Thursday, April 6, 2017

Systems Theory and Weight Loss

(This blog was originally posted on February 16, 2016)

Image courtesy of Microsoft

According to Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder John Kappas, Ph.D., the most important component of a successful weight-loss program is the hypnotherapy client’s active participation in the process. For example, the person must consistently, regularly write down in a ledger what he or she eats during the day—including the quantity of food ingested. To control eating behaviors, the client should be instructed to always leave 25 percent of the food on the plate.

As long as the person recording these details it is working—even if the weight is not coming off during a plateau stage. “This process is something you’re conscious that you’re going to do,” Dr. Kappas said. “You choose [to do or] not do the ledger.” If the person does not record this information in the ledger and/or does not control eating behaviors, he or she is not ready to do the process and lose weight, he explained.

Another indication that the individual may not be ready to lose the weight is by not showing up for appointments. In this case, it is worthwhile to do a Systems Approach evaluation to find out if relationship or family pressures are inhibiting the weight loss. This may reveal that the client may be gaining weight to preserve the status quo of the marriage or relationship that he or she is already in. When one partner or family member loses weight, the status quo in that relationship naturally undergoes a shift in relation to the client’s perceptions about him- or herself. For example, the client’s spouse may feel subconsciously threatened by the partner’s physical change and concomitant increase in self-confidence, and fear that the client will leave the relationship. The partner’s subconscious goal would be to keep the current “system” in place. To do this the person may try to (again, subconsciously) sabotage the client’s diet by eating forbidden foods (e.g., sweets, pizza, etc.) in front of the person or even offering some to him or her. The spouse’s perception of the client and the “new” relationship is also likely to shift, and the client may even worry that the partner will leave. In an attempt to keep the relationship intact, the client may abandon the weight-loss program, Dr. Kappas explained.

Alternatively, the client may abandon the weight-loss program and gain, or regain, weight as a way to end the relationship with the spouse without feeling guilt. In this case, the client may use weight to “get back at” a partner who says he or she will only return to the relationship once the client loses the weight.

Another possibility is that the client may be trying to make him- or herself unattractive to the partner because there is no sexual activity between them. This is a form of emotional blackmail; in this case, the hypnotherapist must deal with the client in terms of just the weight and not the person’s relationship with the spouse.

Food may also fulfill (gratify) a need that the client has, which the partner is not meeting in the relationship. Finally, weight-gain is also often related to problems or hang-ups with sexuality, which also leads to low self-esteem, Dr. Kappas said.

Emotional issues cause 20-percent of weight problems, said the HMI founder. “Weight is a glue that holds together a style of emotions, and by removing that glue the emotions are likely to fall apart.” Therefore, in these cases, the client must be emotionally ready and motivated to resolve the problem in order to lose the weight.


I am currently offering a 10 percent discount on all hypnotherapy for weight-loss/weight-management sessions. This offer is good through April 30, 2017. It is not exchangeable for cash and may not be combined with any other offer. For more information and to set up an appointment, please contact me at (661) 433-9430 or send an e-mail to

Also: save $250 toward a purchase of 24 sessions or more for personal training with Irvin Burton, CEO and Founder at Tiger Crane Martial Arts & Fitness. You can contact him at or call (661) 993-8621. 

I look forward to hearing from—and working with—you soon!

*California law allows access by California residents to complementary and alternative health care practitioners who are not providing services that require medical training and credentials. The purpose of a program of hypnotherapy is for vocational and avocational self-improvement (Business and Professions Code 2908) and as an alternative or complementary treatment to healing arts services licensed by the state. A hypnotherapist is not a licensed physician or psychologist, and hypnotherapy services are not licensed by the state of California. Services are non-diagnostic and do not include the practice of medicine, neither should they be considered a substitute for licensed medical or psychological services or procedures.

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit
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