If you're grappling with sugar or carb cravings and weight challenges, I highly recommend that you start tapping, a simple, but powerful process.
You can learn about this remarkable technique in Nick Ortner's new book, The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living. Thanks to the publisher, Hay House, I'm now presenting an excerpt so you can discover more how tapping can help you to break the hold that sugar, carbs or food has over you.
At the end of this Sugar Shock Blog post, you'll see an audio player for the fascinating Gab with the Gurus episode with Nick Ortner.
Losing Weight and Letting Go of Fear, Guilt, and Shame around Food
"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. -- Thomas A. Edison
“Tapping,” is said to be a combination of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology, and works with the body’s meridian points. Meridians, the basis of the ancient Chinese medical system of acupuncture, are defined as energy channels that carry the vital life force, or qi, to the organs and others systems of the body.
Running up and down either side of the body, each meridian is associated with a different organ—stomach, gall bladder, kidney, etc. Each meridian also has what’s called an “endpoint,” a specific location where you can access the energy channel on the surface of the body. This point can be manipulated using acupuncture needles or simple touch (acupressure) to balance or unblock the energy flow through that particular meridian.
“EFT,” or “Emotional Freedom Techniques” is a single tapping sequence that is designed to hit all the major meridian endpoints, and starts with the hand, then moves to the inner eyebrow, the outer eyebrow, underneath the eye, under the nose, the chin, the collarbone, and the side of the rib cage, then ends at the top of the head.
When you’re experiencing a negative emotional state—angry or upset or fearful—your brain goes on alert. Your adrenaline pumps, your muscles tense, and your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar all rise to give you extra energy to meet the challenge; your body is preparing you to fight or flee.
The ongoing fight-or-flight response leaves us worn down, sick, upset, overweight, and stressed out. What tapping does, with amazing efficiency, is halt the fight-or-flight response, or stress response, and reprogram the brain and body to act—and react—differently.
Why Does Tapping Help with Weight Loss? The Stress Connection
The stress response can cause a massive cascade of events in your body, including:
- On average four times less blood flow to your digestive system.
- Lower absorption of nutrients.
- Less enzyme production in your gut. (As much as 20,000 times less! This is one of the reasons why, when you eat a meal while you’re stressed, you’ll often feel bloated and uncomfortable.)
- Decrease in gut flora population.
- Increase in cholesterol.
- Increase in cortisol and insulin levels.
The last item is particularly important for weight loss, because when your cortisol is consistently elevated, it’s hard to lose weight or build muscle. In fact, you’re more likely to gain weight, particularly around your midsection. When you lower your stress level (and obviously it’s not just stress about food, but lowering stress about everything and everything) your body will respond. You’ll lose weight, increase the absorption of nutrients, increase enzyme production (so you won’t feel bloated), increase healthy gut flora population, lower your cholesterol, and lower your cortisol and insulin levels. What is this magic diet? What do you eat? Whatever you want! Just relax while you’re doing it. . . .
EFT for Food Cravings
Another problem I often turn to is food cravings, because those are also easy to witness and measure.
Working with food cravings in front of a live audience follows a similar trajectory every time. First, we all have some good laughs as I introduce a bag of candy, chocolates, cookies, or other treats people often crave. I pass around the bag and have people pick their favorite. I have them look at it, smell it, and do whatever else it takes to bring their craving levels up. Then I ask for a few volunteers who want to work live onstage to reduce those cravings.
I first ask the volunteers to describe the intensity of their craving on a 0-to-10 scale—and what, in particular, they are feeling or noticing about the candy or chocolate. I immediately get answers like this:
“The craving is a 10. It smells so good . . . can I have a little bite? I love Snickers, and I’m so hungry!”
“It’s an 8. I didn’t eat much at lunch, and this would really fill me up.”
We all have some more laughs, as it becomes obvious that the volunteers are desperate to eat these treats!
And then we begin some very general tapping, and we tap through the points for several rounds.
This generally dulls the edge of the craving—that almost crazed desire for the food—and it’s what you can use yourself whenever you’re having a craving. Start with the most general and basic tapping to calm the body down. The next question I usually ask is, “If there was an emotion behind this craving, what would it be. If we don’t get to the root of the craving, to what’s causing it in the first place, it’s likely to come back a few hours or days later. Sure, you can tap it down each time. But why not handle the emotion right up front and get rid of the craving once and for all?
As people tune in to the emotions behind the craving, that’s when the laughter often turns into tears. Many of us use food to suppress or dampen negative emotions, events, and the overall stress in our lives.
As my friend Carol Look likes to say, “It’s not about the food!” The food is covering up or masking what’s really going on underneath. When you address the underlying patterns, emotions, events, and beliefs, that’s when your relationship with the food can shift toward something much more healthy.