About Carol Solomon

Psychologist, Master Certified Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner. She is one of the world’s leading experts in using Emotional Freedom Techniques to help people lose weight without dieting, stop binge eating, and reduce anxiety and stress. She is the author of 4 Books on Emotional Freedom Techniques, the EFT Tips Newsletter, the Binge Eating Teleseminar and the EFT Weight Loss CD. Carol has a thriving coaching practice and is passionate about helping others succeed.

Gluten Free Coconut Chocolate Chunk Scones

Gluten_Free_Coconut_Chocolate_Chunk_SconesServings: 16
Preparation Time: 15 minutes

2 1/2 cups almond meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup organic sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/3 cup shredded coconut (toasted)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine almond meal, salt and baking soda. Whisk together sugar, eggs and coconut oil in a smaller bowl.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined. Then fold in remaining ingredients.

Drop the batter in scant 1/4 cup portions onto the baking sheet. Brush the tops with cream or egg wash if desired.

Bake 14-17 minutes until golden brown, or toothpick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean. Cool for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

How I Conquered Snickers

Success Story #1:

My Life-Changing Experience (Excerpt from Lose Weight Now…Stay Slim Forever)

How I learned to be kinder to myself, to purposely interrupt the cycle, to take myself out of the power struggle, to give myself permission.

I had a number of “food fears”. I was terrified to walk down the candy aisle of a supermarket for fear of buying all the candy and then consuming it. I felt out of control and didn’t think I could trust myself not to overeat. So I avoided and actively steered myself away from the candy aisle whenever I was in a supermarket. I tried to keep a tight rein on myself thinking it was the only way to stay in control.

But it wasn’t working.

The tighter I held the reins, the more I would rebel and fight myself. I would go on a binge, which only reinforced my vision of being out of control. It was a vicious circle.

I had a special affinity for Snickers-probably because my mother had a reputation for hiding them from us as kids. I used to eat Snickers on occasion and thought it was such an indulgence that I probably didn’t even taste them. I felt too guilty to really enjoy them.

At some point, I decided to break the cycle.

I decided to face my fear and to do exactly what I was most afraid of.

I went to the candy aisle purposely and bought 2 bags of Snickers. I carried them everywhere-in the car, at home and at work. Snickers were my new best friend. I gave myself permission to eat them whenever I wanted them. It was one big experiment. I had no idea what the results would be. I only knew that I couldn’t keep going on the way things were. And avoiding the problem was only making things worse.

Having that permission made me feel a lot more relaxed. I no longer had to fight myself. I went through the 2 bags and bought 2 more bags. I ate them whenever I wanted. I ate them slowly. I tasted them fully. I enjoyed them. I kept buying more bags until one day, something strange happened. I didn’t want them anymore. I had finished a bag and had no urge to go and buy more. The Snickers magic was gone. They weren’t charged for me any more. I didn’t dislike them. They had just lost their power. They were neutral.

I haven’t been afraid to walk down a candy aisle since-in fact, I don’t think I’ve had a Snickers bar since then.

What happened? What made the difference? Did I just satiate myself to the point of not wanting them anymore? It’s possible, but I think it was something more than that. It was something about being able to be kinder to myself, to purposely interrupt the cycle, to take myself out of the power struggle, to give myself permission. The result was like a temper tantrum without an audience-it just doesn’t have the same impact. It can’t be maintained without something to push up against.

I knew I had given myself a life-changing experience. It felt different. There was no vicious cycle. The life was gone out of it-I had crossed a threshold. Unfortunately, despite the victory of sorts, I had to wait a long time to fully understand the experience and how to apply what I already knew to my whole life… [ Continued in the book]

The Candy Diet

A lot of people use candy (and other sweets) to deal with stress and mute their emotions.

Let’s face it – candy is a quick and easy fix.

the-candy-diet

Maybe too easy…

And unfortunately, loaded with toxic chemicals.

If you find yourself eating candy in your car or anywhere in private, chances are you are using it to soothe yourself…. or to get through a difficult situation… or do something you don’t want to do.

We do what we do with food for very good reasons!

Back to the Candy Diet –

I considered writing a book by this title when I discovered that there used to be a website by that name.

