Have you ever eaten a whole bowl of popcorn without realizing what you were doing? Have you ever eaten more candy than you had originally planned? Have you ever been in a meeting with refreshments and found yourself mindlessly nibbling on the cookies or donuts? These are all examples of eating triggers. Some are emotional, some are food triggers, some are situational triggers.
No matter what they are named, these triggers all lead to overeating. Learning how to recognize your triggers and control them will help you with your weight management. And for this "eat the whole bag of chocolate covered raisins" lady, that will be a good thing to do!
Often we develop conditioned or learned reactions to eating triggers. Your Mother ate when she was "_____" and so do you. Just fill in the blank with your reason. Or you ate chips when you got home from school as a kid, and now as an adult you eat a bag of chips when you feel lonely. Fortunately we can unlearn these conditioned responses and take control of our weight management
Do you know your eating triggers? Think about those times when you eat when you are not really hungry, or when you have a whole bowl of candy instead of just a few pieces without realizing what you are eating. Once you have a list of when you over eat due to the various eating triggers you can begin to take control of those feelings and situations that bring on overeating.
Make notes of places like specific restaurants, social and family gatherings, movies, favorite places or other activities that cause over eating. Take note of the feelings between your desire to eat specific foods and what is happening around you. Does visiting a certain restaurant remind you of a special time with your family so you eat a heavy dinner loaded with carbs and fat when you would normally have a salad? Emotional eating and situational triggers are powerful but can be overcome.
Once you are aware of the triggers, you can take steps to control the triggers. For some just being aware of the trigger is enough to keep it at bay. For those not so lucky we want to be aware and take measures to thwart the triggers.
Keeping tract of your eating habits and taking small steps to make changes will lead to better weight management. Working on one trigger at a time will make the whole process so much easier and success will be marked each time the trigger is dealt with successfully.