What Are Cravings And How Does EFT Tapping Work For Cravings

EFT Tapping For Cravings

In this article, you will learn about what cravings are, the reason for cravings, its effects, and how you can eliminate cravings from its root cause with the help of EFT Tapping. This alternate therapeutic technique has been clinically proven to help people let go of intense feelings of cravings.

Does the whiff of freshly baked bread, the sight of salty chips or popping corn kernels, the thought of gooey chocolate desserts, or the aroma and the sizzling sound of spicy, deep-fried food items make you salivate?  

Do you remember the days when you were anxious, angry, or stressed; and then binging on a packet of chips or a bar of chocolate just soothed your senses? You eventually felt guilt-ridden as you just couldn’t give up on these sweet or salty cravings.  

I know there was a time when I used to crave French fries, freshly baked bread with butter, and grilled cheese. I just couldn't go a day without having at least one of these delicious food items. 

As an Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Practitioner, I facilitated one-to-one sessions in weight loss for my clients. I noticed, that even though I was not consciously working on myself, my cravings also began to diminish. 

Slowly, my cravings reduced and I no longer craved these food items as much as I used to. EFT Tapping really helped me out and, I finally have a healthy diet that I stick to.

WHAT ARE CRAVINGS, THE REASONS & EFFECTS OF CRAVINGS?

So, let's talk about what cravings are.

Cravings are an intense desire to consume a food substance, where the person finds it uncontrollable and thinks that they will feel satisfied and soothed only after eating the food item. However, this is not true. 

They may get temporary relief by consuming the food substance; however, it can leave you feeling guilty, unsatisfied and hungry for more.

There are many possible reasons for cravings. For example:

  • Loneliness
  • Fatigue
  • Boredom
  • Sadness
  • Depression
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress

There can even be deeper themes, like abandonment and/or feelings of guilt and hurt.

When you do not process these emotions, you might use food, alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to shove them down or suppress them. This reaction to emotions with the help of food or other items gives you temporary solace. So, every time something triggers these emotions, there is an intense desire to consume chocolates, chips, donuts, or other food items to feel better. 

Cravings
Cravings

What Are The Effects Of Cravings?

Suppressing unprocessed emotions repeatedly through food, alcohol, cigarettes or drugs can be very destructive to the body. For instance, if you are feeling anxious; consuming a food substance can narcotise the uncomfortable feelings; it will kill your awareness that you are anxious.

Food is being used as a drug to calm anxiety and other emotions. This method of sedating emotions results in additional pounds added to your body-weight, plus increased emotional baggage. As a result, cravings can be destructive for your body. 

EFT TAPPING FOR CRAVINGS

An empowering way forward with cravings is to allow your emotions to be expressed instead of suppressing them, and to uncover the root cause of the cravings with a clinically proven technique like EFT, which involves tapping on energy points to release stressful emotions and past situations associated with cravings. 

Allow yourself to express your emotions

My mother used to always say better out than in. You would not hold on to your vomit; so why hold on to stressful emotions.


It is better to release any stressful emotions, rather than suppressing them and stuffing them back down. 


The issue is, feeling these emotions can be distressing. With a technique like EFT Tapping, it is easy to express and accept negative feelings.

Uncover the root cause of these cravings

You might crave sweet, salty, sour food or even something bitter; but beneath every craving lies a possible emotional root cause. 


On the whole, the emotional root causes may be:


  • Feeling lonely
  • Lack of self esteem
  • Wanting to be loved
  • Feeling unsupported

Letting out these bottled-up emotions is vital, not only in curbing cravings, but also in wiping off the disease in your body. Feeling lonely, unsupported, unacknowledged, and other limiting emotional baggage, adds calories to your body.

So, making it a daily habit to release them through EFT or other practices, works like magic in the long run.

With cravings in mind, EFT therapy makes use of tapping on different energy points in your body to:

  • Let go of the craving and the desire for that substance/item
  • Root out the surface level emotions that triggered the craving; for example, anxiety
  • Uncover the memories associated with the surface-level emotions
  • Discover and make peace with the root memories that initiated the cravings in the first place 

Some examples of a root memory are:


  • An uncle force-feeding you as a child where you learnt better than to comply and fall in line
  • Your father shouting at you and then taking you to McDonald's as a means of saying sorry
  • Being bullied in school and turning to food as a means of comfort

New To EFT? Learn How EFT Tapping Heals, Including Cravings

Emotional Freedom Techniques (tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past-trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.

