Hypnosis Can Help Shed Weight Without Pill Popping

ByABC News via logo
September 16, 2005, 12:44 PM

Sept. 17, 2005 — -- As Americans gain girth, and yo-yo dieting or diet pills rarely have lasting effects, many are at a loss when it comes to losing weight.

The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 30 percent of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older -- more than 60 million people -- are obese. And kids are following suit, with the number of overweight young people tripling since 1980.

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Hypnosis is an age-old technique designed to speak to your subconscious mind and alter your behavior. Known to work well to quit smoking, can it re-program your eating habits?

Judy Lederman has struggled with her weight all her life, and said hypnosis helped her lose 95 pounds.

"I've tried every diet known to man," she said.

Not wanting to deal with another diet, she went to a hypnotist. At the time, Lederman weighed 224 pounds.

Initially, she was skeptical. Not so, when she saw the results.

Her hypnotist, Rosemarie Schulman, uses a two-part process. First, she gets the patient to understand his or her behavior. And then, through a relaxed state of mind, she suggests they alter their habits.

"When they are completely relaxed and open to suggestion,'' said Schulman, "then you go into saying things like, 'The sugar cravings you have in the afternoon no longer interest you. The wonderful smell of fresh fruit, and taste, now interest you and make you feel very strong.' "

Three years since Lederman's first session, she now weighs 129 pounds and still works with her hypnotist to maintain her healthy lifestyle.

"I used to go out of my way to find the best bakery or the best cakes or pastries," Lederman said. "At this point, I would go anywhere to find the best hypnotist, the best gym. My whole way of thinking has turned on that. And the pastries, they can just sit in the bakery."