Managing Cravings (EFT
There are several ways to manage cravings.
- Attempt to stop eating the food you
crave entirely (out of sight out of mind).
- Modify your eating habits around a particular
food, i.e. cut back on the quantity or
how often you indulge.
- Use EFT to end the attachment you have
to this particular food.
1. Stop Eating the Food you Crave
Eliminating the offending food entirely
is rarely successful. We can only limit
ourselves for so long before we go crazy,
eating everything in sight to make up for
the deprivation. This also introduces deprivation
and control issues, which many have trouble
with leftover from childhood. Would it be
better to learn to enjoy your favorites
without losing control around them?
2. Modify your Eating Habits
Modifying your behavior can be successful,
but it can also be difficult because even
though we want to change, it seems that
despite our best efforts, we still find
ourselves craving the same things, day after
day. It is the "how" that stops
us. How can we change a behavior that is
a habitual response? How can we stop doing
what we don't want to do? There are literally
thousands of diet and weight loss books
and most offer nothing more useful than
the "eat less, exercise more"
advice. If it were simply a matter of doing
what we know we should do, there would be
no obesity epidemic, but it's not that simple.
We need to know HOW.
3. Use EFT to end the Attachment to a
EFT is often helpful to diminish or demolish
the cravings. It can be your HOW. How to
change habits that you want to be rid of,
how to create new, better habits, that support
what you want, instead of what you don't.
EFT is simple to learn, and effective.
If you don't yet know how to do EFT, read
this brief explanation, then download
and print the worksheets, instructions and
reminders all in one convenient PDF packet.
You've said you are going to stop nighttime
snacking, and then the voices start, "I've
been good all day, I deserve a treat, just
one won't hurt..." You're basically
talking yourself into it, and then you're
off and running to the kitchen. Most of
us find that once we say yes to that voice,
there's no holding ourselves back.
As soon as you realize you are doing the
"talk myself into it" routine,
start using EFT immediately. Catching yourself
in the act is difficult at first, but if
you keep an open mind, you will start to
notice. No matter where you are or what
you are doing, you can instantly perform
an EFT procedure on yourself, and get quick
results. You don't need to wait until later,
until the atmosphere is just right, or until
you are alone or somewhere you can relax.
You can do it while driving, you can do
it in a crowd standing on the corner.
The first round you might notice the craving
is somewhat reduced (or it could disappear
entirely), but it will likely be lessened.
Once you have done one round, re-rate your
desire for the food, and if it is still
high (more than a six), do another round
of EFT right then:
Set-up: "Even though I still want
to eat _________, I'm fine just the way
Reminder: "Still want to eat _________."
While I'm doing the EFT round, I might
find myself thinking things such as, "It's
not that I want to eat them all, it's just
that once I start I can't stop."
So, for the next round I'll use that statement:
Set-up: "Even though I can't stop
eating cookies once I get started, I deeply
and completely accept myself anyway."
Say the "even though" part with
gusto, you really mean it! You are okay,
just the way you are.
Reminder: "Can't stop"
This round might lead to, "That's
not true, I can decide how much I want,
I just don't want to limit myself,"
so the next round might be:
Set-up: "Even though I hate to limit
myself, I deeply and completely..."
or "Even though I don't want to limit
myself," or whatever words fit your
Reminder: "No limits"
Make this process yours and let your personal
thoughts guide you. Doing this will help
you unearth core issues and beliefs you
may not have realized were there.
More often than not what happens with these
simple and effective techniques is you will
stop using them. Not because they don't
work, but because they do. You will stop
because you aren't ready to give up your
eating habits - you like the food, you enjoy
the taste, the pleasure you gain from the
eating is greater than the pleasure you
anticipate by making a change in your habits.
It's as if you say to yourself, "Screw
it, I don't care. I want it now, and I'm
going to have it." Much like a small
child, you are simply feeding your instant
desire, and that's okay too.
Be gentle with yourself. Realize you will
do this on occasion, and accept it. It doesn't
make you a failure, it simply proves you
are human. Accept yourself as you are. If
you make a committment to do the EFT exercises,
even though you don't want to, you will
In my work reluctance to do something that
will work explains why people continue to
seek something new. They read new books,
they try new diets (witness Atkins, now
South Beach Diet), they ask each other (usually
their overweight friends) what they are
doing (why not ask someone without a weight
problem instead?). The answer is they don't
really want to make a change for the better,
they just want the easy fix. Give me a pill,
a simple food plan, make it easy for me,
and I'll do it. I can keep on any plan for
the short-term, lose some weight, then as
I'm gaining it back I can just blame myself.
It's my fault for stopping the diet. It's
my fault, for not staying on the plan.
This is not a healthy way to live. Take
back your power. You decide what you will
or won't do every day. Stop giving that
power to others - stop blaming yourself
for not staying on someone else's plan,
and make your own plan.
This is the single most important thing
in anyone's change process: Realizing what
you want for your health, your body, your
life, is more important than what you get
by the instant gratification.
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