EFT tapping is a unique therapy for letting go of heavy emotional baggage. When we lighten our emotional load, we actually give our bodies the opportunity to better deal with other chronic issues that need working out. Integrative nutritionist, Jennie Miremadi, uses EFT tapping for cravings — curbing them and keeping them under control — and she’s sharing a simple guide to trying it yourself.
We love this simple personal practice, especially as we launch into a season saturated with excess and temptation. Discover the basics of EFT tapping here, and learn all about EFT tapping for cravings just ahead…
The EFT + Craving Connection
If you struggle with food cravings, EFT is an incredibly powerful tool that may be able to help. I’ve written about the practice of EFT previously, but here’s a brief recap: In EFT, which stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques (often called tapping), you use your fingertips to tap on specific points on your face and body. These points are identified in traditional Chinese acupuncture that land on energy pathways (called meridians) that run throughout your body.
When you use EFT directly on your cravings, you connect with your craving for a particular food while tapping on the meridian points — the simultaneous tapping while thinking about the craving makes it possible to release or lessen the intensity of the craving. This way you look at the food with a much lower craving, or without experiencing any cravings at all. Pretty amazing, right?
Focus On Real FoodI’m going to show you step-by-step how to start using EFT on your cravings, but before I do, keep in mind that what you put in your body is a key component to combat cravings. Meals that are loaded with sugar and refined carbs (even if organic, gluten-free and vegan) spike your blood sugar and trigger cravings for more sugar and refined carbs. So, you’re likely to get stuck in a vicious cycle of constantly craving unhealthy food. Instead, eat a nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory diet made up of real, whole foods. Be sure to include protein, healthy fats and fiber-rich carbs at every meal. Also, drink plenty of water. In doing so you may be able to eliminate food cravings altogether.
Tap Directly On Your CravingsIf you implement dietary changes and are still craving food that doesn’t serve your health and nutrition goals, that’s when I recommend using EFT to target cravings. Here’s how to do it:
Grab a particular food that you’re craving — and if you don’t actually have the food available at the moment try using a photo of the food instead. As you look at the food, notice what you love about it: Is it the smell? The taste? The texture? Now, rate how much you crave the food on a scale of 0 to 10 (use 10 as the highest or most craving and 0 as no craving at all). Then, take the tips of your index and middle finger (or all four of your fingers) and start tapping on the karate chop meridian point (identified in the photo). Say this setup phrase three times: Even though I have a strong craving for … (fill in with your food choice, such asa grilled cheese sandwich) because I love (fill in why you love it, such as the gooey cheese that oozes out with every bite), I deeply and completely accept myself.
Then, using the tips of your index and middle finger, move to tapping on each of the other meridian points (identified in the photo) about seven times, starting with the eyebrow meridian point, then moving to the side of eye, under eye, under nose, chin and collarbone points. Switch to using all four fingers for the underarm point, and end by tapping with all four fingers on the top of head point. While you’re tapping on each meridian point, focus on the craving and use a phrase to remind yourself of your favorite part of the food (gooey cheese).
Repeat the entire sequence a minimum of three times, retest how much you crave the food on a scale of 0 to 10. If your craving isn’t yet at a 0, keep going with rounds of tapping. Before you start tapping again, connect with your craving for the food. Notice if what you love most about the food has changed to a different feature of the food (instead of gooey cheese, it’s the warm and buttery bread). If it has, focus on whatever part of the food you now desire most.
Modify your setup phrase to note that there is still part of the craving remaining by saying: Even though my craving for x is not yet gone, and I still want x because I love the taste of (fill it in with the aspect of the food you currently desire most, such as the warm and buttery bread), I deeply and completely accept myself. Then do another three rounds of tapping on the other meridian points, adjusting your reminder phrase to remind you of the part of the food you currently desire most (warm and buttery bread). Ideally you’ll keep tapping until you reach a 0, but generally if you can get the craving to a 3 or lower you’ll be in a place where you could take the food or leave it, making the decision not to eat the food a whole lot easier.
