How To Use Eft For Weight Loss

Woman Tapping on Outer Eye Point

For many people weight loss is a journey, one they have been on for years. Trying diet after diet, maybe with some short term success only to have the weight come back on with a few added pounds. It becomes demoralizing and after multiple diets, supplements, stringent exercise routines, many just give up. Following may be a solution that you haven’t tried yet, and what is great about it is that there are no negative side effects and you can do it easily yourself in the comfort of your own home. It is a holistic approach called Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) that addresses emotional and physical aspects of weight loss with no negative side effects.

In the following paragraphs I am going to discuss how to use EFT or Tapping for weight loss. EFT has been around in it’s current form since the early 90s. It’s roots are in traditional Chinese Medicine and involves tapping on meridian points on the body while focusing on a specific problem. Sometimes called psychological acupressure, it is used to address emotional stress and promote overall well-being. It has been used for everything from physical pain to PTSD and can be a useful tool in efforts to lose weight and gain a healthier relationship with food.

EFT and Its Potential in Weight Loss

If you aren’t sure what EFT is, go to this link and you can read a short article that talks about EFT basics and tapping points. In a nutshell, EFT involves tapping on acupressure points on your upper body while focusing on a problem. You start with a set-up statement, and then go through the tapping points with a reminder phrase.

EFT can be used to address cravings or lower stress. It is believed that tapping on the points sends a message to your amygdala (the fight flight part of your brain) and lets it know that you are safe, lowering cortisol levels, helping you feel calmer and reducing stress related eating.

The following study on EFT by Dawson Church, PhD; Peta Stapleton, PhD; Danielle Raynor, Skinny-Genes-Published.pdf showed both weight loss and improved psychological symptoms. There are multiple research studies on the efficacy of EFT and it is becoming an evidenced-based therapy. It is a great tool that you can use on your own for many issues, however if you are dealing with trauma or other severe emotional problems, please seek professional help.

How Is EFT Different Than Other Weight Loss Options?

There are many problems with diets, most of them are restrictive, they can be expensive, preparing foods can be time consuming, and they typically address only the food component of weight loss. They might include an exercise routine, but rarely do they look at the underlying emotional reasons for a challenging relationship with food, weight, and body image.

This is where EFT stands out as it takes a more holistic approach and targets the underlying issues that have made it challenging to lose weight and/or keep it off. EFT is helpful for releasing blocks around unhealthy eating habits and body image issues. EFT in your weight loss plan can be used for tapping on emotional drivers to eat, to lower stress so there is less mindless eating, as well as to stop cravings. That is just the beginning, you can use tapping for those and many other obstacles that have impeded your weight loss success.

The consequences of not addressing some of the above issues are emotional eating, mindless eating, habitual eating, eating from boredom, and stress eating.

Does EFT tapping for weight loss really work? Research is starting to show that it does. The idea of calories in and calories out as the main component of weight loss is starting to lose ground. It isn’t that simple. Cortisol and high stress levels can play a role in metabolism and weight loss. Stress releases hormones that make weight loss more difficult, this again is where EFT can help. Research shows that EFT can lower cortisol levels by around 30% to 43% according to a research study found on The stress hormone cortisol has been shown to be associated with weight gain and binge eating patterns.

Just focusing on our weight as an issue can cause stress and if our response to stress is eating we are in serious trouble. This can lead to emotional eating which will trigger more stress, probably guilt and maybe even shame. It creates a vicious cycle that becomes difficult to break. Some of the physical symptoms of stress due to an increase of the stress hormones are constriction of blood vessels, affecting your ability to think clearly, along with that the increase in stress slows down your digestion.

Using EFT to lower your stress level, gives you that pause you need to evaluate what you really want to do. It also gives you an opportunity to see if there is another option. If you are reaching for food because of an emotional trigger, tapping may help you process those feelings. It may also give you some clarity on what you really need now, for instance if it is a drop in energy, could you give yourself time to relax, breathe, have a cup of herbal tea, or would get up and go for a walk as a way to feel re-energized?

Giving yourself this pause button can be a game changer.

The EFT Protocol for Weight Loss: Getting Started

To see the points and the basic recipe please click here to go to my page on Emotional Freedom Techniques. EFT includes tapping on acupressure points on the upper part of our body. As you are tapping on these points you are voicing and focusing on the problem. You will want to set aside at least 10 to 15 minutes of tapping time each day. This is definitely a case where more is better.

Before jumping into tapping you will want to identify some of your triggers, which can be a specific time when you remember hearing something that made you self-conscious about your body or the amount of food you were eating, some comment on your weight. It might be something that just happened that created a sense of overwhelm or an intense emotional reaction. The more of these specific items you uncover the better.

You will want to find a quiet place and set aside at least 10 to 15 minutes when you won’t be disturbed. You will want to be able to focus on your emotions, allow yourself to really feel them without worrying about being interrupted.

Creating Your EFT Tapping Plan for Weight Loss

Now that you know how to tap and you have a basic understanding of what it might entail to use EFT for weight loss, it is important to have a plan to move forward. Here are 4 steps to get you started.

