Paul McKenna

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Something about Paul McKenna smacks of charlatan to me. I don’t know what it is, but he doesn’t seem like someone I want to trust. He has a new show on TLC and here are some highlights from the first episode.

The thing that bothers me is how much this show feels like an infomercial. The clapping at the “appropriate” times and the weighing of the studio audience really feel like parlor tricks to me. The before and after pictures and the pants from a previous life are all the same things I’ve seen before.

The Hunger ScaleI have no disagreement with what he is saying. He recommends the same things as I have been saying:

  1. When you are hungry, EAT.
  2. Eat what you want, not what you think you should.
  3. Eat CONSCIOUSLY and enjoy every mouthful.
  4. When you think you are full, STOP eating.

He uses the SAME hunger scale that Weight Watchers uses. I don’t know where this scale originated, but it isn’t anything revolutionary.

Because he is recommending the same views about food that I have, I really WANT to like this guy, but something about him sets off my B.S. Detector. I can’t put my finger on it, but I don’t want to believe in anything he says, even when he’s preaching common sense.

Via: TLC’s “I Can Make You Thin” with Paul McKenna Video | TV Crunch


23 Responses to “Paul McKenna”

  1. Harl Delos Says:

    The bio on his website says “The book version of this program has become the best-selling self-help book in British history. Now, it’s America’s turn!”

    His show IS pretty much an infomercial. He’s not selling pills, prepackaged foods, or something you put inside your shoe, though. Instead, he’s selling books, DVDs, and memberships in his website.

  2. Hugo Saner Says:

    Being British I have had the last few years to get use to Paul McKenna and his shows. When he first came on the scene on British television it was just hypnotherapy humour at other peoples expense.

    It is only since his reinvention that he has changed the format from humour to self help. As you can tell he has had a lot of success in England and whilst he seems untrustworthy to some he does come across on English shows as a very nice guy.

    Having watched the clip you have I think a producer may have demanded that he “cheese” it up for the American audience. This has resulted in him not being himself and coming across a little unbelievable. I’m not a big fan of his but he is a nice guy at heart.

    I would also like to point out that he has not hypnotised me to say any of this!

  3. Nate Atkins Says:

    After watching the video, I have to say that it does seem kind of fishy but at the same time for the most part what he is saying about losing weight is true and is based on logic. Now that being said I’m kind of a bit leery about him saying that it doesn’t matter about the foods that you eat, and I know that all it takes to lose weight is taking in less calories than you take in but at the same time the foods that you’re taking in are important as well. So overall I think that this guy is good in the sense that he’s a good motivator and he is preaching if you will fairly good weight loss advice, but there is something about it that bothers me

  4. Linda Says:

    I am trying his program and it is working. I agree he seemed a bit “over the top” on tlc and I kept thinking “yeah right” but it is actually working.

  5. Anthony D. Says:

    Hmm. Not sure where everyone is getting ‘fishy’ from. I could see it in a minute if here were selling something, but 2 episodes into the TLC series he’s not attempted to sell a thing.

    That said, I did indeed Google him and visit the mckenna.com website (how awesome a domain for him is that!?) whereupon I learned that there were products for me to buy if I wished, but I wasn’t sent there, I searched on my own.

    Of course, he could start selling in the next episodes, we’ll have to wait and see. But to see someone who is providing the whole product with no strings attached as ‘fishy’ strikes me as an entirely new level of cynical!

    FWIW, I am loving this program (albeit only on day 3.) This may well be the one that works for me.

  6. Mickey Says:

    My aunt is a therapist and she uses the tapping method with her clients. He is using tried and true methods, tho yes, the show does seem to be a little info-mercially. But, it is pretty awesome to see a show that gives someone tools to use that are free and completely dependent on yourself, and not on anyone or anything else.

    Oh, just caught the disclaimer at the end – says it’s for entertainment use only – complete CYA. But, if I can hypnotize myself and get healthier, that’s better than Jenny Craig making me eat their prepackaged food for 8 weeks or Weight Watchers making me weigh in for $15 a week!!

