Stopping the Urge: Hypnosis for Emotional Eating

9th February 2021 by Aaron Surtees – UK’s Most Recommended Hypnotherapist

What you’ll learn today — how hypnosis for emotional eating can help to loosen harmful ties to food and make comfort eating a thing of the past.

Usually, one of the two S’s are to blame:


Food swoops in, the faithful friend that it is, to soothe the uncomfortable emotions niggling away inside.

The trouble is, it works…

You get a welcome distraction from a jolt of stress — or get dragged free from a cloud of sadness — and the mind is put at ease.

But the peace-of-mind doesn’t last long and when the next negative emotion arises, the food cravings come again. With repetition over weeks, months, and years, your habitual behaviour sets in. Does this sound familiar?

I hear you. And as you’ll know, the mind has control over most of what we do — including what (and how often) we eat.

Let’s run through a quick example, shall we?
Imagine yourself under stress — maybe you feel behind in your work or you can’t get to sleep at night. It feels like some kind of invisible switch turns on in your mind, and now it says:

“Food. That’s what you need. You’ll feel better after you eat.”

Your stomach may begin to rumble and, suddenly, you start craving those cookies stashed away in the cupboard. It’s an uphill battle trying to resist the temptation. Eventually, you “give in” to the urge.

The issue is, while we can choose with ease if we want cheese or pickles with our burgers, we can’t control our emotions as effectively.

And if you may feel alone or ashamed about this part of your life, rest assured that emotional eating is common… very common! Heading to the comfort of the kitchen during moments of frustration or boredom is an impulse that millions of people struggle with every day.

Yet, having to keep your emotions in check 24/7 to ignore the impulse to eat is no easy feat. Which is why hypnotherapy for comfort eating is so powerful — it changes the subconscious thought loops that are active in the background, driving you to eat more and more.


Yes. Hypnotherapy is a popular method to “speak” to your subconscious mind, including the thoughts and beliefs that dictate your eating patterns.

I’m pretty sure you’ll have seen magicians hypnotise people in movies or TV shows. Right?

Unfortunately, the process of hypnosis often gets over-dramatised in the media. In real life, a hypnotherapy session is much gentler and calmer.


If practiced correctly, you can rewire your brain to bypass conscious patterns and adopt healthier habits. The list of things you can do with this technique is almost endless, but hypnosis for emotional eating has been increasing in popularity due to its often quick and beneficial effects.

Thinking “I don’t know, it just seems kinda woo-woo?”

Don’t worry. A lot of people will have this initial reaction, as they haven’t experienced hypnosis before and understandably have some scepticism.

Indeed, anything new or different is likely to cause the same reaction…

But what’s interesting is, the doubters can actually turn out to have the best therapy outcomes!


Eating behaviour has a direct link with your emotions — and these emotions take hold in your subconscious mind.

So, it goes without saying that by making adjustments to the patterns of your subconscious, we can also make adjustments to your behaviour (e.g. stop giving in to food cravings).

To do so, a hypnotherapist guides you with customised cues, speaking patterns, and relaxation techniques to “reprogram” your habits.

This way, you can avoid reacting to your emotions with negative eating behaviors that impact your quality of life.


It’s easier than you think.

Even though there are some self-hypnosis courses on YouTube and Google, it’s going to be better for you to opt for a professional — at least when you’re starting out.

Finding a licensed hypnotherapist in your area is the first step. It’s not too different from choosing a doctor or psychologist. You’ll be best-served by seeking treatment from a practitioner who you can trust and build a relationship with.

It’s important to know that not all hypnotherapy sessions are the same. But they are all similar.

Usually, you will sit in a comfortable chair (or lay on a sofa) and be encouraged to begin to clear your mind from all thoughts and feelings.

Your hypnotherapist may put on some relaxing sounds or music to gradually bring you into a calm, grounded state. This part is essential because the subconscious mind is more open to change when you feel safe.

Once you’ve reached a comfortable and calm state, it’s time to let the hypnotherapist do their magic and begin the healing process.

