Not all weight loss programs feel like they were ripped off the pages of a 1950s Good Housekeeping magazine. Nowadays some people say having the right mind is just as important as counting calories.
Take subliminal weight loss plans for example. Sound too woo-woo to be true? Here is everything you need to know about the chances of slimming with subliminal messages.
You may have heard that advertisers use subliminal messages (such as colors, shapes, or hidden text) to attract you to their brands. The idea is that super-fast or subtle messages can affect your subconscious to trigger certain thoughts and actions.
Some common ways people try to use subliminals for weight loss are:
- subliminal music channels
- Sleep hypnosis meditations (weight loss news while you sleep)
- subliminal message “mind training” sessions
Skeptical? You’re not alone. But research suggests that subliminal messages can really * influence * certain behavior.
A 2020 study of babies found that unconscious learning can affect behavior after a certain stage of brain development. And a 2012 study attempted to uncover the exact region of the brain where subliminal messages are processed.
TBH, it is difficult to measure “hidden” messages that are supposed to influence your thoughts and behaviors without you realizing them. But that doesn’t stop people from trying! People have tried using subliminal messages to help quit smoking, increase their self-esteem, and even lose weight.
We’ll answer your question with another question: if listening to subliminal messages while you snooze would melt those pounds off, then why should there be millions of weight loss products on the market?
The truth is that there isn’t much evidence of subliminal weight loss programs. Scientists haven’t digged too deeply into the subconscious as a weight loss tool, but existing studies don’t suggest any subliminal messages are associated with slight weight loss.
An older study (1992, y’all!) Divided women who were overweight into three groups:
- People who have heard subliminal messages
- People who listened to a placebo tape (aww, do you remember tapes ?!)
- People who haven’t heard
After 5 weeks, all three groups had lost roughly the same amount of weight. The researchers concluded that while subliminal messages might raise awareness of their weight, they did nothing to change the number on the scales. #WompWomp
More recently, a 2018 study also found that subliminal messages had minimal impact on the amount of food people consumed.
A bonus benefit: positive thinking
Science doesn’t say subliminal messages help you lose weight, but that doesn’t mean they’re total bullshit. Using these messages to encourage positive attitudes can help motivate yourself to stick to your weight loss plan. Here’s what the studies on sublimals show for mindset.
You could improve your stamina. A small study from 2014 (of just 13 people) found that cyclists exposed to positive subliminal messages had greater stamina than those exposed to negative subliminal messages.
You can be a positive influence. A 2012 review found that images focused on weight loss or a healthy relationship with food influenced people to stick to their diet.
So will subliminal messages help you lose weight? Not directly. But they can change your thinking to aid your weight loss journey.
Since subliminals have not been shown to cause weight loss, most popular weight loss programs do not contain them. However, a quick Google search will uncover dozens of potential programs. The trick is to know which ones are believable.
There’s no way to verify that a company * really * has interwoven audio or music with subliminal messages, so you need to know that you are falling by the wayside.
A few tips to find something legit:
- Read the reviews.
- Look for a money-back guarantee program.
- Read and follow the program instructions carefully.
- Use subliminal messages in conjunction with other steps to improve your diet and exercise habits. Rethinking helps, but it won’t burn fat or build muscle.
TBH, only you can decide if a Subliminals program is right for you. But a few factors can influence how helpful subliminal messages could be in your weight loss journey:
When you need a motivational boost, Subliminals can help! But if you’re up for positive thinking, something like food journaling or a gym membership might be more useful.
If subliminal messages aren’t for you, or if you want to supplement them with tried and tested tactics, you’re in luck. Here are some other weight loss strategies that you can try: