Brain and Hypnosis

When we think of weight loss, we usually think, eat less and move more.  But weight loss is not the same for everyone. The reasons we gain weight can range from simple to very complicated. 

At the simple level, we have habits like overeating or the need to clean your plate. Then, at the more complicated level, we run into cravings and lack of motivation.

Cravings are not rational and logical, they come from the unconscious mind, and that is why they are so hard to fight against. Motivation is a feeling and this also is generated from our unconscious.  Then at the deepest level, we can have unconscious programs working against us, these are responsible for self sabotage. Self sabotage is when you know what you should do, but you just can’t make yourself do it.

If we want to stop struggling with ourselves and get to our ideal weight and maintain it easily and naturally, we need to work at the appropriate level of the mind. Hypnotherapy can address these underlying issues and the reasons that cause us to gain weight by working with the unconscious mind.

By working with hypnosis, we can dissolve old habits, eliminate cravings and even update the unconscious programs that are working against us. When our unconscious mind is aligned to our conscious goals, it’s seemingly effortless to take the positive actions that move us forward.

What is hypnosis and hypnotherapy?

When we think of hypnosis, mostly we think of what we see on stage:  someone eating an onion, thinking it’s an apple, or quacking like a duck. In this kind of hypnosis, the hypnotist confuses the mind so that the person will look for direction from the hypnotist. But not everyone can be hypnotized this way, and the results are short lived. When the person goes back to their regular life, they can still tell the difference between an apple and an onion.

Hypnotherapy is a process of accessing the unconscious mind through the use of relaxation and focus techniques, often using visualizations. The general population responds better to this form because of the relaxing nature of the process, and the more a person practices this kind of hypnosis, the more adept one becomes at accessing the unconscious mind.

The process of using guided visualization, story, metaphor and symbolism speaks to the unconscious mind and helps it make positive updates and changes. As we feed our mind positive messages, the brain creates positive thought patterns. As we repeat these thought patterns through sessions or through the use of hypnosis CDs, the brain wires in new mental habits around these positive messages.

Repetition is a key factor in the success of hypnotherapy. Chances are you’ve been practices old mental habits for a long time. The process of repeating sessions or CDs helps to reinforce the positive changes and helps the brain create positive mental habits to support you in your weight loss goals. If you want to be motivated to take positive action, you need to feed your mind the positive messages.

How does hypnosis change habits?

At the simple level of changing habits, we can help the brain to wire in new habits by using some visualization. For example, imagine that you are eating dinner. You are enjoying your beautiful plate of healthy food, when you’ve finished about ¾ of your plate, notice you feel full and satisfied. Imagine getting up from the table and wrapping up the remainder to save it for later. So, this visualization is simply going through the new response in your mind.  Now, the key is repetition, run through this imagination exercise 5-6 times and your brain will set up a new habit. The expanded form of this process and many other strategies can be found in my book, “A Lighter You! Train Your Brain to Slim Your Body.”  It is also available as the article: Clean Your Plate Club.

How does hypnosis work with the unconscious?

Our cravings and our motivation actually come from our unconscious mind. All of our past experiences are stored in the grand archives of our mind. When we think of something, our unconscious mind sums up all the history associated with it, both the positive and the negative, and we get a feeling about it. Here’s an example from one of my weight loss classes.

It was week four of the healthy lifestyle and weight loss class, as my students took their seats I opened with the question, “Okay, what are you doing for exercise?” All I got were blank stares, everyone was avoiding eye contact.

“Well,” I continued, “it’s week four, you know you need to be adding in some exercise.

Again, blank stares and eyses on the floor, and then one of the ladies blurted out, “If we liked to exercise, we wouldn’t be here!”

So, I recognized these ladies had negative associations in their memory files. I asked, “What do you think of when you think of exercise?”

 They took turns responding, “Sweaty!” “Hard!” “Yuck!”

They needed new things to think about and focus on during exercise to change their motivation. This class inspired my CD: Motivation for Fitness which helps your brain create new thought patterns around exercise so that you actually look forward to a great workout.  

This is one strategy in hypnosis, giving you the positive messages to overwrite your history or add positive associations to your memory files in your brain, so that you can change your feelings about it. As your feelings change, so does your motivation.

How does hypnosis end self sabotage?

Self sabotage comes from the deepest level of our unconscious mind, and we experience it as a conflict. The angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other shoulder, and then we fight between these two parts of ourselves.  “I know I shouldn’t be eating this” but here I go again. At the conscious level, we can set the weight loss goal, “I want to lose weight” but if our unconscious mind has another agenda, guess which one is going to win?

A friend of mine had been overweight most of his life. He tried diet programs, but just couldn’t seem to stay motivated. By accessing the unconscious mind, he remembered an incident when he was nine years old, he was bullied by a group of older kids. What went off in his mind was, “If only I were bigger, they couldn’t pick on me.”

From this experience, the unconscious mind got the message that he needed to be bigger and then ran an unconscious program. He of course couldn’t grow taller, so he grew wider.  The unconscious mind didn’t get the updates when he turned 15 years old, 20 and 30, it was stuck running a 9 year old program.  Many times people are operating from unconscious programs that they picked up from childhood. These old programs can be the basis of fears, negative habits, negative thinking patterns and more.

If you’ve experienced cravings, lack of motivation or even self sabotage with past diets and weight loss efforts, it’s time to address the unconscious mind and support it in creating real and lasting change so that you can end the struggle and finally enjoy lasting weight loss success.


Call Holly now for your 30 min. Weight Loss Analysis Session in which you identify what programs are running in your unconscious mind. Once you know what your unconscious is doing, you can then address the REAL issues and end self sabotage.

Don’t you want to be in charge of your mind?  Don’t waste another day being controlled by your unconscious programs. Call Now!

Holly Stokes, The Brain Trainer


1111 E. Brickyard Rd. 202

Salt Lake City, UT 84106