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Alternative Healing

Emotional Eating: How to stop emotional eating? (Karen Donaldson)

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What is emotional eating?  Why do we do it?  How does it work? How to stop emotional eating?  Get 2 demos of what to do if you are gaining weight even when on a diet, or if you overeat at meal times. offers a program that addresses the root cause of most of our unhelpful eating patterns (overeating, and binge eating sweets, snacks, etc) by looking at one of the key drivers of weight gain–emotional eating.

Why don’t most diets work?

“One of the persistent problems with diets is that they’re usually futile in the long run. Sure, dieters lose weight, but after the diet most of them gain it all back.

Not so with EFT! Studies of people who take an EFT course for weight loss show that they continue to lose weight after the course ends. Stapleton, Sheldon, and Porter (2012) found that in the year following their weight loss program, participants lost an additional eleven pounds on average.

I also took a look at the amount of weight loss that occurred after people completed the EFT program, knowing that temporary weight loss was not worth the effort. Our clinical trial showed that EFT participants lost an average of three pounds in the six months following the EFT online program (Church & Wilde, 2013). EFT for weight Loss does not focus on weight loss per se, nor prescribe any particular diet, but instead focuses on the emotional aspects of eating. We believe that once emotional eating goes away, weight loss follows naturally. A friend of mine recently began tapping on all his memories on the theme of “shame.” He’d had many events in his life that contributed to the theme, and he tapped on them one by one. A few weeks after starting the process, he told me, with wonder in his voice, that thirty pounds had simply melted away. It wasn’t physical; the weight was emotional. When he dealt with the emotional events, the weight dropped away.” Chapter 1- Church, D. (2013). EFT for weight loss. Carlsbad: Hay House.


0:51 Why do diets generally not work? How is EFT different than most diet programs? EFT is not about deprivation and being hard core, instead EFT is about kind and gentle to your body.

2:56 Why do many restrictive diets not work? Many diets have a demanding hard core idea and it’s hard for us to maintain that discipline.  And when we can’t maintain these restrictions it can create chaos brain.

8:47 What are typical results and commitment you need to make to be successful in this program?  Over 6 weeks most people lose 2lbs/week and lose another 3lbs over the next 6 mos.

11:45 What is the benefit of doing EFT4weightloss in a group?

12:26  What are best possible results for those on program? Attend weekly, tap every morning, before meals, and conscious of stress during the day.

How to stop emotional eating?

How Is EFT Different?

“The answer is based on several key distinctions. First, EFT has a phenomenal ability to reduce your cravings. Whether you crave ice cream, chocolate, alcohol, tobacco, sweets, or anything else, EFT is able to make those cravings go away in minutes. This is not an unsupported claim; it is a scientific fact. Together with Audrey Brooks, PhD, a research psychologist at the University of Arizona, I conducted a trial of EFT that examined mental health and cravings (Church & Brooks, 2010).

We gathered data from 216 health-care professionals. These were psychotherapists, doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, alternative medicine practitioners, and chriopractors. They participated in a daylong EFT group workshop at one of five professional conferences. As part of that workshop, we examined addictive cravings for items like chocolate, food, alcohol, and tobacco in health-care workers. The declines in cravings were substantial, averaging 83 percent (p < .0001). In a separate study, we measured psychological symptoms in a group of people with self identified craving and addiction problems attending a two-day group workshop focused on these issues. We found improvements across a spectrum of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety (Church & Brooks, 2013).

Reducing cravings is a key manner in which EFT helps with weight loss. If your craving for that candy bar or bucket of ice cream goes away, and you don’t eat it, then all those calories don’t enter your body. Craving reduction is key to weight loss.”  Chapter 1- Church, D. (2013). EFT for weight loss. Carlsbad: Hay House.

Use EFT to get rid of cravings:



43:42 What is a physical craving? This is something you can do at the moment when you are having a craving for something that is not healthy for you to eat. Karen shows what you would do if you had a chocolate craving and how to address the craving to eat that unhealthy food.

25:56 What happens to your food cravings after you do EFT? How can you have a different relationship to food? Karen talks about how her relationship to tortilla chips changed as a result of

43:52 How many times may you have to tap on a craving or food item before you no longer desire it?  Our brain may have stored many memories for a particular craving and tapping may happen several times before a craving is addressed.

What is emotional eating?

EFT: Overcoming emotional eating

“Clinical psychologist Roger Callahan, PhD, who developed one of the earliest methods on which EFT is based, observed that cravings usually mask anxiety (Callahan, 2000). Below the craving is anxiety, and we eat to suppress that anxiety.

