Paul McKenna “I can make you thin” Review – Concluding thoughts

This is my first attempt to follow the Paul McKenna “I can make you thin”‘ principles. This attempt didn’t succeed. I tried again in March 2009, and this time it worked. If you want to read the successful trial, click here.


The purpose of this trial was to see if the method of Paul McKenna is efficient and if I want to continue using it after the 30 days.

The verdict, which is the answer of the 2nd question, is: yes, I will continue not dieting. I will continue feeling good about the things that I eat and not bring guilt, food control, portion control into my days. I will check back in a month from now if it’s still working for me, but for the moment, I will not go back on a diet.

To answer the first question, the method is efficient to a certain extent. Scale wise, I’ve lost 3 kilos in a month, which is not bad. I believe that if you actually stop eating when you feel full, you will loose weight. But Paul McKenna claims that reading his book, plus listening to his hyptonic induction tape will make you follow that rule.

First of all, a lot of overweight people don’t even know what the actual feeling of hunger is, because they don’t even allow it to happen, as they constantly stuff themselves with food. I wouldn’t know what the feeling of hunger is if I hadn’t been on a diet before. The purpose is to free oneself from diets and a preliminary diet is almost necessary to experience the feeling of hunger.

Second, I did not feel compelled to strictly follow the rules, despite my listening to the hypnotic induction. A few years ago, I stopped smoking by reading a book called “Easy way to stop smoking” by Allen Carr, and immediately after finishing the book, I felt compelled to start my life as a non-smoker (and haven’t touched a cigarette since). For some reason, Paul McKenna doesn’t achieve this performance in his book/tape. I didn’t feel an irresistible force to lead a healthy lifestyle after being exposed to his ideas.

Paul McKenna recommends using visualization of the thin self, in order to achieve that goal. I think he doesn’t push or help the reader enough in that visualization. It is very superficial, something like: “imagine yourself as thin, imagine how you feel in that body, imagine how you move”. To me, it’s not enough. Unhealthy people face a lot of challenges to overcome, and McKenna almost ignores those challenges (although he gives a relaxation exercize and say you shouldn’t not emotionally eat). A book like the Allen Carr one actually went into every possible situation someone may be tempted to smoke and gave the appropriate reaction to adopt in order to not smoke. To me, that’s real visualization of the future self because it goes into precise details of how a non-smoking person should react. Maybe Paul McKenna has never been overweight, so he cannot completely grasp the difficulties (Allen Carr was a heavy smoker).

It’s a shame, because something in me tells me he hit the nail on the spot with the actual rules to follow (my own personal research led me to the same conclusions before I ever heard of him- see the Day 0 post), but he didn’t go in depth about how to actually follow the rules (how to be mentally strong to follow them). And the recorded hypnosis bit just didn’t do it for me.

However, it’s been a real growing experience to stop calculating, measuring, checking my weight on the scale, because as I wrote several times this past month: this allowed me to focus on the real issues, the reasons why I numb myself with food. This experience was not pleasant, it was actually violent, and at one point in the trial, I felt I reached an emotional bottom in which I couldn’t see the point of life and compelling reasons to continue living. It was because I had decided to let go of my one main coping mechanism (numbing through overeating) and I suddenly felt so anxious that I couldn’t deal with anything anymore. This deconstruction actually made me try and find new ways to behave and I think this is the first step towards a having the mind of a healthy person.

Slowly, I feel that I am constructing my compelling vision of the healthy self. (that vision that should be in the P McKenna book 🙂 ) Which makes me think that if I manage to construct that compelling vision, I could publish my book too! 😉

Anyway, after this 30 days trial, I will happily continue to NOT diet and follow the P McKenna rules to the best of my discipline. But I will stop listening to the tape and read his book. I will however keep working on my own vision.

3 Responses to “Paul McKenna “I can make you thin” Review – Concluding thoughts”

  1. WRG Says:

    Bonjour !

    I just came across your blog and read your posts on the Paul McKenna weight loss system with great interest.

    I started the McK programme just a few days ago and can really connect with your feelings and what you went through. In fact, perhaps I should start my own little diary to follow my own progress!

    McK’s book strikes me as the most sensible approach to weight loss that I have ever seen. It’s so true: diets don’t work.

    I would really like to know if you have continued applying McK’s principles and if you have continued to lose weight and how you feel, several months out from your 30-day experiment.

    I look forward to hearing from you.


    Wendy au Canada ( Oui, je parle français également. )

  2. shrinkingdad Says:

    Pretty much my thoughts exactly, with the added note that his inclusion of “avoid sugar” as one of the simple rules to follow cost it a lot of credibility. I think it’s the medium as much as McKenna though, and do think there’s a lot to be said for the underlying principles.

  3. Mark Powlett Says:

    Really interesting looking back at how people are seeing the Paul Mckenna hypnosis programmes.
    I have had a lot of time for him in the past but I really dont think that I like the idea of his hypnotic gastric band. I have been blogging about it on my site and quite a few other hypnotherapists are also saying that they agree. time will tell !

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