I don’t think there was much research behind it, but there was a diet where you used some type of oil before meals to reduce appetite.

Crazy, right?

Crazy enough to make sense…

So I wondered what would happen if I ate my own candy, which is high in good fats, between meals.

This is not the candy that you buy in the store! Way too sweet for me…

But one of the best strategies to eat less sugar is to is to *train* yourself to prefer low sugar treats.

The way to do this is simply to start making them yourself and use less sugar.

That way, you aren’t eating *less* – you are just eating less sugar.

There are plenty of recipes that already have less sugar.

So it’s just being *willing* to use those recipes and to make them yourself, instead of buying gobs of the store-bought, super-sweet toxic variety.

You’ll notice a difference in your weight and your mood over time.

You may even eat less, because you feel more satisfied.

No, it’s not eliminating sugar altogether …but I never was about that anyway 🙂

We can all do a bit better on this!

Click here to download the recipe!

My Love-Hate Relationship With Sugar

There are a LOT of reasons to stop eating sugar besides weight loss. eft_for_cravings250

My dentist says if I want to have better dental health, I have to stop feeding the bacteria in my mouth (read: Stop Eating Sugar.)

My physical therapist says if I want to have less pain, I need to reduce the inflammation in my gut (read: Stop Eating Sugar.)

I just can’t.

At least not completely.

So I’ve managed to create my own low-sugar substitutes that are very satisfying.

But give it up altogether?

Not happening…

Here’s what I CAN do – (and what you can do too.)

————————
My Low Sugar Plan
————————

1. Choose to eat less sugar (by choice.)

That means less sugar AND less food that turns into sugar quickly, i.e. bread, pasta, potatoes.

2. Choose mostly low sugar substitutes.

For instance, if I want something sweet, I may choose a scone over a cookie because it is half the amount of sugar.

3. If I’m going to have junk food, I make it myself.

It’s amazing what you can make without white flour! (See #2) I make my own scones using almond flour.
Yum!

4. Train yourself to prefer low sugar treats.

Most of the time, I’m not tempted by sweets in the grocery store because I know I can make it better (and healthier) myself.

5. When I do eat something high in sugar, I savor…

That way … I usually need less of it.

Most of the flavor is in the first 2 bites!

None of these strategies are hard. It just takes a
“willingness” to do them consistently.

If this topic interests you, let me know in the comments and I’ll share some of my recipes with you next time.

What Story Do You Tell Yourself?

eft_weight_loss_confidenceYou tell yourself a story inside your head every day.

Our stories are based on past experiences and the beliefs we form because of those experiences. We often create limitations in our minds that are usually untrue.

Our stories can play like a soundtrack in the back of our minds.

If you listen for that small, quiet voice, you’ll catch yourself. The story makes up a big part of who you tell yourself you are. And to a large extent, you play out the story in life.

  • Are you playing small in order to avoid conflict?
  • Are you withdrawing from relationships in order to avoid pain?
  • Is your story worn out and no longer relevant?
  • Is it causing you to feel bad about yourself? To limit yourself?

Your story will either empower you or limit you. If you tell yourself you “can’t” or you aren’t “_________ enough” (fill in the blank – smart, disciplined, strong, etc.), those are all versions of the same dis-empowering “I’m not enough” story.

Or you may tell yourself something about the task, like “it’s too hard.” Do you believe that losing weight is hard? Perhaps that is how you perceived it in the past. But if you continue to echo that story now, you make it a reality.

If the challenge you are facing is big enough, the “not enough” story will show up. That’s because you are venturing out of your comfort zone.

You can do some investigative work and ask yourself “Where did I learn that?” A memory may come to mind. But even if it doesn’t, it serves you to create a new story. (Note to self: you can use tapping to uncover and change old stories.)

One of my favorite stories that I *choose* to tell myself when I’m facing a challenge is this: “If other people can do it, then I can do it too.” This makes so much logical sense to me, that I don’t have any other choice but to keep moving forward 🙂

I don’t worry about “how” I’m going to do it. The “how” is generally revealed after I make the commitment.

You either use your stories to your advantage, or they limit you. If you tell yourself the right story, then you keep moving forward, no matter what. Yes, you may feel more vulnerable, but you will also feel more passionate, more loving and more alive…maybe even unstoppable.

