Anderson: Paul McKenna. Hypnosis can make you lose weight!

Anderson and Paul McKennaAnderson Cooper, of the morning talk show Anderson, had guest, British world renowned hypnotist and best selling author of  “I Can Make You Thin”, Paul McKenna, Ph.D.  McKenna’s TV appearances have been viewed by hundreds of millions of viewers across 42 countries.  He works closely with rock stars and royalty and celebrities.   He says the answer to weight loss is not dieting.  Recent evidence shows that more than 70% of dieters gained more weight when they come off a diet than what they weighed before they went on it.  He feels that hypnosis can be an effective tool for weight loss because the mind is like a computer.   If you have bad eating habits like eating too much or eating food that is not good for you, hypnosis and psychological techniques can help you reprogram your mind so that you can overcome those behaviors very quickly. Well, there were a lot of skeptics in Anderson’s audience. But Paul McKenna has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show  multiples times. What did Dr. Oz’s audience learn that Anderson’s did not?

Observing appearances on both Anderson and The Dr. Oz Show, Paul McKenna did the same usual hypnosis tricks where several audience members would instantly fall into a sleep at the snap of his fingers and he would then have them raise their arms pulled by an imaginary string or laugh histerically at something funny. Yeah Right! The skeptic red flag went off when we learned on Anderson that these audience members were handpicked by McKenna before the show.

But wait. On one Dr. Oz appearance he explained what happens backstage before the show starts. In order for them to instantly fall asleep or what McKenna says is really a deep trace on stage, they must first be programed. Backstage McKenna puts a post hypnotic suggestion in their minds. He does this by relaxing them down very deeply. Then he wakes them up. He gets them relaxed down again and wakes them up. After he has done this several times the audience members have conditioned themselves to go into a deep trance very quickly.
He says it’s similar to the famous Russian scientist Pavlov’s experiment, feed the dog ring the bell, feed the dog ring the bell. The two ideas finally get associated together so when the bell is rung the dog starts salivating to start feeding.
So, with our audience members, he linked the idea of snapping his fingers and the word ‘sleep’ to deep relaxation.

He does these demonstrations to show the power of suggestion. This is how he has helped millions of people. Hypnosis is a psychological technique and it’s one of many that he uses. It’s a technique that allows us to focus our mind. It’s synonymous with deep relaxation and often it’s compared to meditation or visualization where we relax and forget about the rest of the world and we focus on one idea with the exclusion of others.
After the audience comes out of their trance, all of them say that they don’t feel that they were hypnotized, that they could hear Paul’s voice but they all felt very relaxed.

This power of suggestion seemed to work for one viewer who needed help losing the 50 pounds she gained eating Häagen-Dazs Pineapple Coconut ice cream at night. Paul claims to have suppressed her craving for her favorite ice cream, by taking her compulsion, her craving and mixing it with one of her repulsions, brussels sprouts.
He says he does this because the imagination is more powerful than the willpower. He told her to close her eyes and imagine chewing on a Brussels Sprout and at the same time mixing it with a mouthful of her ice cream. She opened her eyes not wanting the ice cream any more.

On one Dr. Oz appearance, he even used the power of suggestion on three over weight women with various over eating issues. He had them imagine they had had gastric band surgery. He calls the technique his Gastric Hypnotic Band. Of course they didn’t actually have surgery. Paul talked to them over the phone and told them to sit or lie down in a place where they can safely relax for about half an hour.  Then he instructed the women to listen to his Gastric Hypnotic Band audio recording.
After 5 days the ladies reported eating significantly less food, with no feelings of deprivation and they all had lost weight. Some had the physical feelings of nausea that come with the actual surgery!

The focus element of the McKenna’s hypnotic technique is why he says that eating consciously is the most important piece of advice that he can offer any one for losing weight.

To demonstrate a fascinating Scandinavian study, two audience members had a pasta lunch at Anderson’s studio. The next day they had the same pasta lunch but this time they were blind folded.  The ladies discovered that while blindfolded, one ate 46 % and one ate 52% less food!

The blindfold helped the ladies to lessen the distractions around them.  As a result they became more focused and conscious of the food they were eating.  Anderson says it’s something like the Buddhists’ practice of  “mindfulness.”   So, practice being mindful while you’re eating.

Paul McKenna says that people who are overweight tend to think about food all day long except when they are actually eating it. But then they are shoveling the food into their mouths as fast as they can!
He says recent research have shown that there is an absolute correlation between eating fast and the amount of food we consume. Adding to eating too fast, a lot of people eat their food while they’re watching TV.

After working with people for 20 years he finds that if he gets them to slow down and chew their food 20 times between bites, get rid of the distractions in their environment like TV, the Internet, reading materials, and just focus on the food that you’re eating and nothing else, people will eat less and lose weight!


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