I really hate the word trigger. It’s almost as cringey as the word “offended.” I guess I don’t like words that are thrown around when one is throwing a tantrum…
Trigger food. They’re real and they are hard to overcome. If you have or have had an unhealthy relationship with food you know all about them. They are the foods that lead overeating or dare I say it, a binge.
I thought for the longest time fast food was my trigger food. Wrong. Fast food was the aftermath of the trigger food. There are foods that sneak in there and say, “it’s ok…come on in the water’s fine…” The foods that open the door to a bad meal or a whole day of bad meals.
What are mine? Sliced Cheese and Cereal.
What you were expecting a huge list? Let me explain.
I love cheese. Its quick, it’s easy, it tastes great, and did I mention it’s easy? Easy is the very reason it’s my number one trigger food. When life is busy I want quick and easy. In the fridge there’s nice little sliced cheese just waiting. Open the fridge grab a slice. Get some water grab a slice. Get althe girls a snack grab 2 slices. Go to the kitchen for a pen, shit grab another slice. Those slices add up and I mindlessly eat them because my brain says its only a slice of cheese but calories are calories. Now I’ve got an empty provolone bag and I automatically give my self permission to move on to the next easy ‘snacky’ food. Crackers, chips, dare I say it, cookies. My day is ruined, what’s a little more?
Those damn cheese slices are a delicious trap so I don’t buy them.
Cereal. Mostly Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Me in my head: “I’ll measure out a serving. Done. Wait I still have more milk. I can’t drink that milk. I can’t dump it.”
Adds more cereal.
Box is empty.
Family size my ass.
That’s the vicious cereal cycle. And once again I give myself permission to eat like crap the rest of the day because the day is ‘ruined’. After all that sweet I want greasey fast food.
Slice cheese and Cinnamon Toast Crunch have slowly come back into my life but only after serious work on accountability, knowing my habits, and not giving myself permission to cheat on ME.
You’re not cheating on your diet, you’re cheating yourself.
I’m sure I have other trigger foods but foe now those are the two that always sent me down the path to the dark side. Another huge trigger for me isn’t a food but my routine. I can dive into that later, I know I’ve touched on it before.
Identifying your triggers can be tough. That’s why I highly suggest keeping a food journal with everything you eat along with how it made you feel. I know, I know FEELINGS, yuck. You might feel weird, but it works. Eventually you’ll get to a point where you can really articulate how you feel and even understand why you feel that way. It takes time, but it can happen. I go back for cheese because it’s easy. I go back for toast crunch because it’s there and it’s easy to mindlessly eat. I don’t even really want it, I just do it. Again, a habit or routine I created around certain foods. Triggers I’ve allowed. If I’ve allowed them, I can stop them.
Track your food. Track your feelings. Identify the routine. Break the habit.