Identify Your Eating Triggers

The aroma of delicious food and the sight of an attractively prepared meal trigger an immediate bodily response in most people. We begin to salivate and the stomach secretes digestive juices. Such eating triggers prepare the body to digest food.

There are many things that can trigger eating. For some people, just the presence of high-calorie snacks in the house is an eating trigger. Such people are wise to keep these foods out of the house People who go into an “eating mode” when walking past a bakery might wish to take a different route.

Unpleasant feelings, such as boredom or anger, can trigger the need to eat in some, while enjoying the company of friends just naturally makes others want to eat.

One common eating trigger is found in most living rooms: the TV. Many people make a habit of getting up during every commercial to grab a quick snack. The commercials themselves may be about food, which can also trigger the urge to eat.

Recognizing eating triggers is an important first step in getting control of them. Try keeping a food diary for a couple of weeks. Notice when you eat and what you are doing and thinking at the time. When you’ve identified your triggers, you’re ready to do something about them. For example, if TV is your trigger, make a rule that no eating takes place while the TV is on. Take up knitting to keep your hands busy, or get involved in activities that don’t leave you time for TV.

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