HOW DOES EFT TAPPING FOR CRAVINGS HELP?

Lifestyle changes, such as engaging in a daily routine of meditation, exercising and following a healthy, balanced diet might help in curbing cravings and cutting down calories. But, the secret of eliminating cravings, is freedom from the emotion triggering it.

Case Studies of How EFT Tapping Stops Cravings

Chocolate covers up the pain of grief. 

I recall being in a seminar in Pune, and a gentleman put up his hand as he wanted to give up his chocolate cravings. He loved Jumbo Dairy Milk chocolate bars and had started to put on weight. 

He uncovered a memory, where he would share a jumbo chocolate bar with his dad every Sunday. After his dad's death, he missed his dad and sharing the chocolate with him. So, it triggered him to start eating the jumbo chocolate bar all alone.

chocolate

No more cravings of bread and butter after freeing the root cause of wanting comfort in the face of being bullied. 

A woman had a craving for freshly baked bread. She baked the bread at home with deep passion.

She kneaded the dough, baked the bread, observed its shiny, crispy brown shade, relished the smell, and used a particular brand of butter before taking a bite. 

bread butter

The lingering taste of butter and bread, and the aroma brought her great comfort and made her feel good. When questioned, she discovered that, as a child, she felt unhappy and uncomfortable when kids bullied her in the playground. 

As she received the EFT tapping for cravings during EFT Practitioner Training with Dr. Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri (PhD), she recalled relishing the smell and taste of bread from a bakery across the playground, which comforted her as a child. So, freshly baked bread comforted her.

They were able to uncover and release the surface craving, the associated emotions, and the underlying root cause. 

Releasing the emotion that activates your desire, can help you handle the craving and also help in weight managementWhen it comes to emotional freedom, EFT tapping is an effective, easy-to-use, simple, and inexpensive technique. EFT tapping for cravings helps to free you from emotional baggage and eliminating your cravings.  

EFT TAPPING TECHNIQUE TO ELIMINATE CRAVINGS

Step 1: Uncover the Positive Surface Emotions Associated With The Craving

First smell, look and feel the substance you are craving and ask yourself the following questions:

  • How badly do you want it on a scale of 1 to 10?
  • What is it that you love about the substance?
  • How does consuming it make you feel?

Then you would use the EFT Tapping process to clear the charge associated with wanting the craved substance. You can add humor in it! For example, "Even though I really want this chocolate, it looks so yummy, yummy, gooey, and delicious, I deeply and completely love and accept myself."

Once the desire for the craved substance is reduced, you will move to the next level. Many times, during EFT Practitioner Training, I will hear delegates say things like:

  • I no longer want it
  • It does not smell good anymore
  • I only smell chemicals and not chips

Step 2: Uncover The Emotions That Triggered The Cravings 

Question yourself to identify the trigger:

Begin this step by asking yourself,

If you were not able to consume the substance, what would you have to experience emotionally?

Once you have an answer to this question, you can start tapping on the emotions that triggered the craving in the first place.

An example of an EFT tapping sequence might be, "Even though I feel so anxious and I do not like feeling this anxious, I just want something to pacify myself, I deeply and completely love and accept myself."

At the end of this step, many different realisations can occur. For example, how eating that bag of chips or a piece of chocolate provides comfort. 

Step 3: Identify The Root Emotions & Memories 

Uncover the core of the cravings after you have found the benefit of consuming the substance:

Once you have found clues to the positive benefits of consuming the cravings substance, for example; comfort, love, support and acceptance, ask the following question to uncover the root cause,

"When have you not felt the emotion of comfort or happiness or love."

This question will transport you back to a root memory.

The best way to help yourself and others, to eliminate cravings, is to attend EFT Practitioner Training or work with a skilled EFT Practitioner, who is trained to identify and root out the main cause.

Seek Help From An EFT Practitioner?

Discover how EFT can help you to self heal or to become professionally qualified as a Certified EFT Practitioner. Emotional Freedom Techniques (tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past-trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.

