Americans spent over $3 billion on weight loss in 2017 according to Marketdata LLC, a market research firm that has been tracking the US weight market for over 38 years[i]. Despite this hefty investment, obesity rates are climbing, and only 5% of dieters maintain their weight loss after one year.[ii]
What can you do to increase the likelihood of achieving and maintaining your ideal weight?
One natural, simple and surprisingly effective method/answer is Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), or “tapping.”
According to researcher Dr. Peta Stapleton, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at Bond University in Queensland Australia, practicing EFT can significantly reduce food cravings.[iii]
Researchers compared a group of obese patients working with Cognitive Behavioral Training (CBT) with a group practicing EFT. After 8 weeks both groups had reduced food cravings, but only the EFT group maintained those changes after a year. The group practicing EFT also scored lower for anxiety and depression,[iv] both important factors that can drive food cravings.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a natural, easy to learn way of reducing food cravings and supporting weight loss.
How can you learn this powerful technique?
Follow the simple steps below:
Begin by stating, “Even though I __________________, I accept myself as I am,” while gently tapping the “karate chop point” (see above). Repeat 3 times.
Example: “Even though I can’t resist eating chocolate cake, I love and accept myself as I am.”
Next, begin tapping on the area at the end of the eyebrow, near the bridge of the nose. Continue tapping on each of the listed points, tapping gently about 7 – 8 times on each point. Make statements that are true (no judgements, just what’s true right now); then, move to the next point with each new statement.
Example (for someone who craves chocolate cake):
Eyebrow: “I REALLY love chocolate cake!”
Side of eye: “Chocolate cake tastes so good.”
Under eye: “When everything else goes wrong in a day, chocolate cake is SO comforting.”
Under nose: “I could eat four pieces, easily.”
Chin: “I could eat the whole cake!”
Under collarbone: “I want it NOW!”
Under arm: “Oh, I feel so guilty when I eat chocolate cake.”
Top of the head: “I feel ashamed when I start eating chocolate cake, and I just can’t stop.”
Continue tapping on what is true as you progress through the points in the above order. Repeat the cycle as many times as needed. At some point you will begin noticing a shift. Some people spontaneously start sighing or giggling. You may notice your shoulders relaxing. You may feel more at ease. Allow the things you are saying to shift naturally.
For the second wave, focus on what is possible.
Eyebrow: “I can imagine chocolate cake tasting too sweet.”
Side of eye: “What if I could discover other ways of finding comfort?”
Under eye: “Sometimes I feel better when I talk with a friend.”
Under nose: “At times I feel better without eating chocolate cake.”
Chin: “What if an apple was actually more satisfying than chocolate cake?”
Under collarbone: “Maybe I can start making other food choices.”
Under arms: “Maybe I could enjoy healthy foods just as much as the chocolate cake.”
Top of the head: “What if I was willing to experiment with other foods?”
Again, you may notice even more relaxation and another natural shift. Continue repeating the cycle of points and statements until you feel this change.
For the third wave, tap while making positive statements that are true for you.
Eyebrow: “Right now I feel comfortable and comforted.”
Outside of eye: “I choose to feel relaxed whether I eat chocolate cake or not.”
Under the eye: “I enjoy eating healthy foods.”
Under the nose: “I feel sluggish after eating chocolate cake.”
Chin: “I CAN move through stress and feel good afterward.”
Beside the upper breastbone: “I CAN make healthy food choices and enjoy myself.”
Under the armpits: “I am choosing to treat myself in healthy ways.”
Top of the head: “I actually enjoy rewarding myself with healthy things, like going for a walk.
[iii] Stapleton, P., Bannatyne, A., Chatwin, H., Urzi, K-C., Porter, B., & Sheldon, T. (2017). Secondary psychological outcomes in a controlled trial of Emotional Freedom Techniques and cognitive behaviour therapy in the treatment of food cravings. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 28, 136-145. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2017.06.004
[iv] Stapleton, P., Bannatyne, A., Chatwin, H., Urzi, K-C., Porter, B., & Sheldon, T. (2017). Secondary psychological outcomes in a controlled trial of Emotional Freedom Techniques and cognitive behaviour therapy in the treatment of food cravings. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 28, 136-145. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2017.06.004