Overcoming Trigger Foods
What are trigger foods, and why are they so hard to avoid? Most people would define trigger foods as foods that are so tempting that they lose control around and often have trouble eating a reasonable portion of. Most common types of trigger foods are sweets, salty snacks, breads, and cheese- but trigger foods are definitely not limited to these foods. If you ever feel like you lose control while eating and ended up eating more than you wanted to, you are not alone! One of the best ways to overcome a trigger food is, not to forbid it from your diet- that only makes it more appealing, instead turn a trigger food into just a food you like.
1. Focus on addition not restriction.
Instead of focusing on eliminating ice cream after dinner, add a small fruit cup with cool whip or a dessert flavored yogurt. Transfer the attention from the trigger food to a new food you add to your diet.
2. Controlled indulgence.
Labeling a food or food group as forbidden only enhances to allure of that food, instead allow yourself daily or weekly controlled indulgences so you can enjoy-but not overeat your trigger food. As an added bonus the more times you are able to eat your trigger food without losing control the more confidence you will gain and the trigger will be less powerful!
3. Relax and regroup.
Give into a craving? No big deal. Negative thinking and stress can actually intensify cravings and cause us to continue the cycle. If you’re feeling down on yourself from a food choice find a healthy outlet to refocus and regroup: go on a walk, take a nap to catch up on sleep, or drink a glass of water.
4. Anticipate and avoid.
Trigger foods are often the hardest to resist when their unexpected, try and anticipate when these foods will be presented and come up with ways to avoid them. If your office regularly has snacks or treats in the break room or at meetings make it a point to plan ahead and eat before the meeting or pack a healthy snack so you’re not tempted by the treats.