The Science Behind Food Cravings

The Science Behind Food Cravings

There is no doubt that certain foods have physically addictive qualities that can sabotage our best efforts to make healthy food choices and eat mindfully.

The food industry creates hyper-palatable foods – super sugary, salty, and fatty foods designed to addict our brains. Foods are carefully researched to pinpoint the exact "bliss point" for taste (e.g., making sure it's really sweet, but not too sweet) and "mouth feels" for texture (e.g., just the just-right level of smoothness), maximizing not only tastiness but also things that food marketing experts call "cravability," "snackability" and "moreishness."

As a result, these foods create powerful addiction pathways in our brains; they can disrupt our natural ability to listen to our bodies and eat mindfully. They make it difficult, if not impossible, to make sound, intentional food choices.

Processed junk foods have a powerful effect on the brain's reward centers. Brain neurotransmitters like dopamine cause these effects. The most problematic foods include junk foods like candy, sugary soda, and high-fat fried foods.

Giving in to addictive food cravings is not caused by a lack of willpower but is believed to be caused by a dopamine signal that affects the brain's biochemistry.

The good news is we now have scientific evidence that EFT Tapping reduces food cravings! 🥼

I experience the "magic" of problematic food cravings disappearing firsthand with my clients all the time. 

World First fMRI Study of EFT

Early findings from a world-first study aimed at scientifically proving a simple 'tapping' technique have shown that the method effectively reduces food cravings.

This is the first time anywhere in the world that Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans (fMRI) have been used to see physical, scientific evidence of how EFT self-help techniques work on these conditions by changing the brain's neural pathways involved in addiction and food cravings.

After four weeks (2 hours per week) of EFT Tapping, participants' brain scans showed a remarkable reduction in inactivation. The control group that did not receive any EFT did not change. Read the complete study here:

EFT Tapping is a form of acupressure based on the same principles as acupuncture. Hence, one theory as to why tapping on acupressure points works is that you're balancing out your energy around food and things that relate to it. While there is some evidence to support this, I don't know that much about Chinese medicine. However, I know how effective EFT Tapping has been for me and so many of my clients in eliminating uncontrollable food cravings and giving us a choice in what we put in our mouths.

There are fascinating changes that happen in your brain when you tap.

Dr. Peta Stapleton is the first researcher to measure the effects of tapping for food cravings on the brain using functional MRI (fMRI). Increased neural activity leads to more blood oxygen, which shows up on the scans (in orange). Participants were put in the fMRI and shown pictures of yummy foods like chocolate, doughnuts, and takeaways.

These are some pictures from a participant in the control group in the trial:

As you can see, certain parts of the participant's brain are lit up when seeing the food. This occurrence was typical of control condition participants – their brains were excited by the food cues when they first entered the fMRI and similarly excited four weeks later.

Participants entered the fMRI for a baseline measure in the tapping group and underwent four tapping sessions before being put back in the fMRI.

This is an example of what happened in a female participant:

After tapping, her brain showed little-to-no neural activity while looking at the same images. Tapping deactivated the part of the brain that got excited by high-fat, salty and sugary foods.

Here's a typical example of a male participant:

These findings are supported by ongoing testimonials of people experiencing freedom from food cravings every day!

I experience the "magic" of problematic food cravings disappearing firsthand with my clients all the time. 

"Maria teaches gently techniques that offer students hope of transcending unwanted habits and the freedom to learn and grow in their way.

As a result of attending her group, Women, Body Image & Self Esteem, I am free of cravings and can shop for groceries sensibly. I also began meditating for the first time in years due to a newfound ability to focus. In addition, I have learned the importance of being gentle with myself and using my feelings as a guide for change.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I want everyone I meet to learn and enjoy the benefits of these techniques."

– Suzanne Dunford, Medford, OR

Step onto a New Path to Health & Wellbeing!

Are you ready to end the struggle with food, weight, and body image and be free to make healthy choices that support your optimum health and self-respect?

Getting the help you need to succeed is the single most powerful step you can take today for optimum health and well-being.

Long-lasting, sustainable change is possible. I have a proven method from many years of personal and professional experience to get you there.

Join me for a Body Confidence Breakthrough Session. We will address the specific challenges that keep you stuck and the steps you can take to be happy, healthy, and finally free.



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