The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence A Woman’s Guide to Stressing Less

The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence A Woman’s Guide to Stressing Less

For many years, I was sure that losing weight was the answer to all my problems. Once I could fit into that dress or those jeans, I’d be happy, my career would take off, and I’d start dating. But only after I’d lost the weight. Only when I no longer looked like … this.

The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence A Woman’s Guide to Stressing Less

Until then, I’d continue to panic every time someone took my picture, strategically placing my hands over the parts I hated. Or cropping the picture so only my face showed if my hands weren’t big enough to cover those parts. Until then, I’d cancel plans. I’d shrink emotionally so people wouldn’t notice how big I felt physically. I’d continue to buy books on weight loss, exercise equipment, and diet food. One day I’d be happy, but not today, not until I lost this weight.

How Tapping Helps You Lose Weight

Standing tall at six feet five, Dawson Church, Ph.D., is a hard man to miss. I had just walked into a conference in London where Dr. Church and I were both scheduled to speak on tapping. Happy to see him at the other end of the hall, I stood on my tippy toes to wave hello. (At five feet two, I’m rarely in his direct line of sight.)

I’d had the pleasure of working with Dr. Church several times since we first met in 2007 while I was filming The Tapping Solution. I’d always appreciated his jovial nature—he has a laugh so jolly, it could make Santa Claus jealous—so I was excited when he excused himself from the crowd that had gathered around him and came rushing over. Right away I could tell he had something exciting to tell me. After some quick “how’s the family?” chitchat, Dr. Church explained that he’d just returned from a medical conference where he’d presented the test results of his latest study for the first time.

He explained that the research had confirmed the science behind what I’d experienced myself and seen in thousands of others—that tapping is an incredibly effective way to decrease the negative impacts of stress on the body.

Dr. Church’s research, which I’ll share in this chapter, and several other groundbreaking studies help explain why tapping helps us lose weight and keep it off without dieting, deprivation, or extreme exercise. Tapping and Weight Loss Dr. Peta Stapleton is a clinical psychologist in Queensland, Australia, who has spent the past 20 years treating eating disorders in her patients and researching weight loss and specific eating behaviors. At the time of our interview, she had concluded the first (and most important) phase of her study on how tapping impacts food cravings and weight loss.

The results were, and still are, incredibly exciting—proof of what I’ve seen repeatedly in my clients and students. In doing this study, Dr. Stapleton wanted to find out whether tapping affects weight loss and food cravings, and if so, how effective it is. Because of the weight loss success she and her team had documented in study participants, Dr. Stapleton had actually released some of her findings to the international medical community before they were scheduled to be published.

All of the 89 women in her controlled study were between 31 and 56 years old, and had a body mass index (BMI) that qualified them as being obese. Over an eight-week period, they completed approximately two hours of tapping per week, which averages out to just over 15 minutes per day. Just by doing the tapping—without dieting or exercise—participants lost an average of 16 pounds by the end of the study!

While Dr. Stapleton expected that participants would lose weight from doing the tapping, she admits to being surprised by how much weight these women lost. What’s even more exciting is that the weight loss they achieved during the initial eight weeks seemed to last for six or more months afterward, even though most of the study participants stopped tapping once the initial eight-week period ended. How is that possible? How can tapping lead to such dramatic and lasting weight loss in such a short period of time? To understand Dr. Stapleton’s research results, let’s first take a look at how stress affects the body.

Your Body’s Weight Gain Cocktail You have a pharmacy inside you. At all times, your body is pumping out the hormones and chemicals it needs to function properly. Unfortunately, many of us are taking a drug that, in excessive amounts, causes weight gain. We take it daily, and that drug is called stress. Stress begins in the amygdala, an almond-shaped component located in the limbic system, or midbrain. The amygdala has been called the body’s smoke detector. When it senses danger, it tells our brain to initiate a physiological stress response called the fight-or-flight response.

