HOUSTON -

For years, smokers have turned to hypnosis to help curb their addiction. But what if someone wanted to curb their appetite instead?

Hypnotist Paul McKenna believes the treatment is just as effective as gastric bypass. He’s written a book and even touted hypnotism for weight loss on The Doctor Oz show.

“One of Britain’s leading researchers in obesity came to see me and he said look, there’s a new procedure where you hypnotize somebody to think they had the gastric band,” McKenna said. “The real gastric band operation.”

The surgical operation can cost thousands of dollars. McKenna said his new approach can help nearly 70 percent of people who try it, without the costs or side effects of surgery.

“Some people will notice first time they use it, bam, they feel different.” He said. “Other people might need to use it every day for a week or so, but basically for what is a few bucks, compared to the thousands you would spend on a weight loss club or therapist.”

McKenna said the reason his hypnosis plan doesn’t work for 30 percent of its participants is because people get sidetracked and don’t follow the plan, as outlined by the book.