There’s a Japanese story about two groups of disciples of two different spiritual masters. They were having a fierce argument about whose master was the most advanced. The disciples of one group presented their evidence that theirs was truly an adept: He could fly through the air, turn base metal into gold, and read minds. The disciples of the other group laughed, and said their master demonstrated even greater accomplishments. The first group was flabbergasted. What on earth could the second master do that would eclipse those accomplishments, they demanded. Here’s what the second master’s students said: He sleeps when he’s tired. He drinks when he’s thirsty. He eats when he’s hungry.

Their point was that he’d mastered simply being in a body, and living in a balanced manner. Those of us who are obese or overweight cannot make that claim. Roughly a third of those living in the Northern Hemisphere are obese, and another third are overweight. That means that two-thirds of the population has not mastered the skill of eating and drinking in a way that allows us to maintain a stable balanced healthy weight. We eat for many reasons other than hunger.

We eat when we’re nervous. We eat when we’re lonely. We eat for Weight Loss when we’re depressed. We eat to reduce stress. We eat to reward ourselves. We eat to mask our feelings. None of these emotional reasons for eating has anything to do with the body’s need for nourishment. This disconnect between the act of eating and the body’s requirements for sustenance is characteristic of many people. We might have even lost touch with our body’s signals that it’s had enough food, or that it doesn’t like some of the junk we’re shoving down our throats. Our emotions are overriding our body’s signals. That’s the problem with emotional eating, and EFT has a proven ability to help reduce the trauma that is the source of so much negative emotion” Chapter 1- Church, D. (2013). EFT for weight loss. Carlsbad: Hay House.


Using eft:

47:52 What is emotional eating? CJ and Karen discuss their demo and how it relates to emotional eating.

Brain chemistry: What causes belly fat?

VIDEO: 4:54  What is the brain chemistry in weight loss?

How can we change our relationshp to gaining weight?

VIDEO: 1:25 How can weight be a signal for emotional healing? EFT changes the way you think about weight.  While you still may dread seeing the extra pounds, you can see the pounds as a signal from your emotions that a healing for your body, mind, and spirit is available to you.

How to use the EFT Process?

What Is EFT?

“EFT is also called “tapping” because a central practice of EFT is to use your fingertips to tap lightly on points on your body. These points are described in the ancient Oriental technique of acupuncture. Acupuncture points are spots on energy meridians that flow through your body. They conduct energy well, having only about 1/2000th the electromagnetic resistance found in the surrounding skin (Hyvarien & Karlson, 1977).

While you tap, you think about events or beliefs that bothered you. Perhaps one day when you were six years old, your ten-year-old brother called you “Fattie” in front of his best friend Bruce. You had a crush on Bruce, and you felt humiliated. Another time, when you were twelve, your mother took you to a store to buy a new outfit, and the clerk sneered and said, “I don’t think we have anything in her size.” You tried out for a part in the school play when you were fourteen, and the drama teacher condescendingly declared, “You aren’t the right shape for this role.” By the time you’re an adult, you have a large collection of these events contributing to your anxiety and depression, along with many failed attempts at dieting. You’ve developed a poor self-image and have a toxic collection of memories in your mind. The voices of fear and self-doubt whisper in your ear every time you try and solve your problems.

EFT trains you to tap on each of these formative experiences. Tapping sends soothing signals throughout your body. When you tap while remembering bad events, the emotional intensity of the bad events evaporates. You still remember them, but they are no longer filled with an emotional charge (Church, 2013b). As you remember them and tap, EFT also has you say words of comfort and self-affirmation, like “I deeply and completely accept myself.” Remembering a painful memory + tapping + self-affirmation is the secret sauce. Tapping and self-affirmation remove the sting from the memory. After EFT, you might occasionally recall the memory, but it’s no longer loaded with emotional baggage. Your past hasn’t changed, but the lens through which you see it is neural, instead of being overlaid with anger, shame, sorrow, blame, and guilt.” Chapter 1- Church, D. (2013). EFT for weight loss. Carlsbad: Hay House.


19:47 and 27:22 EFT Process- Where are the points?  What is the process?

20:33 Why can you benefit right now by tapping with this video? What are borrowed benefits and how do they work?

40:07 What were the steps involved in EFT tapping? Sometimes you’ll tap on craving, your emotional reaction, body’s reaction to the stress, childhood issues that need to be resolved, emotional need that you are seeking.