  7. Jenna Says:

    I agree that the show’s approach is probably due to Hollywood production’s unoriginal style and not McKenna himself. Anyone who watches BBC America knows that the UK tele takes itself a whole lot less seriously, is more interested in originality, creativity and humor than the “Flash, Boom, Wow!” approach that L.A. seems determined to press upon Americans. (Or maybe it’s part laziness part habit, I’m still not quite sure why UK Tele is so much better than US TV, but there it is.)

    Paul is no doubt being paid a load of money by the huge amount of hype TLC is putting into promoting the show. I’ve watched and I like it and in two days have already noticed a change in my eating habits. I’m not convinced about the acupuncture part of the plan, it has never received any scientific evidence that it works though it’s been studied a great deal in recent years. But in general, this approach is so logical, so simple and gives the control back to the person trying to eat less I think his plan may be a success.

  8. Carol Roberts Says:

    Paul McKenna IS the real deal and he is getting the message out to millions of people in a way that people enjoy. He does a great job and he gets paid well for it. What exactly is the problem with that, we all want to get paid for what we do, don’t we?

    I trained with him and he worked so hard with us and for us. I think he is a great guy and the techniques (NLP, NHE, EFT) that he is teaching work.

  9. Dave Says:

    He is somewhat cheesy, but I have been working out and trying to lose weight for 2 months with a 4 pound loss. I watched the show every week and started following and I am down 8 pounds.

    I could give a damn how cheesy he is. I haven’t spent a penny and I have lost more in 3 weeks than anything I have do to date.

  10. Lisa Says:

    You can say what you want about whether he’s cheesy or not, I found him very charasmatic, and if that’s what it takes for some people to zone in on losing weight, than he’s done a great service to those people.

  11. Anthony D. Says:

    Follow up to my previous post: finding the cheesiness of the show occasionally over the top, but it’s day 10 and my pants are looser and my eating habits are so much improved, even though I’m not actually an ‘angel’ at paying attention to my “full” siren. 😉

    Thank God for Paul McKenna, afaic.

  12. Christine Says:

    I thought the same thing when I first saw it, but I watched some British versions and he DOES seem more laid back and makes more jokes and I love those shows so much more. He seems to connect a lot more with the audience on those shows. That being said, I love the fact that I’m not being asked to pay for something that I’m not sure will work.

  13. Matt Says:

    I love how nutrition and fitness experts are the first to note how nothing about Paul McKenna’s method is revolutionary. He never said it was. He never tells you to spend a fortune either (watching the video techniques on his website are FREE). He just gives you logical, constructive suggestions for weight-loss in a simple, memorable way. I am two weeks in his method, and I am 6 lbs lighter and a much happier person. The truth is this guy is a better businessman and marketer of his services and ideas than other “experts” and they are jealous of him and his success. I wish Paul much happiness because so far I’m a much happier believer.

  14. sharon Says:

    I am part of a group where we have had member lose massive amounts of weight following Paul’s program, one amazing lady in particular is down almost 200lbs!!!

  15. Sandy Fleming Says:

    I think Paul McKenna is brilliant. His show wasn’t selling anything at all, and I watched all 5 episodes. I have some of his materials purchased from a lady in the UK off of ebay more then a year ago. The info contained in what he sold in England is no different then the info presented on the TV program. Yes the show was enthusiastic but I like enthusiasm! Sandy

  16. Charles Says:

    The show’s format is somewhat stilted and the editing is rough around the edges but McKenna’s techniques are tried and true cognitive behavioral therapy techniques with some self-hypnosis and Callahan’s acupressure added along.

    You don’t need to buy anything. Everything you need for successful weight loss is contained in the five TLC episodes. McKenna is charismatic and motivational but comes across to me as both an authentic and caring individual.

    You have to google McKenna to find his products on the web. If his website or products are advertised anywhere within the five episodes, I didn’t hear or see them.

    I was impressed that the testimonials didn’t highlight people who had gone from overweight to supermodel physiques. Most of them were seriously overweight, their weight loss was significant and they had kept the weight off over a significant period of time.

  17. Ellen Says:

    I’m not sure why so many people say the show is “cheesy.” I found him to be kind and compassionate and offering the people who talked about their issues with weight, surely something that causes much pain, to be very supportive and quick to point out they’ll be okay by the nature of his demeanor.

