Hypnotist shares five-step programme to help you lose weight

Can you THINK yourself thin? A hypnotist to the stars says you can – and reveals the five-step technique to try if you want to shed the ‘lockdown stone’

  • Aaron Surtees runs City Hypnosis, London and shares method for losing weight
  • Treated stars including Ant McPartlin, Montana Brown and Charlie Brooker
  • Techniques include visualising the ‘new you’, imagining an appetite dial and creating an aversion to sugary foods by envisaging them tasting sickly sweet

As lockdown continues to ease, our days spent indoors in front of a laptop wearing oversized hoodies and comfortable tracksuit bottoms are coming to an end and a return to the office looms – and with it is the realisation for many that our work clothes no longer fit.

It’s little wonder the pandemic has led to the phrase ‘Covid stone’ becoming part of our lexicon. A recent Kings College and Ipsos MORI survey provided a startling snapshot of the impact coronavirus has had on the nation’s lifestyle habits and emotions.

Of the 2,254 people questioned, 48 per cent found they have put on weight during lockdown, with the same percentage reporting they feel depressed or anxious, while 29 per cent said they have been drinking more alcohol.

But is a drastic calorie-controlled diet or exhausting fitness regime really the answer to shifting those pounds? According to hypnotherapist Aaron Surtees, who runs the London-based clinic City Hypnosis, the answer to weight loss lies in harnessing the power of our minds. 

According to hypnotherapist Aaron Surtees, who runs the London-based clinic City Hypnosis, the answer to weight loss lies in harnessing the power of our minds (stock image)

The celebrity expert, who has treated a range of stars including Ant McPartlin, Montana Brown and Charlie Brooker, said: ‘Hypnosis is all about fundamental mindset shifts that change your relationship with food. 

‘This will lead to new healthy eating habits becoming naturally ingrained subconsciously for the long term.

‘Weight loss is all down to the power of the mind, not fad diets. The techniques outlined below will help you to become happier and more confident and eventually you will be able to eat what you want without feeling shame or guilt.

‘Being slim is a state of mind. It’s the way you think and behave around food that makes a powerful difference.’

Here Aaron shares with FEMAIL why the Covid pandemic has had such an impact on our diet and eating habits, and his five-step hypnosis programme that he claims will help you shed excess weight and stay slim.



Before embarking on a weight loss journey it’s important to understand why you’ve been overeating. The root cause for many over the last year will have been the uncertainty caused by the Covid pandemic.

Emotional eating – eating when we’re not hungry but for comfort – usually occurs out of boredom, stress, upset or a combination of all these factors.

The rush of endorphins caused by comfort eating help guard and deflect away from stresses and make us feel happier temporarily.

The problem is, it also fuels a vicious cycle of feeling better temporarily, but worse longer term as we add excess weight and feel worse about ourselves and our health.  

1. Visualise the new you 

The first step is to visualise the new you at your ideal weight and size several months from now. 

This simple but powerful exercise, which you should do every morning, will train your unconscious mind to help you lose weight permanently. 

To help you set the scene, you should sit or lie back in a comfortable place where you are not going to be distracted. It is important to make sure you turn off your devices. 

To help visualise, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Feel the weight of your body and imagine a reflection of yourself in a mirror three months from now. 

Notice the clothes that you are wearing in your visualisation and how good they fit and feel on your slimmer body. This makes you feel good. See the confident smile of the new you.

2. Imagine an appetite dial

Using an appetite control mechanism in hypnosis is key to helping you reduce cravings. This involves asking clients to imagine an appetite dial. 

A great tip to help you visualise this is to let your eyes close. Then take a deep breath and relax in a comfortable chair or lie back on a comfortable bed. 

Imagine a ruler where 10 is ravaging hunger, and zero is no appetite at all. Morning, noon and evening before you eat, close your eyes as detailed above and see where your appetite is. 

If it’s high and close to 10, try to bring it down and notice if it will come down. Try to bring it down to 3-4 on a consistent basis. 

This will reduce your appetite to give your body only what it needs physiologically. Clients naturally consume less food to satisfy their hunger using this dial system because the appetite dials are able to be dialled down using the above technique, so that the client only eats when physiologically hungry and stops as soon as that hunger has been satisfied. 

This works on a mental and emotional level rather than a physical level to manage appetite and not overeat.

3. See food as fuel

Hypnosis will help you to see food as fuel. Clients learn the difference between real physical hunger and comfort eating, which amounts to eating for the sake of eating and is driven by our emotions. 

Physical hunger gradually builds over several hours, whereas emotional hunger is often sudden and linked to feelings of boredom, stress or upset which will prompt a visit to the fridge. 

Aaron Surtees has treated a range of stars including Ant McPartlin, Montana Brown and Charlie Brooker, and is regarded as the UK’s most recommended hypnotherapist

Hypnosis will encourage clients to listen to their bodies so that they are able to recognise the signs of genuine hunger. 

Achieve this by following the eye closure and comfort position technique, allowing that habit to become part of your day and regular routine. If you are unable to practise every morning because of work, simply swap to the evening instead. 

Remind yourself that food is also for enjoyment by repeating, ‘I’m not losing out by seeing food as fuel, I am able to enjoy food just as much as I did before, because I eat just enough to fuel my body. I enjoy never feeling over full or guilty.’ 

Learn these important anchor sentences by heart!

4. Embrace mindful eating

Mindfulness around food, becoming aware of what you’re eating and why you’re munching it is crucial to changing your attitude and helping you to lose weight. 

Hypnosis will teach you to focus on your food and nothing else when you’re eating. Clients are encouraged to slow down the speed at which they eat and to chew each mouthful properly. 

This alters the experience of eating; you no longer wolf food down but take the time to savour it, experience it, and crucially hear a signal from your brain telling you when you’re full.

5. Create an aversion to sugary foods 

An aversion to excessively sugary food and drinks becomes the new norm when hypnotised. Hypnotic suggestions create a feeling of nausea when they’re consumed to excess, creating a contentment to steer clear and banishing addictions.

To achieve this through hypnosis, use the sit down and eyes closed deep breath technique. Then imagine eating a piece of chocolate or a biscuit, or some other sweet treat. 

Next, imagine it tasting 10 times sweeter and sicklier than it ever did before; picture the sugar sticking to your insides and the sickly sweetness spinning your head, like a particularly unpleasant hangover. 

You’ll soon want to banish sweet things and find it hard to imagine how you used to eat so much. Instead, you’ll prefer getting natural sugar from fruit. 

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