This creates an overproduction of a hormone called cortisol, which studies have linked to increased appetite, sugar cravings, and added abdominal fat. Even mild stress, like worrying about why your jeans feel too tight or that you’ll never lose the baby weight, can cause your body to go into the fight-or-flight response. This same stress response happens when you experience common negative emotions like anger, fear, and guilt.

Quick Start Tapping Guide

Nancy’s stress levels were at an all-time high. A 53-year-old entrepreneur trying to run her business while relocating from New York City to San Francisco, she stepped on the scale one day while packing the contents of her bathroom. She was horrified to see that she was at her highest weight ever. This wasn’t the first time she’d felt surprised and heartbroken while looking at the scale. Nancy had trouble remembering a time when she wasn’t stressed about her weight. She ran the pattern of starting the latest diet trend, working hard, losing some weight, and then gaining it back.

When she did manage to lose weight, she often felt like “the wolves were at my door,” as she put it. One false move around food and she’d be back to her old ways of eating, and then she’d regain the weight. As she began her new adventure in San Francisco, she decided she was ready to leave her pattern of chronic dieting and stress in New York. “I kept saying to myself that there had to be another way. I wanted to end this pattern.” Nancy had heard me speak at an event and soon learned that her brother had been using tapping to manage stress. When she heard about my weight loss program, she decided to take a leap of faith and signed up for it in the midst of her move.

By the time Nancy was settled in San Francisco, she had been tapping for four months, often using my tapping meditations. Although moving was stressful, she was able to use tapping to find relief every step of the way. When she finally got around to unpacking her scale, she was surprised once again—pleasantly surprised! She had lost weight during a time when she was unable (and unwilling) to follow a strict diet plan.

I came across Nancy’s story because she was so thrilled by her results that she decided to blog about it on a website for female entrepreneurs. This is what she wrote:

I no longer crave sugar, sweets, and carbs. I rarely eat them and don’t miss them one bit. And when I do, I savor a small portion guilt free, and it’s not a big deal. All the drama around food, weight, and body image has simply been unplugged. I’ve also lost 16 pounds, pretty effortlessly, I might add! And, most important, now I really understand how stressing about dieting and weight—and especially negative self-talk—only fuels the problem. Finally I get what I’ve been doing wrong all these years! This is the only program I’ve ever found that nails the emotional stuff that is really at the root of it all.

Are you ready to “nail” the emotional stuff like Nancy did? It begins with learning how to tap.

Let’s Start Tapping!

First let me just say that if you’re new to tapping, I understand that it seems weird. Here’s how I think of it. You know those times when you try to think yourself out of a thought? You’re an intelligent, self-aware person, and you feel like you should be able to use positive reasoning to get rid of that thought or emotion, but you can’t because you feel

it in your body. It might be anxiety in your chest or a panicked feeling in your stomach. What tapping does is bridge that gap between your body and your mind. When you tap while focusing on the thought or feeling, you relax the body and send a calming signal to the brain, telling it that it, too, can relax.

In addition to its effectiveness, one of the reasons my clients have such success with tapping is that it works so well with their busy schedules. It’s easy, convenient, and makes you feel great in a matter of minutes. So let’s dive right in. Here are the basic steps for tapping:

• Step 1: Choose your tapping target, and create a reminder phrase (Step 1).
• Step 2: Rate the intensity of your target on the 0 to 10 Subjective Units of Distress Scale (SUDS).
• Step 3: Create a setup statement (Step 3).
• Step 4: Tap on the karate chop point (Step 4) while repeating your setup statement three times.
• Step 5: Tap gently through the eight points in the tapping sequence (Step 5) while saying your reminder phrase out loud. Tap five to seven times on each point. Repeat this until you begin to feel relief.
• Step 6: Once you’re feeling better, take a deep breath and again rate the intensity of your issue using the 0 to 10 SUDS.

It’s that simple! I’ll lead you through the process in more detail in the rest of this chapter; however, if you’re a visual learner, you can watch a video on how to tap where I cover all Of the steps. from here

Ending the Pattern of Panic

Now that we’ve learned how stress negatively impacts the weight loss and body confidence journey and how tapping helps us overcome the damaging impacts of stress on weight and the body, we need to address the most common roadblock women encounter when they’re beginning this journey: panic. Feeling panicked about the need to lose weight and feel good can take many forms and be triggered by a variety of circumstances.

