A mother-of-two lost four stone in six months after she was hypnotised into thinking she'd had a gastric band fitted.
Emma Eveleigh-Anderton, a company director, dropped from a size 18 to a size eight after being convinced her stomach had shrunk to the size of a golf ball.
The 36 year-old underwent a "virtual operation" during which the hypnotist took her through the details of the surgery.
Hypnotist Russell Hemmings used a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy to 'reprogramme' her mind.
Mrs Eveleigh-Anderton, from Coventry, needed four £245 sessions over a one month period to teach her to respond differently in everyday situations involving food.
Her weight had risen to 13 stone after the births of her daughters Antonia, seven, and Alice, six.
She said: "The treatment might sound unusual but worked for me. It was a good holistic approach and looked at my relationship with food.
"I was also motivated to get fit. I was brought up in a fit, active family but I just got lazy.
"The recession affected our business and my unhealthy eating habits were exacerbated."
She added:"Having the session was like actually having the operation, except I was in an office rather than in a theatre.
"After the first session I felt hopeful but after the second I really felt positive and much more controlled about my eating.
"It has actually re-educated my mind. I was starting to feel fuller quicker and eating much less."
A real gastric band operation usually costs £7,000 and has the same level of risk related to any major operation including infection and DVT.
Mr Hemmings said he didn't recognise his client when she visited six months later.
He said: "She walked into the clinic and I remember thinking she was a new client making an appointment.
"She said: "you don't recognise me do you you Russ?" and I really didn't. The change in her life has just been amazing.
"The response to my hypno-diet therapy has been incredible. I'm getting up to 40 calls a day about it and am opening up a new clinic."