Does the Festive Season cause you stress because there are too many food temptations? Read more on how you can stop your food cravings and enjoy the Festive Season once again.
Temptations All Around
The festive season is probably the hardest time of year for anyone trying to have a healthier lifestyle. Enticing food temptations are around every corner, from gourmet stores displaying luxurious treats, to co-workers baking goodies and bringing them in to share.
It can be overwhelming and intimidating to try and constantly resist them, especially with well meaning persons encouraging you to have “just a taste” or saying things like “come on, it’s the holidays, one bite won’t kill you!”
It may be true that one bite won’t kill you but it could lead to an avalanche of poor choices and the attitude of defeat~ “well I gave in all last week, so I might as well just give up trying.” How do you stay motivated to resist temptation when you are faced with it every day?
Tapping On Emotional Memories
Commonly called Tapping, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a useful and effective tool to help combat food cravings because it works on the emotional memory tied to a food craving. The myth of "willpower" makes it seem that only those with a strong will can avoid all the delightful treats around them. Images of desired foods are very appealing, and are able to sway many people to suddenly want something that had not thought about, like seeing a tray of Festive cookies in front of them and suddenly wanting to eat them! Food cravings are increased when we smell food. Our sense of smell is one of our strongest senses. Smells tie us to emotional memories, like the smell of fresh baked cookies can remind someone of a happy childhood memory like baking with a grandparent.
EFT is a technique, which is most effective when done with a specific goal in mind. When working with food cravings, it is helpful to have that item – for example a cookie, placed in front of the person who wishes to work on their cookie cravings is the first step to combating the desire to eat it. All of our senses are engaged when we are around food. EFT works with all of our senses and our physical and emotional reactions to foods. The sight, smell, taste, sound, touch, and emotional connections to that food are all worked on bit by bit until the desire to eat the unwanted food is greatly reduced or disappears all together.
A Fun Experiment
There is a fun experiment anyone can try to see how much our physical responses and emotional responses play into our food cravings.
1. Have a desired food item (still in its packaging) placed on a table in front of the person who is craving it.
2. Have the person only look at the food in question and ask them how much they are craving it on a scale of 1-10? With 10 being that the have a very urgent desire to eat the food.
3. Ask the person to now handle the food and open the packaging on that food item. Notice the physical and emotional responses the person will exhibit. You will see physical signs such as heart racing, skin flushing, inhaling to smell the food better, and mouth watering. Emotional responses can smiling, happiness, anxiety (guilt) or anger because they are being tempted.
So if this Festive Season you want to try to not to eat every temptation you come across, try EFT. There are many reputable practitioners who can help you overcome your physical and emotional tie to food cravings.