Using the Emotional Freedom Technique (also called EFT or Tapping) along with Intuitive Eating has finally allowed me to break free from binge eating, and start making peace with my body. These two techniques are perfect partners to work together to help you finally overcome your struggles with food and your body. Read on to learn more about the powerful combination of Tapping and Intuitive Eating and how they can change your life, too.
The formal definition of Intuitive Eating is:
“Intuitive Eating is a self-care eating framework, which integrates instinct, emotion, and rational thought and was created by two dietitians, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in 1995. Intuitive Eating is a weight-inclusive, evidence-based model with a validated assessment scale and over 100 studies to date.”1
My definition of Intuitive Eating is that it is a structure that provides guidance on how to take fear and restriction away from food and to learn to accept that all shapes and sizes of bodies are OK - even mine and yours.
Becoming an Intuitive Eater is a personal journey that looks different for everyone. This is because your background and relationship with food is different from mine and from everyone elses.
We may have things in common, but I would bet we also have a lot of things that are different. For example, I have very wide feet that take special order shoes to fit properly. Because of this, I’ve been self-conscious about my feet since I was a kid. Your feet may not be as wide as mine, and I bet you’ve got parts about your body you aren’t comfortable with either.
Regardless of the path your journey takes to become an Intuitive Eater, you will be guided by the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating.
Intuitive Eating is guided by 10 Principles. The Principles are not rules (more about this later). They act as guideposts on your journey. The Principles provide general direction and you get to make them your own.
The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating are:
Most people struggle with principles and want rules. There is a huge difference between the two.
These 10 Principles are just that - principles. Oxford Languages defines a principle as “a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.”
Using this definition, principles lay the foundation - the path - for your journey. I view Principles as an overarching priority of what to do. They don’t tell you the how though.
Principles aren’t rules.
Here’s an example of how I describe the difference:
There is a principle of being safe while you drive. We all want to be safe when we drive, and want everyone else to be safe when they are driving.
The rule is: Don’t text and drive. The rule helps you abide by the principle of being safe while you drive.
For Intuitive Eating, this means that the principles guide the things you do. And, since Intuitive Eating is meant to be personalized, you use them to guide your journey.
For example, Principle 2 is Honor Your Hunger. What does that mean? For me, it means learning what my hunger feels like. And, my hunger may feel different from the way you feel your hunger (I know this sounds weird, and it is true).
We also don’t trust ourselves and our bodies. That’s why we want rules. The rules will tell us what to do because we don’t trust ourselves and our bodies to tell us what they need. And, we often don’t trust that even if they do, we won’t give our bodies what they are asking for.
If you have a rule that says you eat at 7AM, Noon, and 5PM then that’s what you do. The “Honor Your Hunger” principle throws that schedule out the window which is scary! You may feel scared and fearful even just thinking about not eating on a schedule. You may be thinking, “How will I know when to eat?” Maybe I will eat too often, or too much. That is where you get to know your body, its signals, and learn to honor those signals by providing your body food.
I use the 10 Principles to guide my and my clients’ journeys to becoming intuitive eaters. The tool I’ve used, that I couldn’t have worked through Intuitive Eating without, is Tapping.
The Emotional Freedom Technique, or what I call Tapping, is a technique to relieve stress and anxiety, and process emotions. Tapping uses the ancient principles of acupressure. However, rather than pressing on the points, you use your fingers to tap on them.
Tapping also uses modern psychology by talking through the issue you’re tapping on.
If you haven’t done Tapping before, I know it sounds a little crazy. How can Tapping and talking relieve stress?
When you practice Tapping, the nine basic tapping points target the amygdala, the almond part of your brain where the fight, flight, freeze reaction happens. Tapping tells the amygdala that even though you’re experiencing an issue, at this moment you’re safe.
This allows the amygdala, and you to calm down and relax so that you can process the emotions you’re feeling.
Tapping has been backed by research. One research study showed that Tapping reduced anxiety, depression, PTSD, and cravings while happiness increased2.
I’ll have a detailed blog on what Tapping is soon.
When you work through Intuitive Eating, a lot of emotions come. Those emotions cause the amygdala to think that you’re in a situation calling for the fight, flight, or freeze response.
Often, people get stuck in the fight/flight/freeze response. They find it hard to process what is going on because they get distracted by the amygdala freaking out because it doesn’t feel safe.
You may even decide that it is too hard, too scary, and give up.
Tapping has helped me work through the emotions that have come up as I’ve worked through Intuitive Eating.
When working through the Principles fear, anger, disappointment, and sadness come up. These need to be addressed and cleared.
Tapping is so powerful.
It gives you a safe space to address the emotion and clear it. You can be with the emotion and process it. Whatever you need at that moment with that emotion, you can with tapping. Really, Tapping helps you work through and clear the emotion without having to mentally figure it out.
When you’re done Tapping, the emotion, the fear, it’s just gone.
If you want to explore tapping, Intuitive Eating, and your relationships with food and your body, my new membership is just what you’re looking for! You’ll also gain access to my unique Food Freedom Tapping, sessions to help you shift your energy around emotional eating, body acceptance, and cravings.
You’ll learn about Intuitive Eating and learn the basics of tapping. This community will help improve your mental, emotional, and physical health.
EFT, positive affirmations, daily reminders, and other features of the membership provide the consistent reminders that are needed to get the most benefits from these exercises.
You deserve to take the time for yourself to heal. You deserve to heal your relationship with food. Downloading our app may seem like a small step in your self-love journey, but we promise you it will be worth it.
1Tribole, E. (2019, July 17). Definition of. Intuitive Eating. Retrieved February 15, 2022, from https://www.intuitiveeating.org/definition-of-intuitive-eating/
2Bach, D., Groesbeck, G., Stapleton, P., Sims, R., Blickheuser, K., & Church, D. (2019). Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Improves Multiple Physiological Markers of Health. Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, 24, 2515690X1882369. https://doi.org/10.1177/2515690x18823691