When There’s ResistanceIf, after doing several rounds of tapping, you find that your craving isn’t budging, you can attempt to tap on your resistance to let go of the craving. Change your setup phrase to note this resistance, stating: Even though I have no desire to stop eating x because (fill it in with your reason), I deeply and completely accept myself. Then do rounds of tapping, focusing on the reasons why you don’t want to let go of the food you crave.
Time Your TappingTapping directly on your cravings can help in the moment when faced with a food craving that you’re struggling to not eat. By reducing your desire to eat it, you make it easier for yourself to walk away from it. But, if you’re like many people who struggle with cravings, there’s often a time after you have a craving when you’re likely to eat the food no matter what. The only way to reap the benefits of using EFT to reduce cravings is to start using it before you get to your no turning back time.
If you’re trying to figure out when your no turning back time is, here’s a hint: It’s often when you’ve switched from thinking about the food to acting on eating. For example, it might be when you’ve picked up the phone to order a pizza. Or, once you’ve popped that frozen enchilada in the oven. Or, maybe it’s when you’ve have the box of the mac and cheese in your hand. Try to determine when your no turning back time is, and the next time you have a craving practice using EFT before you reach it.
Digging Deeper For CravingsOccasionally you may be able to eliminate a craving permanently by tapping directly on the craving itself. But many times cravings occur because a person is experiencing a negative emotion that they’re trying to suppress with food. If your cravings are being triggered by emotions, you’ll likely have to keep tapping on the craving every time it arises until you figure out what’s triggering it.
Of course, having the ability to use EFT in the moment is empowering. It gives you an actionable tool to reduce your cravings — but ideally you’ll need to start digging deeper to figure out why your craving keeps appearing. You can then use EFT to reduce or release the underlying emotional trigger for your craving. In other words, in addition to using EFT directly on your cravings, you can also use it to decrease or clear the intensity of negative emotions that are at the root of your cravings. When you use EFT in this way, you make it possible for EFT to have a more lasting effect on cravings because you’re targeting the root cause.
If you’d like to dig deeper into the emotions behind your cravings, ask yourself these questions when a craving arises:
+ What emotions come up when I think about craving this food? Why am I having these emotions? Are they connected to any specific events?
+ Did an upsetting event happen prior to this craving?
+ If an upsetting event did happen prior to this craving, does that event remind me of similar upsetting events from my past?
+ Is this a food I’ve craved before? If so, is there a pattern to when I’m craving it? And, if so, is there an event that I can remember when I first started craving it?
+ Does this food remind me of anything or anyone from my past? If it does, why is that upsetting to me?
+ Are there any beliefs about myself that come up when I think about craving this food? If so, are there any events in my life that gave rise to or support that belief?
Create a list of all the specific* events that come to mind when you answer each of these questions. Then use EFT to decrease or clear the intensity of negative emotions connected to the specific events you’re able to identify. Doing this makes it possible to think about the same previously upsetting event(s) that triggered your cravings with a much lower emotional charge, or without experiencing any negative emotion at all. You’re likely to find that when you clear the trigger(s) for your cravings, the craving itself disappears.
*You can read why specific events matter here. And, review the EFT Basic Recipe detailing how to use EFT to reduce or release negative emotions connected to specific events.
Find SupportGetting to the root of your cravings not only takes time, it can be challenging to do on your own. So, if you try digging deeper but find yourself struggling to identify the events, emotions and beliefs triggering your cravings, or you’ve identified them but you’re having trouble working through them yourself, consider reaching out to a certified EFT practitioner to help guide you through the process.
And, most importantly, if you’ve suffered through any kind of serious trauma or are the victim of a crime, please do not use EFT on your own to work through these events (even if they’re triggering cravings for food). Please seek the help of a trained professional who will guide and support you.
The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.