You have changed your eating habits to improve your health and lose weight, but you keep hitting a wall that forces you back into old habits. This can be a frustrating process, but recognizing your triggers is the first step to incorporating your healthy eating plan into your life and finally achieve the weight loss you so desire.
Stop cheating on your diet by eliminating 5 common triggers
that can throw you off track and the solutions that will keep you moving in the right directionRELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
1. You are overly hungry when you sit down to your meal
Skipping meals or ignoring your hunger signals cause you to only hear those signals when you are in the ravenous state. Whether you are overworked or overscheduled, or simply think it’s better to push off your hunger, starting your meal in a ravenous state makes it nearly impossible to avoid unhealthy impulses and overeating.
Solution: Honor that first sound of hunger when you hear it. It’s perfectly acceptable to eat when your body tells you that you are hungry. You will find that all you need is a small snack to satisfy your hunger until mealtime. Additionally, starting your meal at a “just hungry” state will help you stop eating when you are “just satisfied” versus eating until overfull.
2. You hang out with food pushers
Certain friends and family members don’t take “no” for an answer. Whether at a party or meeting for lunch, they put another piece of cake on your plate, or tell you “you look great, you shouldn’t lose any more weight”.
Solution: Find new friends! Just joking! Gently tell your friends or family members “no, thank you, I’ve had enough, it was delicious”. Stay strong in your conviction. If you seem wishy-washy, these food pushers will continue to push. You can also say “the cake is fantastic, I’d love the recipe”. This way, you are diverting the attention away from you eating more, but rather complementing them on what a great cook they are.
3. You have sweets out in the open
Other family members purchase sweets, cookies and chocolate and leave them sitting around on the kitchen counter. You don’t mean to indulge, but as you pass through the kitchen, you find yourself grabbing a handful of chocolate kisses.
Solution: Set up your environment for success. Let your family know that all food is to be put away in a cabinet and not left out on the counter or table. Designate certain cabinets or kitchen drawers for these sweets, so they are not in full view. Remember, out of side often means out of mind.
4. You have a strong diet mindset
Being a dieter often means you have a list of foods “allowed” and “not allowed”, foods that you “can eat” and those you “can’t eat”. This diet mentality keeps you adhered to restrictive eating patterns, while also fostering a negative relationship with food. When you give in and eat something on your “taboo” list, you feel guilty, often overeat and undo months of hard work.
Solution: Shift your mindset away from dieting and into making small changes that can last a lifetime. Once you realize that a diet is not the answer, and you do away with the “food rules”, you will find that foods that you once considered triggers will no longer be as desirable.
5. You are mindlessly munching while watching TV
As you sit and relax with your favorite television show, you are snacking on a bag of chips. You don’t realize how much you ate until your hand hits the bottom of the bag and it’s now empty. Same holds true when you go to the movies. You are munching away at the big bucket of popcorn and before you know it, it’s all gone.
Solution: Make a commitment to yourself to be more mindful when you are eating. That means turn off the television, put down the book, and turn off your computer. Slow down, enjoy the taste of each bite that’s in your mouth, taking special note to the taste, texture and aroma of the food. If you enjoy a snack while watching your favorite drama, portion out your healthy snack and put the bag away. Then eat only what you portioned out.
It’s possible to stay on track and not fall prey to common obstacles in weight loss. With a little forethought, planning and the right healthy mindset, you will achieve your weight loss goals in no time!