WORKING WITH CRAVINGS FOR CHOCOLATES

The sample steps to eliminate a craving for chocolate with EFT tapping for cravings process are outlined below:

Cravings

Step 1: Assess The Intensity Of Your Craving

Place a piece of the chocolate on a tissue and smell it. Look at it, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how badly do you want it? Example: 10.
  • What do you love about chocolates? Example: Yummy, chocolate-y taste. 
  • How does consuming the chocolate makes you feel? Example: Happy.
EFT Tapping

Step 2: Begin The EFT Tapping Sequence To Release Emotions

Clear the surface emotions that trigger the craving using the tapping sequence given below:

  1. Tap on the Karate chop and repeat the following setup statement thrice:
    "Even though I have this craving for chocolates and it’s at a number 10, and what I love about it, is its yummy chocolate-y taste, and when I eat it, it makes me feel happy, I love and accept myself."
  2. Tap on the facial, upper body, and finger points saying the reminder phrases aloud.
    Reminder phrases in this example are:
    - Chocolates
    - 10
    - Yummy and chocolatey taste
    - Happy
  3. Close the sequence by using the setup statement given above once.
  4. Take a gentle breath and sip water.
Cravings


Step 3: Look, Smell, Feel The Chocolate Again And Test The Charge

After a round or two of tapping, it’s time to test the change as follows:

  1. Look, smell, feel the chocolate again, and see how badly you want it.
  2. If the desire is not intense, you can close the tapping session by embedding positive feelings.
  3. If the desire is intense, tap again and clear the surface emotions that trigger the craving using the tapping sequence given above. After a round or two of tapping, you can move into discovering the root cause.
Sadness

Step 4: Discover The Root Cause

As the root cause plays an important role in cravings, uncover the root step-by-step, as follows:

  1. Bring into your awareness, how consuming the chocolate makes you feel? Example: Feeling happy.
  2. Ask yourself, when have you not felt happy in your life?
    Example: Note all the ages when you haven’t felt happy and the reasons or short descriptions of the memories that comes up.

    Note: If there are multiple memories, start with the memory that has an intense charge first.
EFT Tapping

Step 5: Repeat The EFT Tapping Sequences To Remove The Root Cause

After discovering the root cause, tap to remove it, as follows:

  1. Use EFT tapping for cravings by tapping on the Karate chop and repeat the following setup statement thrice:
    "Even though I had no friends (whatever is the memory) and it made me sad and it’s at a number 8, I love and accept myself."
  2. Tap on the facial, upper body, and finger points saying the reminder phrases aloud. Reminder phrases in this example are:
    - I had no friends
    - Sad
    - 8
  3. Close the sequence by using the setup statement given above once.
  4. Take a gentle breath and a sip of water.
Cravings - Root Cause Elimination

Step 6: Check Whether The Root Cause Has Been Eliminated

After tapping on the root cause, check if the emotions are cleared:

  1. Bring into your awareness, the root cause that you discovered. Observe how you feel about it now.
  2. Focus on the emotion 'happy' that you did not feel earlier, but felt when you consume chocolates.
  3. Test the intensity of the memory and any associated emotions.
  4. If the intensity is still high, and not better than before, tap using the EFT tapping for cravings sequences again until the number comes down.
  5. Continue tapping and clearing the emotions until you are able to talk about all the past memories without feeling the associated intense emotions.
Cravings


Step 7: Test Again; How Badly Do You Want The Chocolate

Now, it’s time to check on the chocolate craving again:

  1. Test by looking, smelling, and feeling the chocolate again.
  2. If your craving has come down by EFT tapping for cravings to 3 or below, then close the tapping session by embedding positive feelings.
Embrace positivity

Step 8: Embed Positive Feelings

We’ve cleared surface craving, memories, and emotions. Let’s fill the spaces created, with some positive feelings:

  1. Close your eyes and bring into your heart the positive feeling that you feel when you consume chocolates.
  2. Tap on the side of the hand (karate chop), “Even though I feel happy when I take chocolates, I am open to the possibility to feeling it now anyway.”
  3. Use EFT tapping for cravings with positive phrases by tapping on the head, facial, upper body, and finger points using the word 'happy', as follows:
  • Top of the head: I choose to feel happy
  • Eyebrow point: I love feeling happy
  • Side of the Eye/Temple: I enjoy feeling happy
  • Under the Eye: I am so excited to feel happy
  • Under the Nose: I am happy to feel happy
  • Chin: I choose to feel happy
  • Collarbone: I love feeling happy
  • Thumb: I enjoy feeling happy
  • Index finger: I choose to feel happy
  • Middle finger: I love feeling happy
  • Little finger: I am so happy to be happy

Continue until the craving has come down below 3, or the desire to have chocolates has gone.

