By Dawson Church, PhD, EFT TRN-3
Eating disorders have been known to cause endocrine system abnormalities, damage to the stomach, esophagus and gastrointestinal systems, as well as impaired metabolic function.
These are particularly disheartening consequences for people who have thought that the occasional starving in-between binge eating can help them lose more weight.
The metabolism will react to binge eating with a host of new symptoms, with insulin resistance for example, as a core manifestation. This change slows down weight loss progress in the future and creates the tenancy for the body to hold on to weight.
This is why you will hear some people say that they don't eat enough food or calories to gain weight, yet they've gained weight anyway.
I advise people looking to lose weight to read up on the research on insulin resistance and insulin production, the basics of good nutrition, and how stress impacts the hormonal system.
I know there is a lot of bad press about low-carbohydrate diets, but talk with a carbohydrate addict, or a sugar addict, or someone who is hypoglycemic, and they will tell you that it does matter what kinds of foods they eat and when they eat them.
They often find that certain breads and sugars trigger a compulsion to eat more of that bread, or sugar.
This makes sense when you consider the basic principles of addiction. Alcoholics in Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) understand that "One drink is too many, and a million isn't enough." This is how a sugar addict feels about sugar, or a carb addict feels about bread or pasta.
When these "out-of-control" compulsive cravings hit, I suggest tapping:
"Even though I feel out of control with [name food], I deeply and completely accept myself."
"Even though I am feeling out of control, I deeply and completely accept myself."
"Even though I am powerless over [name food], I deeply and completely accept myself."
When an uncontrollable craving is impacting a client, I will ask them 3 key questions to uncover the emotions that are driving them to overeat:
1. What are you really starving for?
What comfort was missing from your childhood? Love? Affection? Warmth? Positive attention? Are you "starving" for these things in your life?
2. When do you experience cravings?
Identifying key times of the day when you are most susceptible to cravings can offer insight into the times when you are feeling most vulnerable. If you notice a pattern, you can begin tapping before that time of day.
3. If you don't eat something, what emotion would you feel?
If you don't use food as a form of anesthesia, what emotions might surface for you? Irritability? Frustration? Panic? Was there some main events in childhood where you remember feeling the same way?
With the help of EFT, your particular eating disorder will begin to exert less control over your life as you address the underlying emotions and the basics of symptomatic behavior are tapped away.