Weight Loss

Chocolate Covered Hope – EFT Tapping Research for Food Cravings

Written by: Nick Ortner

Break free from your food cravings! Study shows just how strongly emotional eating is connected to your 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 are attached to the food can be deadly.

Most people know that obesity is associated with 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 these being preventable, 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 the 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.

Leaving out pregnant women, people with diabetes, those being treated 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

The amygdala is the part of the brain that is activated by negative emotions.

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

For example, if a person is scared about an upcoming meeting, she may eat chocolate to calm herself. 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 is dissolved.


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

The EFT Group was divided 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 was asked to pick one food that they craved the most to tap on – 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 a 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 month and the 12th month mark.

What does this mean? When the stress and emotional triggers that are causing the food cravings are removed using EFT Tapping, the body will automatically return to a state of balanced health over time.

My sister Jessica and I see it consistently happen with women who go through her Weight Loss & Body Confidence Program.

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

Healthcare is on most Americans’ minds these days and certainly conditions that can be treated quickly, cheaply, and with no unwanted side effects are the pot of gold for anybody interested in public health.

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!



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