What If You Had To Post Everything you Ate Online?

What if you had to take a picture of everything you ate before you ate it AND post it online for all to see?

I decided to do an experiment and do just that. I wanted to see if it would influence what I ate. Here’s the results:

I started at 6:00 p.m.

This is my preferred meal for dinner. I like to eat my lightest meal at night. I just feel better that way.

Ok … It’s not a great picture, so it may not look so delicious or filling, but it is.

Although the ingredients vary, I usually have a large salad with greens, broccoli sprouts, tomatoes, avocado, walnuts and boiled egg. I use my favorite homemade tahini dressing – very rich and filling. Between the dressing, the avocado and walnuts, there are plenty of good fats that are rich and satisfying. Continue reading

Your Story Matters

You tell yourself a story inside your head every day.  Our stories are based on past experiences and the beliefs we form because of those experiences. We create limitations in our minds that are usually untrue.

Our stories can play like a soundtrack in the back of our minds.

If you listen for that  small, quiet voice, you’ll catch yourself. The story makes up a big part of who you tell yourself you are. And to a large extent, you play out the story in life.

Are you playing small in order to avoid conflict?

Are you withdrawing from relationships in order to avoid pain?

Is your story worn out and no longer relevant?

Is it causing you to feel bad about yourself? To limit yourself?

Your story will either empower you or limit you. If you tell yourself you “can’t” or you aren’t “_________ enough” (fill in the blank – smart, disciplined, strong, etc.), those are all versions of the same dis-empowering “I’m not enough” story.

Or you may tell yourself something about the task, like “it’s too hard.” Do you believe that losing weight is hard? Perhaps that is how you perceived it in the past. But if you continue to echo that story now, you make it a reality.

If the challenge you are facing is big enough, the “not enough” story will show up. That’s because you are venturing out of your comfort zone.

You can do some investigative work and ask yourself “Where did I learn that?” A memory may come to mind. But even if it doesn’t, it serves you to create a new story. (Note to self: you can use tapping to uncover and change old stories.)

One of my favorite stories that I *choose* to tell myself when I’m facing a challenge is this: “If other people can do it, then I can do it too.” This makes so much logical sense to me, that I don’t have any other choice but to keep moving forward 🙂

I don’t worry about “how” I’m going to do it. The “how” is generally revealed after I make the commitment.

You either use your stories to your advantage, or they limit you. If you tell yourself the right story, then you keep moving forward, no matter what. Yes, you may feel more vulnerable, but you will also feel more passionate, more loving and more alive…maybe even unstoppable.

Why Weight Loss Is a Terrible Goal

What does an apple, a football scoreboard and someone loving you have in common?

Weight loss is a terrible goal – partly because it’s not controllable. You can plant an apple tree, water it, fertilize it, nurture it, but you can’t make it grow an apple, not any more than a football player can control the scoreboard, or any more than you can make someone love you…

You can’t control the results.

We think we can…we want to…but we can’t control results. So you don’t want to be attached to getting results in a certain time, in a certain way. Focus less on the results and more on the causes.

1. Weight loss, as your goal, increases pressure. No one needs more pressure in their lives, especially to control something as elusive as weight loss.

2. You can’t control it – any more than a football player can control the numbers on the scoreboard. Willpower gets depleted easily. You can be doing everything right and still not lose weight.

3. You judge yourself by the numbers on the scale.

Do you see this when you wake up in the morning?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or do you tend to judge yourself by the numbers on the scale?

It’s best not to have your self worth tied to something that you can achieve or not achieve.

A better goal is to maintain psychological balance. You do that by taking care of your feelings and taking care of you. Tapping can help you feel more comfortable with saying yes to you and to break free of these patterns.

4. Weight loss is an inside job. Once you set a weight loss goal, all the focus goes onto the weight and how to get rid of it, and is no longer on the feelings that drive the behavior. It goes onto eating less and exercising more, instead of the internal work that needs to be done, and since we don’t like to be told what to do… even by ourselves… we end up in the same old vicious cycle. Until you feel the feelings, name them, deal with them, feel them… it won’t end. Your job is to feel your feelings. If you are going to force yourself to do something, force yourself to sit with your feelings.

