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When Seeing Food Leads to Wanting to Eat Food

As I was putting together this month's Bits-n-Bites Weight Loss Newsletter I realized that as I write about the horrible nutritional statistics in some common foods I also find my mouth watering for them. Oh, great, I thought. That's not helpful. The same thing happens when I read cookbooks, which I love to do. Especially the books with pictures, which makes it even worse. No wonder I love to bake!

How to Stop Snack Attacks Caused by TV Commercials

Here's what happens: You're sitting and minding your own business, settling in to watch a movie on TV perhaps, when what should you see? A big juicy dripping burger, or a bunch of kids happily slurping ice cream cones on a hot summer day. They (the evil advertisers) know this will cause a hunger pang because seeing food leads to eating food, so they show you image after image. Ever notice how they also seem to show you the same commercial over and over during a one-hour show? They don't do that to make you insane so much as to implant the idea that you want something to eat and you want it now. And it works.

Step 1 - Realization & Level of Intensity

Step one is realizing what's going on. You weren't hungry a few minutes ago. You may have just recently finished dinner, but here Eating Rocksyou are, feeling that familiar gurgling in your stomach. "Wow, I'm hungry." Your mind does a mental search of the kitchen cabinets for "what's to eat?" If you realize there is something tempting, the pull to get up and have some is so strong most people don't give it a second thought, and simply head out to get it. Stop! That's when you can test EFT.

Decide what is your level of intensity (this is so at the end you can see whether the EFT was helpful). The range is from 0 to 10 with 10 being as much intensity as is possible, and 0 being no intensity at all. If I really wanted to go get something to eat, and I knew there was nothing going to stop me, I'd probably say it's a 9 or even a 10, but if I just have the idea I want something but I don't know, I could stop myself, if I wanted, I just don't know if I want to, that would be a level 6 or 7. You decide the level. It's not critical, and there is no "wrong" answer, but if you put a number on it when you begin, it gives you something at the end to really check see if this is helpful for you.

Step 2 - Decide to Test EFT

Give EFT a test as often as you can, just to see what happens. It doesn't hurt anything. If you still want something after, you can have it, no big deal. But you might find that sometimes the idea of eating isn't as strong any more. You might find yourself deciding to wait awhile. The next time the commercial comes on you then may begin to realize what's been going on. It's never been about your constant need to eat but that you've been simply mesmerized by the commercials and thrown into a patterned response. See food, eat food. EFT helps you break that pattern. I think of it as "testing" the EFT because that stops the thought that you'll be deprived if you don't have the snack.

You aren't being deprived when you stop a mindless, patterned response. Any time you want to eat, you can eat. If you were hungry and you did EFT on your hunger, it wouldn't cause the hunger to stop. It may reduce the immediate sense that you will completely fall to the floor in exhaustion if you don't eat immediately (not many of us are this malnourished), and it can take the edge off the immediacy. You can then simply prepare something nice to eat and enjoy it, instead of wolfing it down because you're afraid your litter mates might want some.

Step 3 - Do a Round of EFT

Think of the issue, this time it's seeing food on TV leading to wanting to eat. Tap lightly on the karate chop point, or the sore spot while you say the set up three times: "Even though I can't help wanting to eat every time I see a commercial for food, I deeply and completely accept myself." You can change the statement during the three times, or simply repeat the same one, "Even though I want something to eat now that I saw that stupid commercial, I deeply and completely accept myself," tapping lightly, and once more, "Even though I hate those commercials that make me want to eat, I deeply and completely accept myself."

(Remember, you can always change the wording. The point is to bring up the intensity of the "idea" that one thing has cause another, in this case seeing the commercial made you hungry. It's not the words that make EFT effective, it's the idea in your mind while you are tapping, so think as intensely as you can about what it is that is wrong, or upsetting you, or causing you pain, or making you want to eat when you were fine a minute ago.)

The EFT Pattern to Stop Snack Attacks

Now, for the EFT pattern, simply choose a reminder such as "commercials," and repeat that one word while you do the tapping. This keeps the "issue" front and center in your mind.

Inside Eyebrow - commercials
Outside Eyebrow - commercials
Under Eye - stupid commercials
Under Nose - I hate commercials
Chin - I was perfectly fine a minute ago
Collar Bone - Now I'm hungry because of those stupid commercials
Under Arm - commercials

(This shows how you can also "talk" to yourself as you do the tapping. Keeping the issue in mind is the point. The words are insignificant except in that they remind you of the issue.)

Step 4 - Check to See if it Made Any Difference

Now, check again. What is your level of intensity? How strongly do you feel, right now, that you want to get something to eat? Is it the same? Is it stronger now - you want a snack more than ever? Is it lower? What is the number now.

Okay, so I think, "Well, let's see. Dang, I don't really feel like having a snack at all right this moment, but I'll bet if I just wait, it'll come back." So wait. Decide to go ahead and just wait to "see what happens." I love to use EFT to see what happens. It's something to play with. I'd give my current level of desire a 2. The idea is still there, I could eat, if I wanted, but I just don't really feel like it right now. I think I'll wait.

See how helpful that could be? Try it yourself, and let me know what happens. If you learn to use EFT you may find that many times when you would have gone for a snack, now you can lessen that immediate desire. You can also run through two or more rounds of EFT on the same issue, one right after another. If you did this the first time through, and now you felt it was a five. I could eat, I still sort of want to, but I'm not sure, really. Go ahead and do another round, to see if that number reduces even more. It might, and wouldn't that be a nice surprise?

Think of the money you'd save simply by cutting into the amount of food you snack mindlessly when you aren't really even hungry?


Read my weight loss articles - you'll find lots of ideas and suggestions there. Learn to use EFT. Get my Daily Bites where I give examples of using EFT for these issues, and take it one day at a time, one bite at a time.

You may not need to lose weight specifically, but if you have issues with food that you'd like to resolve, learn to use EFT and NLP methods. You can learn to remove your obstacles to feeling healthy and in charge of your own life. Look here to see if a Weight Loss Coach is right for you.


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Kathryn Martyn M.NLP
Kathryn Martyn Smith, M.NLP EFT Weight Loss Coach
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