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Face tapping becomes hot new way to banish binge-eating and yo-yo dieting

Become aware of emotional eating through tapping.
Become aware of emotional eating through tapping.
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

You followed the hard-boiled egg diet until you were ready to cluck, vegged out on vegan until you turned orange from carrot overdose and consumed the cabbage soup weight loss plan until you became so stinky that even your dog avoided you. What's a dieter to do? The answer may be in a hot new holistic diet trend that's become popular overseas and now is surfacing in the U.S.: Face-tapping, reported Yahoo UK on Monday.

What the diet involves: By touching specific acupressure points using the face-tapping technique, you can win over stress eating, according to the plan's premise. The benefits are both physical and psychological. While stress causes your body to produce cortisol, triggering binge-eating episodes, tapping those acupressure points on your face reduces the amount of cortisol because it reduces activity in the amygdala.

Psychologically, tapping your face teaches you to halt yourself before you eat. Included in the guidelines: Short, positive phrases to recite while you tap. As a result, you feel confident about your ability to conquer emotional eating while shifting your attention from food to your well-being.

Women who tapped 15 minutes a day lost 16 pounds in eight weeks in a recent study. They were taught how to use the different acupressure points and accompanying phrases. There's also a new book that details how to benefit from this approach by Jessica Ortner: "The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence: A Woman's Guide to Stressing Less, Weighing Less, and Loving More."

Tapping is also known as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Created by psychologists, EFT has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress. A Harvard Medical School study showed that tapping affects the part of the brain linked to hunger, cravings for sugar and belly fat levels, reported the Daily Mail on Monday.

To use tapping for weight loss, however, you need to be willing to explore your own feelings. Why do you feel so stressed that you want to turn to food for comfort and relief from anxiety? What's the trigger for those emotions? After coming up with the answers, you can apply the technique of tapping to target those triggers.

And once you learn the art of tapping, you can apply it to other challenges in your life. Among the uses for tapping: Generalized anxiety, fear, pain and even improving your financial situation, says Nicolas Ortner, CEO of The Tapping Solution and author of "The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living." And he feels that the techniques can be learned in minutes and applied anywhere.

To use the technique, begin by recognizing precisely what's causing your feelings. Example: "I'm stressed because the shorts I wore last summer don't fit anymore, and I feel and look fat." Then give that feeling a score from zero (stress-free) to 10 (highest level).

You then create a statement that's called the "set-up," followed by a round of tapping. As you repeat the sequences, you can rate your level each time until you have lowered it to four or lower. After that, you change your statement to a positive one, such as "I'm happy I'm eating healthy and feel good about my body now."

As for the importance of reducing stress with regard to boosting weight loss: A new study showed the direct link between feeling stressed and an unhealthy diet.The researchers found that those who feel constantly anxious have higher metabolic risks, and those risks are associated with sugar and high-fat foods, reported the Clinical Advisor Monday. “In preclinical studies, the combination of chronic stress and a high sugar/fat diet is a more potent driver of visceral adiposity than diet alone,” wrote Kirstin Aschbacher, PhD, and the team of researchers, in Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Want something more to help with shedding pounds? Several studies have shown that keeping a food journal can increase weight loss and make it easier. Write down everything you eat (yes, even that "taste" of icing when you're preparing a dessert) to help yourself become aware of what you're eating and why. Using a food journal could be a helpful complement to tapping.

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