You might have heard of advertisers using subliminal messages to influence people’s buying decisions by influencing their thoughts and behaviors. Subliminal messaging for weight loss involves the use of hidden or subtle messages to influence a person’s thoughts, feelings, or behaviors related to weight loss. The idea is that these messages bypass the conscious mind and directly impact the subconscious, leading to changes in behavior or attitudes.
Subliminal messages are delivered through auditory and visual cues at levels that are too faint or quick for human perception. Although these messages are beyond the conscious mind, they may still influence people’s thoughts and actions through brain pathways.
Intake of food and drink by humans is regulated by two main pathways in the brain: the homeostatic pathway and the hedonic pathway.
When the human body doesn’t have enough energy to complete its most basic functions, the homeostatic pathway encourages you to eat. But even when your body has enough energy, the hedonic pathway can overpower the homeostatic pathway and cause food cravings.
Although this duo depends on neural pathways in your brain, the hedonic pathway is sensitive to things like stress, emotions, and things you perceive, like advertising.
Some people came up with products that use subliminal messages to influence brain pathways and encourage weight loss. These weight loss programs come in many shapes and forms. You can find CDs, DVDs, MP3s, digital apps, etc. There are even programs that you can use while sleeping or working on your activities.
A study published in 2017 in The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity concluded that weight control cues are helpful in reducing food intake in individuals with strong weight loss goals. However, the research is mixed. There are only a very few rigorous studies on the weight loss benefits of subliminal messages. It may help some people, but there is no guarantee.
In summary, while subliminal messaging for weight loss might sound intriguing, there’s limited scientific evidence to support its effectiveness. It’s generally more advisable to focus on well-established approaches to weight loss that encompass healthy lifestyle changes, a well-balanced diet, regular physical exercise, quality sleep, stress management, and professional guidance.