Updated: Jul 1
The secret to lasting weight loss is at your fingertips
Let’s get this out of the way first:
Diets. Don’t. Work.
You know the frustration of spending money on yet another diet book or program just to fail. It works for a little while, but once you get off the diet, you gain all the weight back. It’s demoralizing. It’s exhausting. And worst of all, your weight is obvious to anyone who has eyes. You can’t keep it private the way you can with other problems. Your struggle is out there for the whole world to see.
You aren’t alone. So many people know your struggle. And today we’re offering you hope that you can finally:
Break free of the vicious diet cycle
Learn to love and accept yourself
Heal old emotional wounds
Lose weight holistically and naturally
Create new, healthy habits
Make a genuine lifestyle change
You can do these things and more with EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). EFT is like acupuncture without the needles. As you use your fingertips to tap on meridian points on your body, you name an emotion. Immediately after, you say an affirmation about loving and accepting yourself. It’s all about letting go of any emotional resistance to weight loss.
"Remembering a painful memory + tapping + self-affirmation is the secret sauce. Tapping and self-affirmation remove the sting from that memory.” —Dawson Church, PhD and EFT expert
Stephanie Newton at Diamond Hypnotherapy helps people lose weight with this amazing practice. Whether you’re new to EFT or looking for inspiration, this post is for you! Keep reading to find out how EFT can help you lose the physical and emotional weight you’ve been carrying around for years.
Making the connection between emotions and weight loss
If extra weight is a physical problem, then diets should work! We should be able to muster enough willpower to lose weight by counting calories and working out.
But that’s not how it works.
Consider food cravings, one of the biggest barriers to lasting weight loss. Food cravings begin and end with emotions. When you eat for any other reason besides being hungry, that’s considered emotional eating. Emotional eaters eat when they’re stressed, sad, or bored.
Any satisfaction from giving in to a food craving is fleeting because food isn’t really what you’re hungry for. Your heart and soul are hungry for something that food can’t satisfy.
The biggest problem with emotional eating is that it causes you to lose touch with your body. You keep eating past the point of fullness. And there’s no mindfulness around the food you’re putting in your body. It could be causing weight gain or physical discomfort, but you don’t care. You keep eating it because it’s numbing an unpleasant emotion.
Emotional eating is a huge barrier to weight loss.
The good news is that EFT has the power to reduce or completely stop cravings. And not just food cravings! People have used EFT to stop cravings for cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs too. EFT works for weight loss because it addresses emotions, which are the root cause of weight imbalance for most people.
Dr. Peta Stapleton is a registered clinical and health psychologist, a professor at Bond University in Australia, and a leader in the field of EFT. She’s provided the most compelling scientific evidence to date for the link between EFT and weight loss.
Dr. Stapleton observed how EFT affected food cravings in a randomised, controlled study. Ninety-six people split up into groups and practiced different methods to reduce cravings. The EFT group experienced more power over food cravings and a reduction in stress and depression (Stapleton, Sheldon, Porter, & Whitty, 2011). Dr. Stapleton did periodic checkups in the following months and years. The EFT group continued to lose weight.
Dawson Church and Audrey Brooks, PhD, also conducted an EFT trial in 2010. Their goal was to study the effect of EFT on cravings and mental health (Church & Brooks, 2010). They gathered data from over 200 health-care professionals during day-long workshops. The declines in cravings after practicing EFT were huge; an 83 percent average!
Here’s one last scientific bit to consider. Studies suggest that EFT reduces cortisol, the “fat hormone”. In another study by Dawson Church, he measured cortisol levels in people who practiced EFT vs groups receiving talk therapy. The EFT group showed a 24% average decrease in cortisol after 90 minutes, significantly more than the talk therapy group (Church, Yount, & Brooks, 2012).
“What seems to be happening is that, as we feel better, with EFT reducing anxiety and depression, our fat-generating hormone cortisol declines. As we dump the stress, we dump the hormones needed to drive stress. That can help with weight loss.”
— Dawson Church
The first step in achieving meaningful, lasting weight loss is accepting the connection between your weight and your emotional life. Once you open your mind to that, you’re on your way.
How to succeed with EFT for weight loss
EFT is a weight loss breakthrough— but it does take effort. It’s true that diets don’t work for most people. But they do work for a very small percentage. So when considering how he could help people achieve lasting weight loss with EFT, Dawson Church looked at the habits of successful dieters. His thought was that people would have the most success if they combined good habits with EFT.
He came up with six characteristics of people who lose weight and keep it off. Keep in mind that they’re suggestions only. Some people don’t agree with tracking calories and fat— they prefer a diet high in healthy fats. Others find that it’s bad for their mental health if they weigh themselves too often. And others can’t stomach any food before lunch, so they never eat breakfast. These characteristics are just a guide to keep in mind when you’re building healthy habits:
They maintain the same eating habits most days. For example, they don’t fast on the weekdays and overindulge on weekends
They exercise. And they don’t do it as a form of punishment! They find joy in moving their bodies and incorporate exercise into their daily lives. A daily 30-minute walk is enough for most people who are trying to stay active
They eat breakfast
They eat a diet low in calories and fat
When they slip, they get back on track right away
This list illustrates that EFT is a great tool for weight loss, but it isn’t a magic bullet. Meaningful and lasting weight loss requires lifestyle changes. But EFT helps you stick to those lifestyle changes. It heals old emotional wounds and gets rid of subconscious objections to success. EFT makes weight loss feel like a natural re-balancing instead of an arm-wrestling match that you’re going to lose.
“To ensure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.”
— William Londen
The idea is to find healthy things you love, and turn those things into habits. With a little effort every day, you’ll soon see that your lifestyle is looking healthier. Some ideas:
Make a list of healthy foods that you actually enjoy. Keep those on your grocery list and keep them in the house!
If you hate the idea of joining a gym or “working out” in the traditional sense, incorporate more movement into your daily life. Take the stairs, park further away, or walk to the market instead of drive
Find a way to track your progress. If weighing yourself every day is too much, aim for once a week
Real, lasting change doesn’t come from a magic button or gigantic epiphany. It’s all about making small changes and repeating them often. Soon they’re compounded into gigantic results. Healthy habits are key, but EFT is the insurance policy that will help you make those habits stick.
Lasting weight loss requires dedication and effort no matter how you approach it. What makes EFT different is that it treats the underlying cause of weight imbalances. The cause of your extra weight could be anything from an old childhood wound to an excess of stress hormones.
EFT is a kinder and gentler approach to weight loss. Instead of hating yourself and punishing your body by starving it, you accept yourself as you are. That’s how you'll finally release the weight that you’ve been hanging onto for so long.
Church D, Dawson. EFT for Weight Loss: The revolutionary technique for conquering emotional overeating, cravings, bingeing, eating disorders, and self-sabotage. 3rd ed. Fulton, CA: Energy Psychology Press; 2013.
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, 40-44.
Church D, Yount G, Brooks AJ. The effect of emotional freedom techniques on stress biochemistry: a randomized controlled trial. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2012;200(10):891‐896. doi:10.1097/NMD.0b013e31826b9fc1
Stapleton P, Sheldon T, Porter B, Whitty J. A Randomised Clinical Trial of a Meridian-Based Intervention for Food Cravings With Six-Month Follow-Up. Behaviour Change. 2011;28(1):1-16. doi:10.1375/bech.28.1.1.