HOW DOES EFT TAPPING ELIMINATE CRAVINGS?

I tapped using the steps given above and, bingo! My chocolate ice-cream craving dropped down drastically!

So how does EFT tapping work?

EFT works on the body’s energy system. Disruptions in the energy system can result in negative emotions and behaviors, coupled with physical discomforts.

Suppressing these emotions with chocolates or chips make you feel good at that moment. However, the key is tapping on specific points along the meridians.

By tapping, you release the suppressed energy and also make way to balance the energy flow in the body.

As you tap on specific points on your body, and repeat specific phrases loudly, it directs kinetic energy through all the blocked meridians and clears the energy system to give relief from distress.

I got more curious about EFT tapping for cravings and started researching to quench my thirst to know more about it. 

I bumped into an article about EFT tapping for cravings and anxiety by Duke Integrative Medicine (1). I realized from the article about how our past traumas are like those hidden viruses that harm our computer and EFT tapping is like computer software that clears these hidden viruses and makes the computer healthier.

The article quotes:

“When a negative experience occurs, it is as if a program you don’t want is installed in your acupuncture meridian system. It gets uploaded into the limbic system of your brain that controls the physiological emotional responses in your body. There is a file for every bad thing that ever happened to you with a program, pictures and a story in each one. With EFT you intentionally open the file and run the program by repeating a short phrase that reminds you of the event while tapping.

Tapping on the acupuncture points is like hitting the delete key, so you can uninstall the program. Once the program is gone and you resave the file, the memory will be altered forever. The next time you open the file the pictures and story will still be there, but the program will be gone. Then your body will not respond in a negative way, so you will have emotional freedom. Tapping clients sometimes report that they forget that they used to crave sugary treats after removing some of the triggering programs!"

It was now clear to me, how mere tapping on these points can alter the distress in a memory and take you miles away from binging on chocolates just to suppress your emotions.


DOES EFT REALLY HELP TO ELIMINATE CRAVINGS?

Studies indicate that EFT Tapping for cravings is an effective technique. Some classic examples include:

  • In a seminar, a lady came forward with a craving for spicy crisps and as she used EFT tapping for cravings process, she uncovered a deep-rooted issue where the surface craving was being driven by a requirement for adventure and a lack of intimacy with her husband.
  • In a live demonstration in Pune, the surface craving was for dairy milk chocolate jumbo bar and it caused a feeling of inner comfort and love, but what was underneath was a void, as a result of the death of a loved one.
  • In Emma's case, she attended training the first year and cleared her cravings for biscuits and the next year to chocolate. To learn more you can read her blog post.
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Struggle With Sugar Addiction Ended

I would like to share my own story on how I got over my sugar and sweet addiction. I craved sweets and chocolates all the time. The sweeter it was the better. I had tried various methods to overcome this and it worked for some time. It was with EFT that I began to work through the layers. The emotions I felt of loneliness, abandonment, guilt, and shame. Deeper than this, there was anger and then fear.

Mridula Nair EFT Trainer, Bangalore, India
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Gave up Chocolate and Biscuit Cravings

Just a quick email to thank you for a fantastic day. I learned so much and feel very positive. Still, no galaxy (a Chocolate bar) and I feel in CONTROL of that. I don’t even want a hot chocolate, which is what I normally go for if I’m trying to not to have a bar of chocolate. I have come home and done all the work I have been putting off, with regards to my website and I did not even think about it. I am so happy that after just 1 day of EFT training I feel so good. I feel in control and I feel better!!

