Perhaps you open a package of cookies with every intention to have only 3 or 4. Yet, somehow, you always find yourself over halfway through the entire package before you realize how much you have eaten. You shame yourself into stopping. Or perhaps you open a bag of chips and must feel the bottom of the bag before you become motivated to close it. Or maybe, like me, you cannot imagine ever stopping after just 1 slice of pizza!
We all have certain foods that taste so amazing that we cannot manage to eat them in proper portions. These foods provide so much pleasure that they usually “trigger” you to eat too much and too quickly. They often lead to binges and/or mark the end of a diet for most people.
I love food! But I was able to lose over 130 pounds and keep it off for over 6 years by learning how to deal with my favorite trigger foods. Below are my 4 fantastic tips to help you deal with foods that trigger overeating:
1. Do not stock trigger foods in your home or office.
When you keep a trigger food within arm’s reach, you are creating an environment of temptation. Recognize the foods that trigger you to overeat and stop stocking them in your home and office.
Be honest with yourself. If you love cupcakes, would working in a bakery make maintaining a healthy lifestyle easier or more difficult? And you and I both know – you are much less likely to eat a whole bag of chips if you have to get dressed and get in the car to go to the store to get your hands on that bag. Create an environment that makes living a healthy lifestyle easy!
2. Walk off the wagon – don’t fall
Labeling a food as off-limits only makes it more irresistible. Do not blacklist trigger foods. A healthy and happy lifestyle involves balance. Make a conscious choice to treat yourself and savor your food with zero regrets. Then return to your commitment to living a healthy lifestyle, free of guilt and full of motivation. Remember perfection is not required to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle. Allow yourself to occasionally “walk off the wagon,” to prevent falling into an uncontrollable binge. (Note: the key word is occasionally.)
3. Savor your food to enjoy it more & eat less
Often when you’re eating a favorite food, you may be in such a rush to consume it that you completely miss the pleasure of the experience; this usually leads you to eat more. The next time you are sitting down to eat a favorite treat, take your time and savor the entire experience of tasting and eating your food. Finish chewing the food in your mouth before you place more food in your mouth. Occasionally place your utensils down during the meal.
4. Find fit & tasty swaps
You are creating a healthier lifestyle, not following a short-term diet. So, it pays to find an easy way to deal with your trigger foods in the long term. Creating healthier swaps can be a fantastic way to help your trigger foods mesh with your healthier lifestyle. Begin reading food labels and search the grocery store for healthier versions of your favorite trigger foods.
For example, try reduced or sugar-free ice cream and cookies, or reduced or fat-free chips and snacks. Begin experimenting in the kitchen to create new fit and tasty versions of your favorite trigger foods. Try making my amazingly fit & tasty pizza recipe.
Remember: it worked for me, and it can work for YOU!