STEP 1 – Make a list of 20 triggers or habitual behaviors that you want to change. (Just a quick note, this doesn’t mean that you will never be triggered again, you will however have a way to let it go so you no longer need to eat those feelings). As noted in the previous section, this could include cravings for a certain food, things people have said or done that made you feel self conscious about food or your body, habitual snacking, be as specific as possible.

Writing a list in a journal

For instance: I can’t resist chocolate, the time my sister called me fat.

STEP 2 – Make sure you are familiar with the EFT Tapping points and the protocol. Find a calm and quiet place where you will not be disturbed and decide which item on your list you want to start with. You may even want to use some aromatherapy or light a candle and make this almost a ritual of healing. If you are new to EFT don’t start with the most triggering thing on your list.

STEP 3 – Thinking about the specific item you will focus on, what is the SUDs (Subjective Units of Distress) intensity as you think about it now. Write that down.

For instance, using the example “the time my sister called me fat” when you think about it now how strong are the emotions around it; 0 = not at all, 10 = Very intense emotion. Identify what the emotion is.

If the statement is “I can’t pass up chocolate” use a how true is that statement for the SUDs scale; 0 = not at all true, 10 = 100% true.

Come up with your set up statement.

Ex: Even though I remember how angry I was when my sister called me fat I deeply and completely love and accept myself.


Even though I feel deprived if I don’t eat chocolate, I deeply and completely accept myself and all of my feelings.

Once you have your set up statement come up with a reminder phrase to go through the points. For the first one it could simply be “this anger”, and for the 2nd one it could be “feeling like I’m missing out”, or I’ll feel deprived. “

Start tapping through the points, several times. Keep tapping until it gets down below a 3.

STEP 4 – Once you get this down to where your SUDs is at least a 2 or 3, preferably a 1 or2, you may want to do a round of positive tapping that includes and affirmation around your goal.

Ex: I easily choose foods that are healthy for me and enjoy how they make me feel.

I am now in control of whether or not I eat chocolate

I feel comfortable and at ease in my body

Notice how you feel as you say these statements. If you are getting some sort of push back or they just don’t resonate, you may need to go back to another negative issue or continue working on the one you were working on. You can also soften up the affirmation to being open to the possibility that the statement is true.

Ex: I am open to the possibility that I can be in control of whether or not I eat chocolate.

I am open to the possibility that I can feel comfortable and at ease in my body.

Remember that you can’t do this wrong. Don’t worry about perfection or saying the right thing. As long as you stay focused on the issue at hand and tap you will start to notice shifts. With continued practice, tapping will help you regulate your emotions and the stress that can lead to reaching for food.

Problems And Best Practices When Using EFT for Weight Loss

Is there anything you need to be concerned about with tapping? The only side effect that any of my clients had when tapping was that they could not fall asleep the night after we did a tapping session. That was 1 out of several hundred clients I have tapped with. I’m not really sure if it was related to tapping or not.

The worst case scenario in my opinion is that you just don’t get the result you were hoping for. This could mean that you are tapping on an issue that is too broad and need to narrow your focus. It could mean you haven’t tapped long enough, or that you shifted to a different aspect without clearing the original issue. Even with not getting the result intended you will likely walk away feeling more relaxed.

Other things that might show up, are yawning, burping, laughing for no reason, intensified emotion. Often when I am tapping with a client, they will notice an increase in the emotion initially, (probably because they are so used to pushing it away and now they are focused on it), don’t quit, if you keep tapping the emotion will go back down. The goal is to eradicate the negative emotion completely.

One reason many of my clients don’t tap on their own is that they don’t know what to say. I remind them it is focusing on the feeling rather than worrying about the words. If you really need to you can go to You Tube and listen to some weight loss videos and get an idea of how to do it on your own, substituting your own words during the video as needed. There are also apps such as the tapping solution app, these can give you a little more confidence to do it on your own.

EFT As Part Of A Holistic Approach To Weight Loss

As great a tool as EFT is, it is just one tool. In this journey towards health and healing it is good to have multiple tools.

I would encourage you to add in mindfulness practices, meditation, yoga. These also are mind/body techniques that keep us connected to out body rather than constantly lost in thought or busyness.

In letting go of old habits we open the space to bring in new healthier lifestyle habits. This may include meal planning, and meal prepping. It might be taking a yoga class or joining a hiking club, getting up early and adding in time for a 30 minute walk each day. It may include joining some sort of support group, or involving your current support group.

Consistency is key here, whatever you add into your life stick with it. If you are finding it difficult, check in on your expectations, are you trying to change too much too soon. Maybe add in one new thing every 30 days or even every other month until you see how it goes with each addition. If it isn’t sustainable with everything else going on in your life you won’t stick with it. It might mean reevaluating priorities.

Conclusion: Empowering Personal Change With EFT

EFT offers a holistic approach to weight loss by addressing the emotional drivers underlying eating habits and body image issues. By tapping into the body’s energy system and addressing these emotional triggers, individuals can heal their relationship with food, cultivate self-compassion, and create lasting changes in their relationship with food, the way they feel about their body, and as a result their behavior around food. As a powerful yet accessible tool, EFT has the potential to transform not only physical health but also emotional wellbeing on the journey to weight loss success.

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