Caroline Cranshaw: How hypnotherapy helped me achieve my weight-loss goals

As a hypnotherapist and a weight loss coach who's worked with thousands of people helping them to lose weight, I'm always on the lookout for the next amazing thing that's going to help people make the changes they want to make. The reason why I help people with their weight is that I have had a lifelong struggle with my weight as well. The only thing that has ever really worked for me to get control of my weight is hypnotherapy.  

I originally found hypnotherapy 15 years ago by going to a hypnotherapist to quit smoking. I only went because a friend of mine told me she was going and I thought that’s the only thing I haven’t tried, so I made an appointment. The lady seemed nice enough, we had a chat, I lied back in her large comfy chair, closed my eyes and visualised what she said. BUT, I didn’t feel like I was hypnotised. I thought hypnosis was some weird freaky thing like you see on TV or stage shows, and that you were not in control or unconscious.  

So, I left my appointment and called my friend and told her hypnotherapy was a total load of crap and to not waste her money. She cancelled her appointment and 5 days later I had this realisation that I hadn’t even thought about smoking. To my utter surprise, the hypnotherapy had worked.  

I was so impressed I immediately made another appointment with the hypnotherapist for weight loss and I lost 15 kgs in 4 months, without even thinking about it. I just naturally ate less and didn’t touch sugar or white flour. I was so impressed; I became a hypnotherapist myself and have now helped thousands of people with every issue you can think of.  

Fast-forward 10 years and the scale had started to creep up a few kilosI decided I needed to do something to get rid of the extra weight I had put on. Being a hypnotherapist, the first thing I do to achieve anything is hypnotherapy but to be honest, I hadn’t been hypnotised myself for weight loss in years. However, I’m always looking for the latest techniques that will get the best result.  

Enter the Virtual Gastric Band. I had heard about it for years in the media and from other hypnotherapists but always dismissed it as a fad without any real substance. I have worked with quite a few clients who had had lap band surgery and experienced major complications, so I was weary of hypnotising people to think they have had surgery to lose weight.  

However, one of the hypnotherapist’s I had trained was using the technique and helping his clients get amazing results. I thought, 'why not?' It’s probably the only weight loss technique I haven’t tried. So, I did what any good hypnotherapist would do and became certified in the technique and used it on myself by recording the concepts, plus adding in techniques I find effective with clients and starting to listen to them before I went to bed. The Virtual Gastric Band protocol consists of four hypnosis sessions, one week apart.  

In the first session, you are taken through a visualisation of having a gastric band fitted with lots of suggestions that you will become full very quickly, from very small portions of food, and only eat three small meals a day. Each session builds on the other, reprogramming you to eat less, exercise more and be more in touch with your body.  

To honest, I wasn’t expecting anything major but noticed straight away I was eating half the portions I normally would. And I’m making time to workout everyday, unlike before, I was finding any excuse I could to avoid going to the gym. The Virtual Gastric Band works. To my surprise (not really since I know hypnosis works) I started losing weight without changing my diet or doing anything extreme. 4 kilos in a month without feeling like I was dieting! 

I have been using the Virtual Gastric Band on my clients and they are getting great results as well. If you're not comfortable with the thought of virtual surgery, you can ask the hypnotherapist to revise it - to use a metaphor that you're comfortable with and one that works for you. Make sure you go to someone who's highly trained in not only hypnosis but other weight loss protocols and certified in the Virtual Gastric Band.  

Since I was really motivated, I also decided to enlist the help of Grant Bodle from who is an amazing personal trainer and nutritionist. His recommendation was for me to do a 12-month course using his coaching software that gradually changes your habits with food, building consistency, all while monitoring progress and adjusting behaviours as needed. Daily email coaching is one of the tools Grant uses to help create healthy habits and gives you step by step guidance to make lasting changes. He has also designed short 30-minute workouts I could do at home or the gym that I actually look forward to doing.  

Remember the last time you were on a diet? How long did your results last after you 'quit'? Are you sick of trying to follow a paleo, keto, vegan or any other diet plans on your own? Grant at Fit AF has designed a system using nutrition coaching software, individually tailored meal plans, subconscious reprogramming and short but effective workouts to get you the results you always dreamed of.   

His nutrition coaching is based on scientific research and habit-based coaching principles. The 12-month online program is designed to guide you towards your goals with sustainable lifestyle and nutrition habits that lead to permanent change. After trying everything under the sun, I finally feel like I have found a system that works, the Virtual Gastric Band and nutrition coaching that keeps me accountable and on track.  

Caroline Cranshaw is a hypnotherapist, founder and trainer at the New Zealand Integrative Hypnotherapy Training Institute and the author of The Smoking Cure. Find out more about her at Listen to Caroline's new podcast WTF Stories & Advice.