Trigger Foods & Emotional Eating
Taming Emotional Eating
I’ve just turned into a giant tortilla chip. I started eating a handful of tortilla chips, and the next thing I knew, I’d finished the bag. How did it happen? I didn’t want them, but one handful led to another and another. They are the trigger food that sends me spiraling into that dark hole of overeating, and it leaves me feeling bloated, fat and out of control.
Emotional Eating Studies research found these eating triggers:
- Friends impact how you feel about food
- Chronic work stress contributes to emotional eating
- Exhaustion and low energy impact eating habits
- Suppressing feelings leads to unhealthy eating
Three out of four of these were right on target for me. When I’m with friends who turn down dessert or choose a lighter meal, I do the same. When I’m exhausted, all I want to do is watch TV and eat. And suppressed feelings and eating, me, me, me.
If I asked what your trigger food is, what would you say? Rebecca Clark, author of The Checklist Diet says, “My trigger food is Cheetos. I simply cannot be in the same room with an open bag of them. I’ll keep eating until the bag is empty or someone pries the bag from my orange-crumbed hands!”
Once I’ve become a giant tortilla chip, my attitude changes and I think, what difference does it make what I eat? I might as well have that big dish of ice cream, too, then start fresh tomorrow. But tomorrow I blow it again, and the next day and the next. It’s a treadmill I can’t turn off. And one without the benefit of exercise!
So how do I manage my trigger foods and keep my weight on track?
Rebecca’s best advice, stay away from your trigger foods completely until you’ve been consistently and regularly eating healthy for at least three weeks. Then test yourself at the end of three weeks. Can you have just one portion of your trigger food? If it doesn’t lead to a binge, then you can safely add a portion of that food to your diet once a week. “Because seriously, life’s too short not to eat a food you love, right?” Rebecca says.
I’m a work in progress when it comes to trigger foods, and I won’t be satisfied until I tame them. What’s your trigger food? Have you found any solutions?