Stop struggling. Try tapping for weight loss and food cravings.

People who are overweight generally know what to do. Eat less, eat better, exercise more. Pretty simple, right? So why does it so often feel impossible? As with so many human problems, we know better, but we don’t seem to be able to do better.

There are many factors that have very little to do with knowledge that lead us to the sleeve of Girl Scout cookies. Or the bag of chips. The pint of Americone Dream. The drive-through window.

I’ve often observed that if we all could get our feelings to line up with what we know, hardly anyone would have a problem. It seems to me that we usually are pretty smart about things. Our problems, therefore, are not usually problems of information. They are problems of emotion, of energy, of habit.

They are problems for which the world of energy psychology offers solutions.

An overweight world

If you are dealing with weight issues, you are not alone. The rates of overweight and obesity around the world continue to climb. A New England Journal of Medicine report shows that the rate of obesity worldwide has doubled since 1980, affecting 5% of children and 12% of adults. In the US, researchers project that half of adults will have obesity by 2030.

We at ACEP are body-positive. As mental health and health practitioners, we want our clients to feel good in whatever body they have. However, we must also acknowledge the health effects of obesity and overweight: increased risk of type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, cardiovascular risk, certain cancers, other chronic conditions, as well as more depression and anxiety. Worldwide, overweight and obesity contributed to 4 million deaths in 2015.

By profession, by vocation, by calling, we are helpers. And so, we have been watching with great interest the work of Peta Stapleton and her colleagues, who have been using EFT to treat weight problems. We’re proud that she’s an ACEP member.

EFT and weight loss – the research

Stapleton is a world-renowned researcher who focuses on clinical applications of EFT “tapping” therapy. She has authored several books on ways to use EFT. She has conducted groundbreaking research on EFT for health, wellbeing, depression and anxiety, trauma, and weight issues, including food cravings. Stapleton’s latest work focused on internet delivery of an eight-week program of EFT for weight loss.

The internet, despite its flaws and limitations, is becoming a valuable tool for delivering health and mental health services. This study examined whether on-line delivery of EFT for psychological symptoms, food cravings and consumption of craved foods, and weight management, would work.

It does.

Nearly 1,000 people from around the world signed up to participate in the eight-week study. After the usual attrition, more than 500 people ― mostly women, by a 9:1 ratio― joined the study. They were randomly placed into an EFT treatment group (314) and a no-treatment control group (228).

Participants in the study reported their height and weight, so researchers could calculate their BMI. They also reported their food cravings; power of food (how hard it was to resist when, say, they walked across a crowded pizza shop); restraint (a kind of “chronic dieting”, which is an indication of disordered eating); and their levels of depression, anxiety, and physiological symptoms (like headaches). People who got eight weeks of EFT delivered to their laptops and smart-phones lost weight. Their food cravings went down remarkably, they felt less controlled by food, and they exhibited less dietary restraint. They also had fewer aches and pains, as well as less depression and anxiety. Perhaps best of all, though only 20% of the participants kept tapping after the eight weeks, they all maintained their weight losses a year after the study concluded.

Making it real

EFT and other forms of energy psychology have gained popularity over the past couple of decades. More people in the West are open to an Eastern paradigm, which is one of the theoretical underpinnings of energy psychology.

Many of us remain skeptical but open to evidence. The research is clear in study after study: EFT works. In this case, it can help people lose weight and maintain their weight loss. It helps reduce food cravings and helps people feel less overpowered by food. It eases up on restricted eating and the boomerang that often accompanies it. It does all this while addressing depression, anxiety, and physiological symptoms.

If you, a client, or a loved one is interested in getting more information about using EFT for weight loss, go to the ACEP web site to find a list of qualified practitioners.

Author

Sarah Murphy is a licensed professional counselor and coach with more than 12 years of clinical experience. She specializes in energy psychology as well as mindfulness and hypnotherapy. She often works with individuals who have cancer and other serious medical issues.  Sarah’s personal motto is that we are here to create a more peaceful world, one more-peaceful person at a time. She is a devoted mom to her young-adult sons, is a Reiki Master, and teaches yoga. Learn more at www.transformative-therapy.com

You can learn more about Peta Stapleton’s decade of research on EFT and weight loss at ACEP’s 22nd International Energy Psychology Conference, where she is an invited presenter. Learn more and register at energypsychologyconference.com

Featured image: photo by i yunmai on Unsplash

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