Is the secret to weight loss simply tricking your mind into thinking you had gastric bypass surgery?
That’s what happened to Julie Evans, an overwhelmed mom of two small children, who at her biggest weighed 287 pounds.
Evans claims hypnosis helped her begin craving healthy foods instead of junk.
“All I wanted was spinach,” Evans, 35, told ABC News. “I wanted salad. It was the creepiest feeling in the whole wide world.”
She admits it sounds crazy, but says hypnosis was her trick to shedding 140 pounds and actually keeping it off.
“I was the biggest skeptic ever,” she explained. “I haven’t had fast-food since. I don’t even crave it.”
Back in 2006, however, Evans ate fast-food and junk food every day. It wasn’t until a vacation to Hawaii that she realized she was too embarrassed to show her body in a bathing suit and decided it was time for a change.
“I was at that point where this was holding me back from living,” she said.
Evans’ mom convinced her to try hypnosis and, although skeptical, she went to a seminar featuring hypnotherapist Rena Greenberg.
“We have a lot of old patterns that are bombarding the mind and what we’re doing is sort of rewriting the script,” Greenberg said of her tactics.
Greenberg says she has her clients visualize pushing the plate away because you’re no longer hungry or going to the gym instead of binging on cookies. And after only one session, Evans says it changed the way she ate.
“I would pause and think about what I’m putting inside of me,” she recalled.
Still, critics say it won’t work for everyone.
“It’s unproven,” Rebecca Solomon, a dietician and nutritionist, explained. “It doesn’t work for all and the studies do show you have to believe it’s going to work for it to work.”
For Evans however, she’s going to the gym for the first time in her life and listens to her hypnosis CDs when she feels like she’s getting off track. She has successfully kept the weight off for seven years and tells the skeptics not to judge until they’ve tried it.
“It worked for me,” she said. “But I do think you have to have an open mind and be willing to listen.”