Techniques such as visualisations, affirmations, and suggestions may be introduced, one at a time.

As the session progresses, you should feel that each technique brings you a new layer of confidence that food won’t have the same power over you. And this can be pretty darn liberating!


After finishing your first emotional eating hypnosis, you’ll begin to be more conscious of how you feel. Almost as if you have got a “bird’s eye view” of your mind, and can choose whether you act on impulses or not.

Being positive about any changes and acknowledging that this is the first step for you is an important part of the journey.

Your hypnotherapy practitioner will be at hand for guidance and advice every step of the way, as you distance yourself from past eating behaviours, such as a sweet or sugar addiction.

Remember, your brain has been wired for a long time to react negatively to your emotions. Hypnotherapy can bring positive change, fast, but don’t forget to celebrate the small wins.

Be proud of yourself for taking back control. And just think how free you’ll feel in a few months’ time when you can eat the amount of food you need and no more.


Yep… but they’re all good ones!

You won’t be cross-eyed by the end or muttering nonsense. You’ll simply feel calmer (and probably happier too) as if a load has been lifted.

You can think of hypnotherapy as a fancier, higher-level form of guided meditation. And there’s nothing too scary about meditation, is there?

On the contrary, hypnosis sessions will allow you to feel healthier in both mind and body.

As the sessions go on, your subconscious mind will update and reset old connections to create new thought-behaviour loops.

Over time, hypnosis for emotional eating has a ton of potential benefits, including:

  • Reduce impulses to comfort eat
  • Less anxiety and stress
  • Increase in self-confidence
  • More mental clarity
  • A healthier lifestyle
  • Improvement in emotional awareness


With your newfound awareness of what thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations are causing you to overeat, you can assess situations from a fresh perspective..

The next time you feel like giving in to a craving, you’ll be able to step in and break the chain. Questions you can ask yourself include:

  • If I eat this, will I feel better or worse in the long term?
  • Why am I eating this?
  • Am I doing this because I want to or is it part of a pattern?
  • Am I even hungry right now?

There is no such thing as perfection and the same goes for food. But with this improved awareness and the techniques you’ll learn (such as the suggestions and visualisations mentioned earlier), hypnotherapy can help you beat your cravings one at a time.
Aside from these techniques, there are a couple of habits you’ll be encouraged to develop:

Learn to limit your portions

You may be surprised by how little food you require to be truly full.

Try to stop eating because you “have to” and start enjoying your meals. Savour each mouthful of food you take.

In this case, quality is better than quantity. And that brings us to my second piece of advice …

Make healthier choices

Examining your relationship with food and understanding how it impacts your body will allow you to make better decisions.

Soon, you’ll learn how to “hear” what your body likes. Changing your consumption habits will make you eat meals that are healthier and more nutritious for your body function, energy levels, and mood.

We can’t say that hypnosis is a cure-all for emotional eating (nothing is!) but without doubt, hypnosis is an effective tool to make life-changing shifts in your thoughts and behaviours.

Refreshing your emotional relationship with food makes eating all that much more enjoyable, rather than stressful or toxic to your health.
Final Thoughts

So, all things considered, what’s holding you back from trying this out?

You can ask me any questions you may have about hypnosis for emotional eating on

Or, feel free to go ahead and book an appointment with my team, so we can help you achieve your health and wellness goals.

Call: 07732 888 397 (Please leave a voicemail or text message if busy and we will reply within 2 hours)

Speak soon!

Aaron Surtees — the UK’s Most Recommended Hypnotherapist

City Hypnosis

25 Southampton Buildings, London, UK, WC2A 1AL

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Thanks go to Declan Davey (Health Writer) for co-authoring this article.


Other sources:


Metro. (2019).

Sources (images):

<a href=””>Illustration by Freepik Storyset</a>

<a href=””>Illustration by Freepik Storyset</a>

<a href=””>Illustration by Freepik Storyset</a>

<a href=””>Illustration by Freepik Storyset</a>

<a href=””>Illustration by Freepik Storyset</a>