How to Unlock Weight Loss with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Tapping.
In this article, you will learn how, as a counselor, therapist, or coach, to help clients who want to lose weight with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). EFT is a therapeutic tool clinically proven to help people lose weight and feel confident about themselves and their bodies.
So, you have landed your first client who wants to lose weight. Great!
On the one hand, you are so excited, but on the other hand, you are worried and questioning yourself.
You may feel unsure about where to begin, and so you put pressure on yourself that you are the one who has to help your client reach their weight loss goal or else you are a failure.
Plus, there are various weight loss methods out there; how do you know which one to trust? And how can you have certainty that the method you choose will help your client lose weight, fit into the dress they love, and feel fabulous about themselves and their bodies?
What if I told you that there is a therapeutic method called Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) that is clinically proven to help people lose weight through face to face and online group sessions (1)?
The therapeutic method focuses on the emotions, beliefs, and memories associated with weight gain or inability to lose weight and helps your client uncover and clear the root cause of the reason they started to put on weight in the first place.
For example, there can be various reasons for someone to put on weight:
- Low metabolism
- Hormonal imbalances
- Thyroid & Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Lack of movement
- Sedentary job
- Low self-esteem
Once they are able to discover the root cause and start healing, you will find that your clients start to feel lighter and more confident in their bodies.
This method not only works for weight loss but also boosts self-esteem, and confidence.
If you are new to EFT, you can simply download the booklet below and get started right away.
What is EFT Tapping And How It Heals?
Emotional Freedom Techniques (tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past-trauma to enable health, happiness, and vitality.
So what are the steps you can follow while working with a client who wants to lose weight?
Get the Intake Form filled in
The best place to begin is with the Intake Form.
What do I mean by the Intake Form? It’s a form that you send your client to fill in and provide details on what they expect from the EFT Tapping therapeutic sessions. This helps you and your client get a clear idea of what to focus on during one-to-one EFT sessions.
Confirmation of 100% commitment
The easiest way to do this is by looking at the particular section of the intake form that asks, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how committed are you to the outcome you are seeking?”
There can be only one answer to this question, which is 10/10.
If they are not fully committed, then it is better to have a conversation with your client on the reason for the commitment levels being less than 10/10 and what will it take for it to be a 10/10.
At times the client may not have understood the question, or they might have some genuine concerns. In many cases, the outcome that the client wants needs to be revised for it to be a 10/10 commitment.
Complete the initial consultation with your client, which can be on the phone, in person, or online.
During the consultation, they will share with you what they desire, along with their obstacles and expectations. With this information, you will know where to begin.
If you’re ever unsure, you can ask them questions like, ‘Where would you like to begin?” “What would you like me to focus on?” or “What is the number one area you would like our session to focus on?”
Give an ordeal
If you ever feel that your client needs leverage, meaning they feel a need to convince themselves that they are ready to make a change, then give them an ordeal.
For example, ask your client to write down 100 reasons why they want to lose weight.
Not all clients will need this, it depends on their mental state. In fact, most of the clients seek out a coach or therapist because their minds are already committed.
Working with Cravings
If your client tells you that they want to eliminate food cravings or explore emotional eating, follow this cravings protocol: http://bit.ly/EliminateCravingsWithEFT
If your client has complex challenges such as Thyroid, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), or hormonal problems, then there might be some deep-seated issues or trauma involved.
If that is the case, you should consider adding some of the Inner Child Matrix Practitioner skills such as tapping on deep rooted trauma or releasing any shock as a result of trauma or the Advanced EFT Practitioner skills, for example, Advanced Questioning, Mirror tapping or uncovering silent sabotage patterns.
You can explore memories associated with weight problems through story telling, movie technique, or tearless trauma, depending on the level of trauma.
For example, if your client shares:
- Their uncle told them as a child that they looked fat, or
- They were bullied in school because of how they looked, or
- They would hide or avoid being seen in public because they consider themselves fat and ugly
Once your client starts to share past negative incidents that could be related to weight gain you can start to clear the dis-empowering energy and limiting beliefs associated with the past memories.
Common Emotional Themes
There can be many different emotional themes present while working with a client who wants to lose weight, such as:
- Low confidence
- Not feeling good enough
- Feeling down and depressed
Your client may also have suppressed emotions such as anger, sadness, fear, or some deeper concerns including shame, abandonment, hurt, betrayal, and loneliness.
Explore these by tapping on the emotions and asking where they feel them in the body. Then tap on the memories by asking, “When have you felt like this before?”
Clearing Limiting Beliefs
Your client may struggle with self-limiting beliefs, such as “I am not good enough,” “I am ugly,” “I am not attractive enough.”
Your clients will reveal these naturally, and as they do, you can use the limiting beliefs process to support them.
Check in with your client and review how things are progressing before beginning session 4. Questions that work really well are:
- How are you feeling about the sessions so far?
- What has changed for the better?
- What still needs to change/transform?
- Where would you like the focus to be for the next 3 sessions?
Question: A client has booked sessions with me to lose weight, how can I work with this client using the skills I have learned at EFT practitioner level.
Answer: As an EFT Practitioner, you have learned how to work with stress, tension, cravings, memories, and limiting beliefs.
Be honest with your client and assure them that you are knowledgeable in using EFT to help with all of these things, along with how to clear past negativity and how to shift their inner self-beliefs from a place of disempowerment to empowerment
Some of the different areas you can explore as an EFT Practitioner are below:
The areas you can explore
1. Stress associated with their weight
2. Physical tension associated with their weight
3. Beliefs associated with their weight
4. Memories associated with their weight
5. Cravings associated with weight gain
What can you do?
