How EFT Tapping Can Help You Resist Junk Food CravingsEFT4weightlossad

By Dawson Church, PhD, EFT TRN-3

Imagine gathering up a big bowl of your favorite chocolate.

Piece by piece, you add it to the bowl.

Then imagine yourself walking over to the trash can and throwing the whole bowl away.

Do you have an emotional reaction in your body when I describe that scene? That’s not unusual, because most of us have a hard time throwing food away, but imagining throwing away a food you crave can elicit the strongest possible reactions.

Picture the scene again. Imagine selecting those pieces of chocolate, then throwing the whole bowl away.

Assess your level of emotional triggering, with 10 being maximum and 0 being minimum. Then tap and do EFT several times while picturing the chocolate going into the trash. The chances are good that your number will drop way down.

Throwing chocolate into the trash is something I do on a regular basis.

On the second day of every EFT Level 1 workshop, we offer a cravings exercise, and we bring chocolate into the room to allow workshop participants to experience their cravings. Most of them have a high number, with many at a 10.

What’s astonishing is to see what happens next. Sure, EFT brings their numbers way down. Studies show the average drop in cravings is 83% after about 30 minutes of tapping on emotional events in their lives (Church & Brooks, 2010).

That’s the last module of the workshop, and participants leave afterward. They gather their belongings, chat, make friends, and leave the room. The chocolate we used to test their cravings lies forgotten, strewn all over the tables. They get up and walk away, with no more thought given to the chocolate than to the empty coffee cups and water bottles in the room.

When I and the other workshop staff clean up, we then throw all that chocolate in the trash, because no one wants it. In the course of my teaching career, I’ve probably thrown hundreds of pounds of chocolate into the trash after EFT Level 1 workshops!

Using EFT to reduce cravings gives you great leverage during a weight loss program.

You can tap directly on your cravings, and also tap on specific emotional events associated with the item you crave. When cravings are high, your SUD Level of Intensity numbers on a scale of 0 - 10 are high, and you have full access to the experience of craving. Periods of peak intensity bring the issue to the forefront of your awareness, and that’s the perfect time to tap.

A craving is a strong desire, an intense longing, for a special something. It can be for anything, even raw carrots, but among those who would like to lose weight, raw carrot cravings are rare. Ice cream, chocolate, macaroni and cheese, pound cake, cookies, and other filling, satisfying, high-fat, high-carb treats are the comfort foods that keep calling.

You might find it hard to believe that EFT can take away your craving for a food you find irresistible.

So let’s try it in practice.

Grab the food you crave most right now. Look at the food.

Rate your SUD Level of Intensity for your longing on a scale from 0 to 10, and write down your number:

SUD number before: _________.

Then, tap on your Karate Chop point continuously while saying this Setup Statement out loud 3 times:

Even though I have this incredible craving for [name of the food], I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I have this incredible craving for [name of the food], I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I have this incredible craving for [name of the food], I deeply and completely accept myself.

Now tap through all the points from top to bottom while using the name of the food as your Reminder Phrase.

[name of the food]

After you get to the last point, rate your level of craving a second time:

SUD number after: _________.

You’ll probably find that your number has gone down quite a bit. In EFT workshops, or Naturally Thin You Bootcamp live coaching calls, I find that most people’s SUD level number goes down by at least two points. A few people in the workshops are startled to find that their craving level has dropped to a 0.

Congratulations! You’ve now had your first experience of using EFT for cravings.

It’s that simple to get started, and you’ll unlock more and more of the power of EFT as you continue to use it.

If the simple Setup you just used doesn’t do the trick, enhancing the description usually will. Try smelling the item, tasting just a little, holding it in you hand, or doing anything else that might help you discover aspects of your craving that haven’t been addressed yet, and incorporate these observations into your Setup statement.

For example:

Even though that chocolate is making my mouth water and I can’t even look at it without drooling, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I really want those potato chips, and I can already smell how fresh and crispy they would be if I were to open that bag, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Once their cravings have been “tapped away,” people often find it difficult to taste, touch, or even look at the very same foods they were excited about moments before. Someone who loves potato chips will frown and say, “The whole package smells rancid.” A chocolate lover will complain that a fresh, expensive piece tastes weird or waxy.

To appreciate how quickly and effectively EFT can work for your own issues, including weight loss and uncontrollable cravings, consider the following report.

An EFT practitioner started a weight loss class and used EFT to help with the many addictive substances that contribute to being overweight. I think you will find her message filled with evidence about how EFT works in this area. Some people seemingly get completely over their cravings rapidly while others have increased cravings for something else.


Intense Cravings in a Weight-Loss Class by LC

At one point, I started a class for women. There were 10 women in the class and we met every Thursday.

At the third class I taught EFT and the women tapped for everything from chips to cigarettes, Milano cookies, Starbucks peanut butter cookies, wine, and vodka.

One woman said she had the unusual habit of chewing eight packs of gum every night. She would fall asleep chewing gum, wake up two hours later, and eat a one-pound pack of raisins. Then she would chew more gum and fall asleep. The gum had to come from a particular store and it had to be Doublemint in the green wrapper and Spearmint in the white wrapper. She would repeat this cycle every night.

She told me, “I have a master’s degree in psychology. I should be able to stop this, but I feel out of control.”

She tapped for the raisins only and ten days later, she still doesn’t want them. She told me she looked at the raisins on the shelf and thought, “Oh, there are those raisins.” She had no desire to eat the raisins. She didn’t crave them any more at all. And although she was happy about the raisins, she said the intensity of the craving for the gum increased. Next, she tapped for the gum chewing. She called a few days later to say that she had not had any gum, nor did she want any. She had four packs in her drawer and had absolutely no craving for it.

I spoke with her shortly thereafter and she said this is a miracle. She has been doing this behavior of chewing gum and eating raisins all night for two years. She made numerous visits to the doctor and was told not to worry about it, that it would soon pass. She even brought up the idea that she might have a nutritional deficiency, like a lack of chromium, but the doctor told her the research wasn’t in on that. She is ecstatic.

She is not the only one in the class who stopped cravings. Another woman eats five small donuts a day. She is down to one and a half. Another ate three bags of corn nuts last Wednesday and is addicted to potato chips, pork rinds, and anything salty. She told me she hasn’t had any of those items since she tapped for her cravings.

I tapped for sugar with the class and haven’t had any since. I have also let go of coffee, popcorn, and ice cream. And although we could be tapping for all these food items at one time, I know that particular cravings are motivated by particular emotions and sometimes physical conditions.

One friend let go of the grief she had been feeling for her deceased mother. There were songs she could not stand to listen to and is now okay with. Another client let go of coffee and her fear of selling real estate. She now is working full time selling real estate and teases me about “f-ing up her coffee thing.”

In my weight class, these women are exploring the deep roots of their beliefs so that they can see clearly how the beliefs branch out to undesired behaviors, creating undesired results, such as undesired weight. One of the women found this so profound that she downloaded free The EFT Mini-Manual to study.

This is so wonderful. The woman with the gum-chewing habit demonstrates how large this whole energy psychology is. She just can’t believe she only had to tap once to heal it. 


This article is excerpted from the book:
EFT for Weight Loss
Dawson Church, pp. 87–93.

Church, D., & Brooks, A. J. (2010). The effect of a brief EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) self-intervention on anxiety, depression, pain and cravings in healthcare workers. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, 9(4), 40–44.

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