Weight Loss

Chocolate Covered Hope – EFT Tapping Research for Food Cravings

Written by: Nick Ortner

Break free from your food cravings: Study shows emotional eating connected to weight.

Have you ever had a food craving? Perhaps, like many, you feel a daily pull toward the top food craved in the United States – chocolate!

Although there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a sweet treat now and then, the cravings that attached are deadly. Most people know that obesity brings numerous health problems, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these illnesses are, in fact, “…some of the leading causes of preventable deaths.” However, in spite of most of that, the CDC calculates that 36% of Americans are clinically obese. One study (Withrow & Alter, 2010) even found obesity costs to represent between 0.7% and 2.8% of a country’s entire health care budget!

So, with all of the risks and costs associated with a preventable disease, why does the U.S. have an obesity epidemic on its hands? One theory is that cravings are responsible for eating that creates excess weight. And unlike other treatments for obesity, food cravings and how to curb them have not been studied very often.

Can Tapping Tame Cravings?

Because EFT has now accumulated so much evidence as an effective treatment for other issues involving the brain, researchers of one clinical study wanted to explore whether Tapping could interrupt the neurological “script” involved with food cravings.

In the original study, researchers recruited 96 obese participants in the community, ages 18-60, whose Body Mass Index (BMI) and food cravings were at a high level.

They excluded pregnant women, people with diabetes, anyone in treatment for a psychiatric disorder, those taking psychotropic medication, or individuals already taking medication for obesity. They divided the group in two – one half receiving EFT treatments and the control group receiving nothing.


A Little Neuroscience

Our brain’s amygdala activates when we encounter negative emotions.

Researchers theorize that a craving is a neural connection in the amygdala that could be broken with EFT.

For example, if someone is scared about an upcoming meeting, they may eat chocolate to calm themself. The individual will continue following that pattern because the association has been established in the brain, and a neural pathway is created.

When EFT practitioners combine positive cognitive messages with tapping on acupressure points, the pathway disconnects, severing the association between stress and eating chocolate. Once it’s replaced by a new pathway (i.e. “I can smell or see chocolate and have no desire to eat it.”), the craving dissolved.


At the start of the study, participants filled out several different questionnaires that measured their eating and health behaviors, along with physical attributes like height, weight, and BMI.

They sectioned the EFT Group into smaller groups of 15 people, each receiving four 2-hour EFT treatment sessions over a four-week period of time. Researchers also gave the participants homework so that they would continue Tapping in between treatment sessions.

Each participant had to pick one food they craved the most—one they felt was most problematic in their eating. Most participants picked chocolate. 🙂

The questionnaires for both the EFT and Control groups were taken before treatment, just after treatment, at six months after treatment, and then, with this study, 12 months after treatment.

The Results

Here’s the interesting part. Between initial treatment and the six-month follow-up, participants reported significant positive changes in their “power over food,” psychological distress, food cravings, and restraint.

Interestingly, though, weight loss and Body Mass Index didn’t change between pretreatment and the six-month mark.

BUT, both weight and BMI did change significantly between the six and 12-month mark.

What does this mean? When stress and emotional triggers behind food cravings fade, the body automatically moves to a state of balanced health. My sister Jessica and I see it consistently happen with women who go through her Weight Loss & Body Confidence Program.

Fast, Effective, and Inexpensive: EFT as a Treatment for Obesity

Healthcare is on most Americans’ minds, and conditions that can be treated quickly, cheaply, and without unwanted side effects are the pot of gold. Although further research needs to be done, since this study was the first to treat obesity with EFT, it’s something that all primary care doctors could easily learn about.

Teaching EFT Tapping to their patients struggling with weight control could very well buy them many years of healthy living.

Until next time,

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner


Did this study offer you any insight? Can you connect overeating or food cravings to your emotional state? Comment below!

Nick is the CEO and founder of The Tapping Solution



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5 Comments on this post

  1. Marcia P says:

    Sounds like the important point to remember is that the weight loss doesn’t happen right away, but occurs once you’ve used tapping regularly to transform the stress and emotional triggers that are causing the food cravings. Like many therapies, it takes regular practice and repetition, even when it may seem like nothing is happening. My problem is sticking with a program.
    Maybe 2019 will be the year I turn that around!

    • Nick Ortner says:

      You got it, Marcia! Just think… weight GAIN didn’t happen overnight. It usually takes a while, or maybe it’s been there for quite some time already. But in perspective, weight LOSS can take place significantly faster if all of the aspects are addressed simultaneously, especially the emotional components. Have you taken a look at Jessica’s 7-week Weight Loss and Body Confidence Program yet? Wishing you all the best!

  2. LadyTous says:

    Hi where can I buy this program? the 21 day for weight loss, please let me know

  3. Claudia says:

    Yes i can relate i am a compulsive overeater, much like an alcoholic. My life has been full of stress. I hope nicks book helps me. The 21 day program

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