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Trigger Foods

Trigger Foods

Can they be incorporated into a healthy diet?

Do you have a food that you simply cannot say no to?  Most of us do!  Trigger foods such as chocolate almonds, pizza and potato chips among others.  They seem to initiate an endless eating response which is an unhealthy behavior, and for many, can make losing weight a struggle.  When trying to shed pounds, you may think these foods should be “off-limits” to see success in reaching wellness goals, while in fact, it can be argued that the exact opposite is true. 

It’s called habituation – in layman’s terms it means, the more you have of something, the less you want it.  In the psychological world, it’s a form of learning in which repeated exposure to a stimulus (such as food) results in a decreased response (such as eating).  So instead of eliminating a specific food altogether, the idea is to incorporate it into the usual food cycle so the novelty wears off, and we have less desire to eat it. 

Give it a try, what do you have to lose?  Afterall, what could be worse than starting on a “diet” that eliminates all of your favorite foods?  If there’s one thing we know, it’s that that approach won’t last very long.  Instead, consider a mindset shift that allows foods you enjoy to become part of your regular routine so they’re no longer so “craveable”. 

Want to give it a try?  Here are a few tips from Intuitive Eating, A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach

  1. Allow yourself permission to eat. Don’t label foods as good or bad. Eliminate those labels.
  2. Slowly introduce trigger foods. Start with once a week and go from there!
  3. Increase frequency. Allow yourself to include craveable foods more often. This will help remove the desire to overindulge due to scarcity.
  4. Keep it going! Practicing habituation long term will reduce the desire to over consume these foods and help make them part of everyday life!

Published January 1, 2022

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