5. Losing weight is a marathon… not a sprint – Most people want to be 3 sizes smaller yesterday. But, there are lots of emotional and physical pitfalls. So commit for the long run, change your thinking, learn to manage your moods, and stop fretting about the day-to-day stuff. Work on managing emotions, confidence and perseverance – learn how to get back on track more quickly when you tumble off the track (we all do.)

6. Weight loss goals toy with your identity – your sense of who you are.

  • Who are you as a thin person?
  • Who are you if you aren’t struggling with your weight?

This obsession with food and weight can become such a huge part of your life. So when you start having success, you can start to feel uncomfortable, but you don’t know why. You only know that you keep sabotaging yourself.

Many people dislke getting too much attention and don’t want to be noticed. One client says it this way “As soon as I get the first compliment, I throw in an extra bagel.” Perhaps you are afraid of negative reactions of other people – some people have negative views of thin people, so they don’t want to be viewed as that.

7. Weight loss is an insidious problem. It’s hard to maintain your confidence and easy to become discouraged by slow or inconsistent results and cycles of self-sabotage.

A better goal is tending to your emotional well being – your psychological balance. This is a global factor that will affect everything else. Contentment and peace with your body and getting to your natural weight spring from clarity and a feeling of freedom, not from force or strength.

Weight loss is at least 90% psychological. Tend to your thoughts, feelings and habits. Where are you on the emotional scale? Where are you on the worthiness scale?

Paradoxically, focusing less on the results and more on the causes improves the odds of getting the results you want.

Here are 3 guidelines on goals:

  1. Goals should be activity goals, rather than outcome goals, like weight loss. When you focus on the activity goals that are going to get you to the outcome, then you don’t get worn out and frustrated stressing about the outcome.
  2. Make your goals small. Losing weight slowly is a good thing because it’s something you can maintain. If it’s too big, you just keep sabotaging.
  3. Commit to less rather than more. Eating right is a long-term goal. Eating better is infinitely more doable. It’s something we can do right now.

Trick The Brain To Stop Overeating

stop_eatingAccording to Dr. Daniel Amen, different people have different brain types, which in turn, influence weight. Different types of overeaters require different strategies.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Are you a Compulsive Overeater?

You are if you…

  • Get stuck on thoughts of food and on compulsive eating behavior
  • Get fixated on depressing or anxious thoughts
  • Get locked into one course of action
  • Have trouble seeing options, and want things ‘your’ way
  • Tend to hold grudges
  • Commonly gorge at night, rather than during the day

The cause: low serotonin levels in the brain

What Helps –

  • Exercise, as this allows more of the serotonin precursor, tryptophan, to enter the brain.
  • If you get a negative or food-orientated thought in your head more than three times, immediately get up and do something to distract yourself.
  • Make a list of 10 things you can do instead of eating so you can distract yourself.
  • Choose a diet that gives choices – people with this brain type don’t do well with rigid rules.
  • TAP to reduce negative thoughts and emotions

2. Are you an Emotional Overeater?

You are if you…

  • Eat to try to cheer yourself up
  • Suffer from low mood – anything from mild seasonal blues to actual depression
  • Feel unable enjoy activities you used to find pleasurable
  • Experience low energy or feelings of guilt, helplessness or hopelessness
  • Find it harder to control your weight in winter

The Brain Cause: Low Vitamin D and DHEA

What Helps –

  • Exercise, to boost blood flow and mood-lifting neurotransmitters.
  • Change your thinking. Your body reacts physically to negative thoughts like, “I ate cake, I’ve already blown it, I may as well keep going.” Reframe any negatives thoughts with a positive: “I enjoyed the cake and will eat less at dinner to keep myself on track.”
  • Write down five things you are grateful for every day – this has been shown to increase happiness within three weeks.
  • Vitamin D supplements and bright light therapy can be helpful for this brain type.
  • TAP to reduce negative thoughts and emotions

3. Are you an Impulsive Overeater?

You are if you…

  • Begin the day intending to eat well, and then give in to temptation
  • Regularly say ‘I’m starting my diet tomorrow’
  • Act impulsively, without thinking through the consequences
  • Find yourself easily distracted
  • Get bored easily
  • Struggle with sticking to plans and motivating yourself

The Brain Cause: Low activity in the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s supervisor. Low levels of calming neurotransmitter dopamine.

