Research shows that online delivery of EFT is effective for long term weight loss:
One of the detrimental things this COVID-19 pandemic has done to most of us is to increase our waistline.
We’re home all day long. We’re stressed because we wear multiple hats at the same time: we’re the parent, the employee, the caretaker, the homemaker, the cook, the child care worker, the teacher, the entertainer, the activities director, the household manager, the leader, and the list goes on.
In addition, we’re steps away from the fridge and pantry. There is no worse combination for our waistline than stress and foods that can be reached easily.
As obesity has high comorbidity with a range of psychological issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression. It is crucial that ongoing attention is provided to create strategies that increase the likelihood of successful long-term weight loss.
There is good news though, a study published last year showed that Emotional Freedom Techniques, a central feature of Energy Psychology, can help with food cravings by addressing various aspects behind the extra weight.
In the study, most of the participants were obese. The average body mass index (BMI) was greater than 33. A healthy BMI is equal to or under 25.
The control group received an 8-week online EFT program which included 7 EFT modules, covering:
(1) Introduction to EFT
(2) Tapping on less healthy foods
(3) Tapping on healthier foods
(4) Tapping on emotional eating
(5) Tapping on increasing the desire for physical activity
(6) Tapping on drinks
(7) Tapping into mindful-intuitive eating.
The 7 online EFT modules comprise 32 pre-recorded video sessions presented by a certified EFT practitioner, who’s also a clinical psychologist.
Each module was accessed via an online link, consisting of three to 8 lessons, ranging from 2 to 15 minutes in duration.
Participants were instructed to view one session per day and not exceed more than one module per week to maintain motivation and avoid burnout.
Participants could repeat and review the recorded sessions; however, completion of a session quiz before progressing to the next video was required.
Results indicated EFT delivered in an online format significantly reduced food cravings, dietary restraint, and the power of food in participants in the EFT group.
The results supported the hypothesis that treatment gains observed on outcome variables immediately post-EFT intervention would be maintained at the 6 and 12-month follow-up time points.
12-month follow-up measures indicated significant improvements in psychological distress symptoms as well as over-eating behaviour symptoms, such as preoccupation with food and over-consumption of unhealthy foods, following the 8-week EFT intervention.
Food cravings, power of food, and weight measures did not indicate further improvements from immediately post-intervention to the 2 follow-up time points.
It is possible participants in the study did not experience food cravings for previously desired foods following their treatment.
Accordingly, participants no longer needed to engage in tapping to reduce the cravings, which would help explain the non-significant results over time.
While participants were advised to continue using EFT if needed, a survey indicated only 20% of the total sample did continue to use the technique.
Notwithstanding the smaller reductions in weight post-12-month compared with prior research, current 12-month measures still indicated that EFT was able to result in significant changes without continued therapeutic application.
Overall, the results support the notion that the changes that occurred within the 8-week program were sufficient to influence and maintain weight reduction.
In terms of dietary restraint, results suggested that EFT continued to influence restraint capabilities at the 6 and 12-month follow-up.
The literature suggests that individuals who adopt more adaptive coping strategies no longer engage in repeated cycles of dieting and overeating.
Increases in restraint are also consistent with the observed reductions in food cravings and reductions in the impact of living in a food-abundant environment.
The current study represented the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) designed to assess the effectiveness of online delivery of EFT intervention on psychological symptomatology, food cravings, and weight-loss management.
The results have made a substantial contribution to the current state of knowledge of EFT intervention, providing preliminary support for the suitability of EFT for the management of food cravings, and associated weight-loss, when delivered in an online format.
The existing study indicated that the application of EFT sends deactivating signals to the amygdala, which then results in decreased activity in brain areas associated with fear and anxiety. It appears to also be a mechanism in the reduction of cravings.
The use of EFT in the current study simultaneously decreased anxious and emotional responses, as well as the intensity of cravings.
Follow-up data indicated that the effects were maintained for 12-months. This suggests the effects are for the long-term which means there’s a possibility of considerable lifestyle change.
The study confirmed that self-paced online #EFT delivery for weight loss is effective.
In plain English, this study showed easy-peasy (no forced diet change, no measuring and tracking of foods intake, no tracking of calories intake, no willpower over physical activities, no forced careful planning of groceries shopping, etc.) long-term weight loss can be achieved with just 15-30 minutes of applying EFT.
If you’re struggling with weight issues which may cause you other health issues, can you commit to 30 minutes daily tapping and shed the extra weight to live a healthier and happier life?
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