    I never heard him try to sell anything and on the TLC/thin site. They do refer visitors to his personal site and there’s the first time we’re presented with the opportunity to buy something.

    For the record, I’ve had mixed success with deconditioning myself from eating ice cream. I did not eat it for about three weeks and managed to pinch myself and think of the disgusting images implanted in my mind and now associated with ice cream. However, this past week with tremendous personal stress I started eating it again. I didn’t attempt to use the tapping method.

    I did order his book “Change your life in 7 Days” and I’ve been using the CD that comes with it every day, twice a day. I feel much happier and much lighter in spirit. I’ve noticed some changes in my thought process despite continuing to be in an extremely serious family situation. My optimism and hopefulness seem intact despite the daily assaults on them. I am eating ice cream again, something I hoped not to do, but I don’t feel depressed and I’m sleeping well, something I haven’t done in several years.

    I’ll have to re-start his program to continue the process of changing my eating habits and losing some weight. I’m willing to give his program a lot more chances as they’re free and don’t make you sick in any way.

  18. Umah Says:

    I have lost the weight and so has my hubby. Even though his show has the LA bling bling, you don’t have to pay for pills or fad diets or any weight loss programmes or going to the gym. It works!

  19. Lillian Bell Says:

    I was recommended Paul’s book by a friend who has lost fourteen pounds in two months. I find him inspirational and authentic. The CD that goes with it is awesome! Why the concern about what he earns? He deserves it because he is able to inspire so many people in such a simple way to eat better, exercise and believe in themselves. His concept is grass roots, back to basics and getting us back to the real way to be. I say “Bravo” to Paul.

  20. LeslieC Says:

    That guy Paul McKenna totally ripped off Geneen Roth’s Breaking Free program–go check her out. She was the one who came up with the eating guidelines (i.e. eat what you want, when you’re hungry, till you’re satisfied, with no distractions, etc.). When I saw this guy, I was astonished that he has gotten away with stealing this program that’s been around about 20 years and claiming that it’s his.

    Yeah, I think they’re great guidelines. But they aren’t his.+

  21. Kara Says:

    Yes, this is such good information … BUT I try to get my patients to go to the “next” level and adopt an eating pattern where you eat ONLY when you’re hungry (really hungry!)even after a good amount of water intake, and to eat until no longer hungry … NOT until you’re FULL!! It’s amazing how little we actually need! By the time your body signals that the stomach is full … it’s already over the necessary level. Eating excellent sources of food and oils (raw, organic, fermented, probiotic, etc.) then becomes very important. You want every bite to contain nutritious fuel for your changing body. When man (yeah, let’s blame it on them!) evolved into eating three meals per day instead of when his body told him to, the start of some very unhealthy habits persisted. Listen to your body instead .. get back in touch with it. No two bodies are alike … so why should we all have the same eating habits? You came into this world equipped with every instinct you need, so TRUST it! I’m very passionate about everyone getting out of this rat race we’ve created for ourselves and tuning back into our purposes for being here in the first place! Peace to All !

  22. Tammy Kramer Says:

    I watched the program and thought it was great, have just recently listed to Paul’s Easy Weight Loss hypnosis cd and am on day 5, I eat very healthy yet can’t seem to lose weight. Have begun to notice a difference in my eating habits in the last two days. Am hoping it will start to make a difference in the future. The reason I decided to try the hynosis cd was because I got Paul’s Stop smoking 4cd set and listened to them – on day 3 I thought ‘this isn’t working, I still want to smoke’ on day 4 I had my morning cigarette and didn’t want another one after that. It has been over three months and I have had 2 drags – about 1 and 3 weeks after quitting and have not wanted to smoke, not even when getting quite loopy at a wedding with people smoking everywhere (this was my weak time). Anyway, I have alot of faith in the reprogramming of our subconscious. Good luck to you all and check out hypnosis for other subjects too…

  23. NLP Says:

    Paul McKenna uses NLP techniques (Neuro Linguistic Programming). Yes, he’s giving sensible advice about diet, but most people know this. What people have a problem with is will power and motivation, and that’s where NLP can greatly help individuals. It’s really about training the mind into good habits.

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