as hard as losing weight any other way, hypnosis has been shown to assist weight loss efforts, however there is no conclusive scientific evidence that hypnotism improves the chances of success.
The Idea Behind the Method
The concept of hypnosis for any behavior modification is not so far fetched; people under hypnosis are known to be more acceptable to suggestion. This does not mean that hypnosis for weight loss is necessarily a quick fix to instantly loose weight; any weight loss program is going to require self discipline, self motivation, and a comprehensive plan that includes diet and exercise.
If someone were interested in trying to use hypnosis for weight loss there are a few things to consider; first there is no instant weight loss anything, if the company or person selling a hypnotism for weight loss product claims there is, do not work with those people. Second, hypnosis cannot make a person do something that they don't want to do, advocates of hypnosis claim that they are able to modify behaviors, but there is no evidence to this claim. Third, there is no scientific evidence for the safety of hypnosis nor is there a regulatory service for hypnotists, a person can take a 2 day course and claim to be a hypnotist.
Methods of Delivery
There are recordings on tape or CD and therapy sessions available; many sources offer hypnosis for weight loss recordings on tape or CD, they can be found all over the internet and in alternative reading stores that offer motivational, meditation, and other types of self help tapes and CD's.
Therapy sessions can be found in most major cities, these sessions average about $30 dollars each and most incorporate recorded self hypnosis as a supplemental tool. Many hypnosis for weight loss programs will have six to eight weekly sessions with the recording being used to supplement nightly.