Emma Voss Business Owner and Working Mom, UK
CLINICAL STUDIES TO SHOW EFT TAPPING FOR CRAVINGS
The first study explored was: Can EFT reduce cravings and weight? Before the study, 65% of the mainly female study participants ate the food that they craved and were diagnosed as obese. At the end of the study what they found was, EFT reduced the food cravings and the body weight,  proving EFT to be effective in the treatment of cravings (2).

The next study explored was: Can the effects of EFT last even after 12 months after the initial study completed? 12 months after receiving EFT the study participants found that the results of reduction in food cravings and weight were maintained (3). 


EFT reduces cravings and weight in the short term but the effects are long lasting.

DO LIFESTYLE CHANGES PLAY A ROLE IN ELIMINATING CRAVINGS?

So, EFT tapping can play a major role in eliminating the craving. Lifestyle changes support the day-to-day management of cravings.

Lifestyle changes such as engaging in a daily routine of meditation, exercising and a balanced diet supports in eliminating cravings:

  • Consuming healthy and wholesome food: Ensure that you eat nutrient-loaded food items, which include proteins, fibre-rich food, and healthy fats. These items may reduce your appetite and prevent overeating. Including sugar; rich items and refined carbohydrates can raise the blood sugar levels and force you into a whirlpool, craving for unhealthy food items. 
  • Planning your meals: Plan your meals and eat only when you are hungry to prevent overeating. If you avoid getting very hungry, you can eliminate craving for food.
  • Hydrating yourself: Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins from your body. Many times, thirst is mistaken for hunger and you end up eating when you are thirsty. Try drinking water when you are craving for food because it could after all be thirst, and not hunger.
  • Following a healthy exercise schedule for your mind and body: Adequate sleep, good exercise, meditation, and mindful eating, might help you in combating cravings.

"Food is symbolic of love, when words are inadequate."

Alan D. Wolfelt


So, whether you are craving chocolates just after a heavy meal or craving for bread when you are just too bored, remember, there is the surface craving, the associated emotions, and an underlying root cause. 

Emotions like insecurity, depression and anxiety can trigger the impulse to reach for that bag of chips, while feeling full. It is because there is a deeper need, for example for comfort, love or attention.

So, with EFT Tapping you can not only help yourself stop the habit of emotional eating, you can also become qualified as an EFT practitioner and help others overcome their cravings to lose weight and feel healthier and happier. 

Clinically proven therapies can help you curb your cravings and cut down those extra calories. So, if you are confused about where to start, it's best to seek help from professional therapists to figure out what works best for you.

Love,

Dr. Rangana Rupavi Choudhari (PhD)

P.S. Want to discover if EFT Tapping is right for you? Book a Complimentary Discovery Call.

SEEK HELP FROM AN EFT PRACTITIONER?

Discover how EFT can help you to self heal or to become professionally qualified as a Certified EFT Practitioner. Emotional Freedom Techniques (tapping) is clinically proven to lower stress, tension, anxiety, past-trauma to enable health, happiness and vitality.

In summary, trying various alternatives to eliminate a craving, or curb emotional eating and cut down calories can make you exhausted, but pause and relax. All you need to do is breathe and take baby steps in uncovering the root cause of your cravings to free yourself. EFT Tapping for Craving will allow you to unpeel the surface craving, associated emotions, and the root cause to free you from cravings.

References

  1. Tapping into Health: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) for Anxiety and Food Cravings (https://dukeintegrativemedicine.org/DHWBlog/tapping-health-emotional-freedom-techniques-eft-anxiety-food-cravings/)
  2. Online Delivery of Emotional Freedom Techniques in the Treatment of Food Cravings and Weight Management: A Randomised Controlled Trial by Stapleton P, Roos T, Mackintosh G, Sparenburg E, Sabot D, Carter B. ( https://www.lidsen.com/journals/icm/icm-04-04-065)
  3. Clinical Benefits of Emotional Freedom Techniques on Food Cravings at 12-Months Follow-Up: A Randomized Controlled Trial By Peta Stapleton, Terri Sheldon, & Brett Porter (https://energypsychologyjournal.org/stapleton/)

Disclaimer: The information on this website is purely for educational purposes and does not in any way replace the requirement for medical and psychological diagnosis and treatment. Please do seek professional medical and psychological diagnosis and advice for all medical and mental health conditions. It is advised to always book any consultations with qualified professionals.


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