What Helps

  • Exercise, to increase blood flow and dopamine levels in the brain.
  • Make a clear list of your health goals, and display it where you can see it every day.
  • Accountability – check in regularly with a person or support group to help you stay focused.
  • Avoid impulsively saying yes to offers of food and drink: practice saying, “No thank you, I’m full. Or “No thank you. I’ve had enough.”
  • Visualize yourself leaving a social gathering feeling good.
  • TAP for patience and the ability to “pass it up for now.”

4. Are you an Anxious Overeater?

You are if you…

  • Use food as a way of soothing anxiety, tension or fear
  • Have physical symptoms of anxiety such as muscle tension, nail biting, headaches, abdominal pain or palpitations
  • Expect the worst and feel fearful of the future
  • Get easily startled and tend to freeze in social situations
  • Struggle with sleep – worry is the #1 factor that keeps us awake at night.

The Brain Cause: Increased activity in the basal ganglia, caused by low levels of the calming neurotransmitter GABA.

What Helps

  • Calming activities such as yoga and Z Point.
  • Relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing.
  • Counteracting any negative thoughts (see The Emotional Overeater).
  • Supplements of vitamin B6 and magnesium help boost GABA, reducing the tendency to overeat in response to anxiety.
  • Tap to correct the energy imbalance that is causing the anxiety.

Unfortunately, many people have a combination of these patterns. The common threads that run through all of them are just plain solutions that make sense.

  • Exercise, even if it’s 5 minutes per day while watching TV 🙂
  • Connect to others: participate in activities that are relaxing and fun.
  • Make tapping a regular practice!

Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

Actually, you can. It may not be easy. But you can.

The real problem is with keeping it off. Wouldn’t you love to have kept off every pound you have ever lost? We’d all be super thin! And there’d be no need to keep losing the same weight over and over again. No wonder people give up!

Name anything that you want. More money … a slim body … a red convertible.

Now … why don’t you have it?

I’ll tell you why. It has nothing to do with calories, carbohydrates, a slow metabolism, your mother’s physique, how much you don’t exercise, or anything else outside of yourself. It’s in your own mind.

Not even in your thoughts or your conscious mind. The roadblock is deeper – buried in your subconscious mind. When you are trying to lose weight and you aren’t getting there, chances are, your subconscious holds some conflicting intentions.

Simply said — You want something and it doesn’t.

Your conscious (logical) mind is like the rider. The subconscious (emotional) mind is like the elephant you are trying to steer. As long as the elephant wants to go in the same direction as the rider, there’s not a problem. But when the emotional mind wants something else, the rider has very little control.

Think about it – Are you giving yourself contradictory instructions, such as “I want to lose weight” and “I want those double chocolate espresso brownies?”

Notice anything strange about those 2 statements? Those are like orders to your subconscious mind — and they are going in 2 different directions. After years of such frustrating and contradictory messages, your subconscious mind gives up and stops listening to what your conscious mind wants. Nothing changes.

In other words, you cancel out your own request. You think “I want to lose weight,” and right after that, you think “but I HATE dieting, and that would be hard, and it probably won’t last anyway, so why bother?”

As a result, you don’t get what you want.

The subconscious emotional mind wins every time.

But I have good news for you. You can learn some simple techniques to end this mental self-sabotage. It won’t happen automatically. There are processes, like EFT and Z Point that work with the body and the subconscious mind.

Your subconscious habits govern your behavior. As an infant, you learn to cry when you are hungry. As a young child, someone probably gave you sweets when you were upset. You learned that you could feel calmer when you eat them. It becomes a subconscious habit — an automatic response, just like an infant’s cry. But these automatic responses lose their effectiveness as we grow older. If an adult keeps throwing a bigger and bigger tantrum, they just look silly, and alienate other people in the process.

Why? The subconscious habit they learned as an infant now works against them. And soothing yourself with food as you did when you are a child works against you as an adult. For you to be successful at things that seem impossible, those outdated subconscious patterns have to be changed into new patterns that support your ability to get what you want.

And keep it.