As the warmer months are fast approaching, now more than ever, we’re quick to renew our gym memberships and go on fad diets to get our beach body ready for bikini season. Amid the desperation to find a quick fix to our weight woes, a new diet trend, the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), commonly known as face tapping, has emerged. For 15 minutes a day, we can finger tap ourselves thin, reducing our stress and anxiety levels, while curbing our appetite, according to The Tapping Solution. But does this effectively spur weight loss?

What is finger tapping?

Finger tapping advocates claim it helps you overcome emotional eating, or eating induced by feelings of stress and anxiety. The technique equips the dieter with the mental tools necessary to beat the root cause of cravings before you reach for the cookie jar.

Jessica Ortner, author of the new book, Tapping For Weight Loss, claims a simple tap at certain acupressure points on the face and body will help these instant cravings disappear. The stimulation of these points supposedly decreases activity in the amygdala — the part of the brain that controls the production of the stress hormone cortisol — linked to increased appetite, sugar cravings, and abdominal fat levels. Therefore, tapping these points, should not only decrease cortisol levels, but also cut cravings, which leads to weight loss.

How Finger Tapping Works

This psychological acupressure technique works to improve your emotional health, which is essential to your physical health and healing. Simple tapping with the fingertips inputs kinetic energy into specific regions on the head and chest while you think about a specific problem. One should accompany this by voicing positive affirmations. The combination of finger tapping and positive affirmation, says Dr. Joseph Mercola, physician and surgeon, clears the emotional block and restores the mind and body’s balance.

The face tapping method provides a new way to deal with psychological over-eating triggers. The short reminder phrase will encourage you to feel better and beat your stress, as you repeat to yourself while you tap the rhythm out on your face. Positive affirmation phrases include: "I love and accept myself even though I have this _____."

Finger Tapping Evidence

Scientific claims that support finger tapping remain limited, but most tapping/EFT sites refer to a Harvard Medical School study. The Daily Mail reported that “a recent clinical study on 89 women showed those who tapped for 15 minutes a day lost an average of 16 lbs. in eight weeks, without following a strict diet or exercise plan ... Remarkably, they had kept that weight off six months later.”

Although this study provides “evidence” that tapping/EFT may be effective to curb appetite, it doesn’t support the claim that tapping changes the flow of energy through your body to therefore affect one’s brain. Finger tapping may work in the sense it helps people focus their minds on losing weight by following their eating plans.

Should you try finger tapping? 

While dieters may not have to give up their favorite foods or follow a strict diet regimen, the tapping diet should be taken with a grain of salt. There is no established cause-and-effect relationship between finger tapping and weight loss, but it can help mediate your stress levels that can lead to weight gain and obesity.

When you’re stressed, you may find it harder to eat healthy, and in an effort to fulfill emotional needs, you may partake in stress eating or emotional eating. The brain detects the presence of a threat by triggering the release of chemicals including adrenaline, CRH, and cortisol, according to Psychology Today. The adrenaline released helps you feel less hungry as the blood flows away from the internal organs to larger muscles, but once this wears off, cortisol starts to signal the body to replenish your food supply, which leads to incessant eating.

Finger tapping is effective in reducing stress and anxiety levels as it replenishes your emotional health and helps you make rational and healthy decisions.