The Pattern of Panic

“I feel like I need to lose 50 to 80 pounds in the next three weeks,” Analisa wrote. In a few weeks’ time she would be seeing a friend she hadn’t seen since she’d gained the weight. She was sure her friend would see her as nothing more than “fat,” and she couldn’t stop playing an imaginary movie in her head—her friend calling their mutual friends to tell them how fat she’d become. Overwhelmed by fear and anxiety, she wanted nothing more than to fend off the silent ridicule she was sure her friend would pile on her.

Analisa was in a panic. For me, the panic to lose weight and feel good in my body began when I was 14, always while facing my then archenemy, the mirror, which never failed to display my body’s so-called flaws. By my early 20s, the slightest glance at my reflection was enough to turn me into a drill sergeant. I would pinch and prod every inch of my body to prove my point—that I wasn’t good enough.

The panic would hit me like a shot of adrenaline, and in a flash I’d be on the latest diet, dragging myself to the gym to try some new class. Nearly every time, I lost the weight—and then gained it all back. It was a pattern I couldn’t seem to stop, but each time, I returned to my brutal but familiar old friend, panic. I worked myself up to playing the part of the drill sergeant, and then tore myself down until I couldn’t help but dissolve into a puddle of desperate tears. I was never skinny enough, which to me meant I wasn’t good enough. I felt like a failure everyone could see.

Years later, I began to understand the role panic had played in my tortured relationship with my weight. When I was in the heat of the moment, panic seemed like the only thing potent enough to get me to deal with the reflection in the mirror. Each time, panic forced me into action, and each time, I ended up right where I started.

On some level I knew I was repeating a tired old pattern of short-lived weight loss, but surely, I told myself, if I worked hard enough, deprived myself often enough, I would arrive at lifelong thinness … wouldn’t I? I just couldn’t quiet that abusive voice in my head that seemed to think so.

Like so many women who struggle with weight, Analisa and I both got stuck in what I call the pattern of panic. However common it may be, it’s a pattern we must break free of to achieve long-term body confidence and weight loss. First, however, we need to take a closer look at what it is and why it happens.

The Two Sides of Panic

Often when clients come to their first session with me, on the surface they seem to be having different experiences. Some seem ashamed that they need help losing weight, others are scared they’ll be disappointed again, and still others seem prepared for some mild form of torture, ready and willing to do “whatever it takes.” Beneath the surface, however, they’re having very similar experiences. They’re all stuck in the pattern of panic, convinced they need to shed the pounds now—right now.

We tend to react to the pattern of panic in one of two ways—fight or admit defeat. While these tactics may seem like polar opposites, they’re both reactions to the underlying panic we’re feeling about needing to lose the weight and feel confident in our own skin. Some of us tend toward one reaction while others vacillate between the two reactions over time.


The “fight” reaction to panic around losing weight often comes on very suddenly, triggered by a specific memory or event, like Analisa’s realization that her friend’s visit was only three weeks away. In the fight reaction, we’re overwhelmed by a feeling of desperation to lose the weight now at (almost) any cost. In those moments we’re convinced that weight is the full measure of our value as individuals. Nothing else about who we are, what we have to offer, or what we’ve accomplished can possibly have as much worth as our weight.

That’s what happened to Analisa. Overcome by shame, fear, and anxiety, she couldn’t imagine enjoying her visit with her friend; all she could do was feel threatened by it. The story running through her head was the only outcome she could envision. Every time Analisa thought about meeting her friend, she was preparing herself mentally and emotionally to fend off the backstabbing, judgmental attack that seemed inevitable.

When we’re experiencing this fight reaction, we tell ourselves that we need the panic—no matter how painful it is—because panic is our last hope. If we stop panicking, we are giving up on losing the weight. We believe that we have to be hard on ourselves because when we’re not, we gain the weight back. The panic itself becomes a reason to believe that we can still somehow lose the weight.

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