Failing your Diet: Tapping routine to use if you gain weight during your diet.

27:43 TAPPING DEMO: What do you do if you are gaining weight after doing a dieting program?

How can tapping make you more mindful of your eating?

49:20 How does EFT for weight loss effect your Joy of Eating? Karen shares her own experience with EFT and how it has added to her joy, appreciation of food, and made her more mindful of her food.

DEMO: How to use tapping if you overeat?


50:31 Tapping intro: How do you use tapping to stop overeating and be conscious of portion control?  Over eating is often related to a food insecurity (not enough food), deprivation, suffering, punished for not eating a certain way, sharing, food may keep me protected (weight helps from past history with sexual abuse).

52:31 DEMO: Stop from overeating. Tap before the meal. Eat 3-4 bites of each thing.  Tap again.

Habits of those who keep weight off?

“While it’s true that most dieters eventually gain back all the weight they lost, and more, it’s not true of everyone.

A small percentage of dieters are successful at losing weight and keeping it off for good. A database maintained by the National Weight Control Registry shows that 20 percent of individuals who lose 10 percent or more of their body weight keep it off for a year or more (Wing & Phelan, 2005). It’s well worth taking a close look at how they were successful, and emulating them, helped by EFT. What is it these people do that makes them successful? They demonstrate six primary characteristics:

  1. They weigh themselves frequently. They monitor themselves regularly, so that they can correct their course as soon as they stray. The reason this is important is that it establishes a feedback loop between what you eat and what you weigh. When you eat that bowl of ice cream, weigh yourself the following morning, and see that you’ve gained a pound, you understand the link between the two events. When you stick with your diet all weekend and notice on Monday morning that you’ve lost two pounds, you associate the two. Over time, you take a look at what you’re eating and evaluate it in terms of how much weight you’ll gain or lose if you put it in your mouth. You still have a choice, but now you understand the consequences of those choices. Write down your weight in a journal every day after you weigh yourself. This way, you’ll also start to notice patterns. The registry found that 75 percent of participants weigh themselves at least once a week, and most of these weigh themselves once a day.
  2. They maintain their eating habits each day. They don’t indulge on weekends and fast on weekdays, or eat excessively during the holiday season and starve themselves afterward. Their bodies are treated to a nice even baseline of ingredients. They’ve discovered what works for weight maintenance, and they stick to it. Introduction 31
  3. They exercise regularly. Exercise isn’t key to weight loss in the way diet is, but exercise is vital to health. Those in the study exercised an average of an hour a day. That exercise doesn’t have to be pumping iron in the gym or running on the treadmill; even moderate exercise like thirty minutes of walking each day has been shown to help nudge gene expression in a healthy direction (Ornish et al., 2008). Very few people in the registry used exercise only for weight loss (1%), and other studies have shown that diet is much more effective than exercise for weight loss. That said, exercise helps keep you healthy, and it’s a habit of those who lose weight and keep it off. A predominance of the people in the registry (89%) said they used a combination of exercise and diet to keep their weight down.
  4. They eat breakfast. An examination of the data from successful long-term weight loss participants shows that almost 80 percent of them eat breakfast daily; many experts consider it one of the foundations of a successful weight-loss program.
  5. They eat a diet that is low in calories and fat. They watch their food intake carefully, with 88 percent of them restricting foods they know make them fat. Many (43%) count calories, even two or three years after they’ve lost weight. Vigilance keeps them skinny.

Whenever they slip, they catch themselves quickly. Data from the registry show that people who slip and don’t correct quickly are a lot more likely to gain weight than those that do. Successful long-term weight losers notice when they’ve gained weight, identify what happened to produce that result, and return as fast as possible to their baseline habits. Over half of the people in the registry (55%) are still focused on losing weight and are not casual about their success.” Chapter 1- Church, D. (2013). EFT for weight loss. Carlsbad: Hay House.


58:59 What are the 3 habits of those who keep weight off?  Don’t binge on weekends- eat consistent through the whole week.  Eating makes a bigger difference than exercise.

How to deal with weight fluctuations and daily weigh in’s?


59:42 How seriously should I take the weight on the scale? Tap while you are on the scale.  If getting on the scale messes you up, then do some tapping on getting on the scale.  The benefit of getting on the scale is being accountable. Use the weight as an emotion meter. If you have gained weight, see it as something that needs attention.

1:02 Sign up for the 6 week program.