Ask questions like, "What stresses you out the most about your weight?”, “What is it that you want?"
With weight issues, there can be other symptoms such as headaches, bloating, digestive problems, and body pain. Ask them, “Do you feel any tension associated with your weight?” “Where in the body is this tension?” “How does it make you feel?”
“No matter what I do, I cannot lose weight”
“I feel stuck”
“It's too hard.”
For example, they might tell you that they began stress eating as a child when they were bullied at school, that they were humiliated in the playground for being unathletic, they suffered from verbal, physical, or sexual abuse, or were rejected by a girlfriend or boyfriend.
Ask them, “Do you crave any food?”, “When do you crave them the most?”. For example, my client used to have a snickers chocolate bar in her car daily at 4 pm when she finished work to de-stress. So, determine if there is any anxiety present and how they deal with that anxiety.
These are some themes that I have noticed in my private practice and with those who have attended EFT Practitioner Training:
- Inability to lose weight
- Too difficult
- Having to diet
- Dislike exercise
- Societal pressure
- Wanting to look good for marriage
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Thyroid
- Emotional Eating
According to EFT Master Carol Look, some of the deeper different emotional aspects associated with weight challenges are:
- Deprivation: “Even though I feel deeply deprived, I'm insatiable...”
- Abandonment: “Even though I feel hurt about being abandoned...”
- Loss: “Even though I feel so many losses inside...”
- Loneliness/Emptiness: “Even though I feel completely empty inside...”
- Guilt: “Even though I always feel guilty...”
- Anxiety: “Even though I can‘t stop feeling anxious/can’t control my anxiety...”
- Fear: “Even though I feel profoundly afraid of being exposed...”
- Anger: “Even though I feel angry all the time…”
Here are some of the different limiting beliefs that can be associated with weight gain?
- It’s too hard
- I have tried everything, but it won’t work
- I am too fat to be loved
- Nobody loves me
- I am ugly
- I am not desirable
If you wish to learn skills where you can work directly with weight loss, then it is recommended to complete EFT Advanced Practitioner Training, where you will learn:
- The psychology of weight loss
- The science behind emotional eating
- Clinical studies for weight loss & EFT Tapping
- Questions to ask when working with weight projects
- Art of being gentle, kind, and compassionate
- Emotional themes and limiting beliefs to tap on
- Mirror tapping technique to accept self wholeheartedly
Having helped clients lose weight with EFT Practitioner Training, at the end of the day I realize that whether someone is fat or thin or tall or short what matters most is whether you can accept yourself.
I have been through a rollercoaster ride with my own weight. At the start of my life, I was stick thin and teased for it by my family and I was called names such as "chipkali", which means lizard in Hindi.
Then as puberty sunk in I experienced hormonal weight gain and cravings. As I moved from India to UK and was bullied in school, I started to find comfort in food and gradually put on weight where I reach my peak of 100 kg in my working life. Work related stress would cause me not to exercise, eat junk foods, and overeat.
One day I had, had enough and I say to myself, "stooooooooop" and put brakes on my emotional eating.
I started using EFT Tapping on myself and shifted 20 kg in a space of 3 months with the main focus of self therapy being on my emotions, associations with food and limiting beliefs.
Since my weight has increased a little and decreased a little. People call me, "chubby" or "healthy."
I eat a healthy diet and exercise moderately. The most important thing is I am happy, independent of being called chubby or bubbly.
Happy in my own skin. Happy with my weight and happy with how my body looks in the mirror independent of what the scales say.
So in closing, just like my story and those of my clients, I realized that when someone is happy in their own body and chooses health choices over feeding their negative emotions the weight issue pretty much melts away.
In summary, as an EFT practitioner, you can help your client lose weight by going through a step by step approach starting with an intake form and then exploring the root cause of the weight loss. Once the root cause starts to clear you will find your client will also start to shed those pounds.
- Stapleton P, Roos, T, Mackintosh, G, Sparenburg, E, Sabot, D, & Carter, B (2019). Online delivery of emotional freedom techniques in the treatment of food cravings and weight management: A randomized controlled trial. OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine, 4(4),doi:10.21926/obm.icm.19040657.
- The current ‘gold standard’ approach for people who have weight concerns.
- Stapleton P, Bannatyne AJ, Urzi K, Porter B, & Sheldon T (2016) Food for thought: A randomised controlled trial of Emotional Freedom Techniques and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the treatment of food cravings. Applied Psychology: Health & Wellbeing. doi:10.1111/aphw.120704.
- Stapleton P, & Chatwin H (2018). Emotional Freedom Techniques for food cravings in overweight adults: A comparison of treatment length. OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine, 3(3), doi:10.21926/obm.icm.18030145.
- Stapleton P, Roos T, Mackintosh G, Sparenburg E, Sabot D, & Carter B (2019). Online delivery of emotional freedom techniques in the treatment of food cravings and weight management: A randomised controlled trial. OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine, 4(4),doi:10.21926/obm.icm.19040657.
- Stapleton P, Lilley-Hale E, Mackintosh G, & Sparenburg E (2019). Online delivery of Emotional Freedom Techniques for food cravings and weight management: 2-year follow-up. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 0 (0), pp. 1–9, DOI: 10.1089/acm.2019.03099.
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