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How to Deal With Deprivation Diets

Posted by on in Food Addiction
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Food has been a problem for mankind since Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. The word forbidden conjures up thoughts about sin, punishment, guilt and shame. Food is still an emotionally charged area of life for many. If you have been on diet after diet after diet I bet that you want to be free to eat what you want without looking over your shoulder at the ghosts of the “diet police.”

Sometimes the “diet police” are real people, a parent or spouse who stays on your case and judges you or makes remarks about your looks or what you are about to put in your mouth. Sometimes you hire a policeman in the form of a doctor or nutritionist to tell you what to do. I once met a woman who wanted me to help her with her food cravings. After the first session she called to cancel. She explained, “I want someone to tell me what to do, so I am going to Weight Watchers because they weigh you, and if you don’t lose weight, they kick your ass!”

It is a fact that diets often lead to full blown eating disorders. When we hear someone tell us that certain foods must never pass our lips again it can cause a harmful reaction. The first Overeaters Anonymous meeting I ever went to scared me so much that I didn’t go back for four years!

The speaker, a slim woman, reminded us that we were allergic to sugar and if it passed our lips we would be certain to go into uncontrollable eating binges. She proudly announced that she hadn’t had a piece of cherry pie for umpteen years. Although I wanted to look like her and have the peace of mind she seemed to have, I went home and ate up a storm. Even though I hated cherry pie, the thought of never having it again, or any pie was more than my deprived inner self could accept.

What is a “bad” food? One person’s mayonnaise is another person’s ice cream. Carla told me that she had to stay away from mayonnaise because she liked to eat it with a spoon. I felt like gagging when she said this because mayonnaise is not one of my favorite foods so I have never felt a craving for it. Yet in my past I often ate peanut butter with a spoon and even had to hide it from myself. How can you hide it from yourself when you know where it is? This is crazy making!

People have gone to great lengths to prevent themselves from eating forbidden foods but find a way to eat them no matter what. Frank had lost weight in Overeaters Anonymous and was trying to keep it off, yet he frequently ate in his sleep! One night his wife followed him as he walked from the bedroom to the kitchen, opened the refrigerator and took an apple. He was totally unaware of her. He then got into bed, ate the apple while still asleep, and fell asleep with the core resting on his chest!

Sleep-eaters who are on very strict diets often eat the foods that they forbid themselves during the day in their nighttime forays. Gladys was put on a liquid diet that was torture. The deprivation became so intense that she actually broiled and ate steaks while asleep. The way she discovered this is that she found the charred broiling pans in the kitchen the following day.

You will not be able to lose weight and maintain your weight loss if you are not free of the bondage of deprivation. Unless you are allergic to certain foods or suffer from diabetes, you can learn to eat one portion and stop. Make a list of the foods that you believe you are forbidden to eat or are frightened to eat because you might lose control. Use EFT acupressure tapping to take away the cravings for each one. You can learn how to use EFT in my new FREE book Creating Happiness. Get your copy at

Purchase one portion of a food that scares you. Touch it, smell it, take a tiny taste of it. Rate how strong your urge to eat it right now is from 0 to 10.

1. Use EFT and tap the outside edge of one hand while saying: Even though I want this _______ so much that I am not sure I can even keep it in my house, I am giving myself a treatment now.

2. Tap the EFT acupressure points in the instruction diagram going around and around 2-3 times as you feel the urge and focus on the food.

3. Look at, touch or smell this food. Rate how much you still want to devour it from 0-10.

4. Tap again about your craving.

5. Keep tapping the acupressure points until your craving is at zero and you can put the food away or throw it away.

Many compulsive eaters find that after using EFT to treat cravings they can actually eat just one and stop.  Try this and let me know if it works for you.

Find out about my other books for compulsive eaters: How to Stop Playing the Weighting Game and Desserts Is Stressed Spelled Backwards at





Gloria Arenson, MFT, DCEP, specializes in using EFT and other Energy Psychology methods to help people overcome addictions and compulsive behaviors, especially overeating, bulimia, spending, and procrastination. Gloria is the author of: Binge Eating: How to Stop It Forever, A Substance Called Food, Desserts Is Stressed Spelled Backwards, How to Stop Playing the Weighting Game, Born To Spend, Grownup Love: Getting It and Keeping It, EFT For Procrastination, EFT Tapping: 64 Quick & easy Tips, and the award winning Five Simple Steps to Emotional Healing. Visit her website at and contact her for a free 15 minute consult.

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