The Missing Piece to Overeating; Why Diets Fail

As a psychiatrist I know that there is more to overeating and obesity that meets the eye. One big reason that many diets fail is that traditional weight loss programs don't factor in how we process subtle energy, what Chinese medicine terms "life force" or "chi." Subtle energy penetrates and surround the body. Sensitive people who I call intuitive empaths unknowingly overeat in response to being overwhelmed by negative vibes. Empaths not only can sense emotions around them, but they also absorb it into their bodies. If this is you, Emotional Freedom will teach you to center and protect yourself when the impulse to overeat hits.

Here's the energetic premise of obesity: When empaths are thin, they have less padding and are more vulnerable to soaking up negative vibes. For instance, early 20th-century faith healers were renowned for being grossly obese to avoid absorbing their patient's symptoms -- a common trap I've seen modern-day healers also unconsciously fall into; food is a convenient grounding device. Similarly, many of my patients pack on pounds to protect against overwhelming vibes, massive or minute.

Energy is at the root of an empath's hunger. Whether your sensitivity to negativity is minimal or intense, for a diet to succeed, it's important to develop alternative coping strategies other than overeating. In my book I will show you how to cope with negative emotions without abusing food. Whether accosted by an angry colleague or global threat, apply them immediately. Stick to those that work best for you.

5 Emergency Interventions to Halt Energetic Eating
When the impulse to overeat hits:
Identify an Addictive Craving from a True Need: Addictive craving, a symptom of nutritional abuse, is a frequent response to energetic overload. Bottom line, you eat certain foods like a drug addict; this leads to obesity. Cravings feel intense: whenever you keep lusting after sweets and carbs especially, be suspicious. (I've yet to see someone binge on Brussels sprouts!)

For instance, chocolate turns from simple pleasure to crutch when you gorge on it, use it to self-medicate stress or to get a sugar high--also if you experience mood swings, sugar hangovers, can't control your intake, or it makes you sick. With cravings, you eat to relieve stress, not to build energy. Try to identify addictive foods and limit them.

A true nutritional need lacks such sturm and drang: there's no lusting or lunging for food to guard against negative energies. A true need comes from a centered place and has nothing to do with soothing our emotions (comfort foods) or obsession. Feeling healthily nurtured from food never involves mood swings -- sedation or elation -- rather an even feeling of satisfaction. A true need lets you enjoy your meal, optimizes energy and doesn't lead to obesity.

Quickly pinpoint energetic stressors that trigger addictive cravings: Immediately ask yourself: Have I been exposed to bad vibes? A loudmouthed neighbor. An ordeal to pass through airport security. A siege of overbearing phone messages from your mother. Don't write off the "smaller" incidents, which notoriously send empaths motoring to the refrigerator. Avoid panic. Methodically pinpoint cause and effect. You don't have to be victimized by negative energy. The trick is to clear it as soon as possible once you've been slimed.

Meditate to Release the Addictive Craving: If you're gripped by a craving, go into praying mode. For a few quiet moments, breathe slowly. Bring your awareness to your heart and aim for self-compassion. The craving may feel impossible to handle, but that's OK. In this calm state ask your higher power to lift it from you. No mental nudging needed. If you surrender your ego-involvement, this simple, heartfelt request works like a charm. What you're doing is calling on a cosmically influential positive energy to supplant a material-world negative drive.

Visualize a Protective Shield Around You: Visualize white light surrounding every inch of you from head to toe so that negative energy cannot penetrate this shield and deplete your energy.

Eat with Attunement: Develop a diet that satisfies your energetic needs. I'd like energy to motivate why you eat, more important than taste or any dietary dogma--a priority to impart to children. Whatever you put in you mouth, run by your energy meter; see what truly nourishes or depletes. Even foods you've shunned become more attractive when your experience their energy lift.

Food is no place to be passive. The interventions offered in Emotional Freedom will allow you to take an active stance in eating healthily. You don't have to let poisonous energy lodge itself in you. To stay on top of your eating, do a daily check-in. Stay alert for cravings prompted by negative vibes. Watch your responses. I promise, your eating habits will change.

Judith Orloff, M.D. is author of the new book Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life (Harmony Books, 2009) An Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting-edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. For more inspiration, visit