Virtual Gastric Band App
Can you really think yourself thin??
At the request of a devoted fan (or perhaps a casual ‘liker’)
I looked into virtual gastric band hypnosis apps as a way to lose weight.
I thought it would be easy to look into this…I was wrong. There have been no studies at all looking at virtual gastric
bands. The term doesn’t even exist in science, so I had to do some more
It turns out that people can have hypnotherapy treatment
which aims to trick their body into feeling like they have actually been for surgery
to have a gastric band. So the hypnotist will put the victim…I mean client, under
hypnosis and have them imagine themselves being on the trolley being wheeled
down to theatre for their operation and so on, often resulting in the client
being given a highly restrictive diet plan to follow after, obviously without the
appropriate support of a dietitian. The results seem to be mixed with most
people getting some short term benefit but again, with no real research to
support the technique.
Some hypnotists are against the practice, feeling that
without appropriate research, hypnotising someone into feeling sick or
uncomfortable if they eat a ‘normal’ sized meal is not very ethical…I’ll leave you to make your mind up on that.
The ‘virtual gastric band’ apps take a slightly different approach.
I downloaded one and listened to some of the hypnosis recordings and my take is
that they are promoting more mindfulness around eating. This means that it is
encouraging people – either consciously or subconsciously – to eat more slowly,
be more aware of how much they’re eating and to stop eating when they’re full
and only eating when they’re hungry. The better Apps also have support networks,
diet plans and photo journals linked with them for motivation and support. One
of the other things promoted by the app I looked into was that they use the
hypnosis recordings to promote their users to drink more water which probably
helps them to feel a bit fuller.
Generally, whether you are sceptical about the true powers
of hypnosis or not, we do know that there are strong links between our brain
and our gut through the vagus nerve called the gut-brain axis. This is why when
we are stressed or upset we can feel sick and/or have diarrhoea, so maybe these
techniques are tapping into that a bit.
It is also highly plausible that the Apps are simply promoting
you taking 30 minutes per day to actually think about your weight loss goals
and what you are eating and are going to eat. Taking the time to do this will
inevitably lead to a greater awareness and potentially more control over what
you eat. Just think for a minute about the last time you took 30 minutes out of
your day to clear your mind and meditate about your weight loss or health goals
and food consumption…never right?!
I mean I think about food ALL the time: what
I could eat; what I am going to eat; when I am going to eat it; how much of it
I’m going to eat; what I am going to eat after that…but not in a way to help me
lose weight, just because I am obsessed with food. That isn’t really the same
I think that in general, being more conscious of what and
how you’re eating and trying to eat less between meals and drink more water
would help anyone to lose weight. It is a good, safe strategy. It is impossible
to just ‘think yourself thin’ though, you will obviously need to change your
diet accordingly. Just like everything else, it won’t work for everyone and it
won’t magically stop you from going out on a Friday night, drinking 3 pints of
cider, eating a kebab, needing a fry up on Saturday and spending Sunday feeling
like a failure…if that’s how you choose to spend your weekend…but it might be
worth a shot! Just remember, with all these things, will power is not included,
that still has to come from you.
For more tips on weight loss strategies check out some of my
other blog posts below: