5 ways to disarm your trigger foods
Many of us have certain triggers that can lead us astray from our healthy eating vow.
A trigger food is a specific food that often sets you off on a course of overeating where control is lost. The most common trigger foods are calorie-dense combinations of sugar and fat (ice cream or cookies, anyone?) or fat and salt (nuts, potato chips and french fries top the list).
Sure, some triggers include foods such as salty snacks, chocolate and alcoholic beverages. However, a trigger can consist of anything, including events, persons or smells.
We pretty much all have a few triggers that can set off an avalanche of unwanted indulgences.
You should consider all trigger foods as a disruption to your diet. But it’s important to know that what triggers such unwanted eating is different for everyone. Social cues, emotional highs and lows, taste and even economics are just a few ways triggers can cause you to lose control of what you eat.
Food is not a crutch for happiness or any emotion. So it’s important to avoid trigger foods for a given amount of time and then reintroduce the food at a later point when these triggers are gone.
Thankfully, there are ways to avoid the triggers that lead you to stray from your vow to eat healthily.
Even better news: It is possible to regain control over a trigger food. You can even get to a point where you can safely eat these foods in moderation again.
It is also possible that what triggers you to eat too much now may not trigger the same reaction once you can identify and gain control of your eating.
5 ways ways to control triggered eating
- It sounds overly simple but the best advice is to not buy the food. Keep your distance.
- Mind and attitude go hand-in-hand. Your mental attitude towards eating a small amount and feeling good versus punishing yourself for having a little bit of what may not exactly be on your plan can make or break whether you achieve your goal.
- Find comfort by enriching your life with non-food things.
- Keep tabs on your hunger and cravings. Do not eat a trigger food if you have not had a meal and are already feeling satisfied.
- When you are eating outside the home and, for whatever reason, do not have the option of following your meal plan, try to eat as healthy as possible. But if you must indulge in something considered unhealthy, relax. A single indulgence will not derail your diet resolve – unless you allow it to.
So, there you have it. It’s time to take away the power we have given certain foods. You control your diet and health.
Eat well, feel better and enjoy life on your terms.
John McGran has been writing about health and weight loss for several national companies since 2000. He brings his knowledge of diets — and his passion for dropping pounds — to Meal Plan Map because he believes it is the future of smart, stress-free eating and improved health.