Julie Evans, a Michigan housewife and mother of two, credited "gastric bypass hypnosis" for her stunning 140-pound weight loss, ABC News reported.
The 5-foot-6 Evans, who once tipped the scales at 287 pounds and wore a size 24, lost 140 pounds after undergoing hypnosis sessions with Florida-based certified hypnotist Rena Greenberg.
During their sessions, Evans was hypnotized into believing she was getting gastric bypass surgery, a bariatic procedure that divides the stomach into a small upper pouch and a larger pouch that's unused. After gastric bypass, patients are no longer able eat as much as they used to because their stomachs are dramatically smaller.
Celebrities who have lost weight with (actual) weight-loss surgery include MasterChef star Graham Elliot, who lost 150 pounds with gastric-sleeve surgery and Rosie O'Donnell, who lost 53 pounds after gastric sleeve.
Julie said after her hypnosis sessions, she lost all her old cravings for junk food. “All I wanted was spinach,” said Evans, 35. “I wanted salad. It was the creepiest feeling in the whole wide world. I was the biggest skeptic ever. I haven’t had fast food since. I don’t even crave it.”
Evans' hypnotherapist, Rena Greenberg, said she walks her patients through a simulated version of gastric bypass surgery, including meeting the doctors and nurses and leaving the hospital. In other sessions, she has her patients visualize pushing their plates away and going to the gym to exercise.
Greenberg said she developed the hypnosis program in 1990 after suffering her own health scare and using it on herself. “It’s about changing the way you think about food subconsciously,” Greenberg told Fox31.
“And it’s great for people who hate dieting, since they don’t feel like they’re giving up food. We have a lot of old patterns that are bombarding the mind and what we’re doing is sort of rewriting the script."
Hypnosis is controversial, and there are many skeptics who don't believe it works. "It’s unproven,” said dietitian Rebecca Solomon. “It doesn’t work for all and the studies do show you have to believe it’s going to work for it to work.”
Meanwhile, Julie Evans has maintained her 140-pound weight loss for three years and now eats a healthy diet and works out regularly after spending a lifetime binge-eating junk food and sitting on the sofa. For her, the proof is in her own dramatic results. “It worked for me,” she said. “But I do think you have to have an open mind and be willing to listen.”