Eating Triggers

Posted on Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
Written by: Angela, Nutritionist

Most of us experience eating triggers every day. It may be the smell of coffee brewing in the morning, or that Mrs. Smith’s apple pie commercial on television, or even the sight of the Golden Arches as we drive home from work. Eating triggers are everywhere and they are real. Each of these triggers can cause your mouth to produce saliva and your stomach to begin to secrete juices important to digesting food.

As America becomes more and more media-rich, the number of eating triggers we are exposed to each day likely will increase. This makes it tough when you’re trying not to overeat, because any of these cues could send you straight to the refrigerator or pantry for a snack.

So what can a person do to help reduce the risk of overeating? Well, one solution is to avoid the triggers as much as possible. For example, limit the time you spend in front of the television or get up during commercials and do something else so you aren’t tempted. One healthy alternative is to exercise during commercials. Do a few sit-ups, light jogging in place, or jump rope.

A second suggestion is to identify your strongest triggers and see if they are associated with particular emotions or times of day. Keep an eating diary. List all the food you eat and the amount, and note what time it is, any triggers you’re aware of, your emotional state, and what you were doing when you got the urge to eat.

Boredom, depression, anxiety, nervousness, and loneliness can trigger inappropriate eating. Try to deal with these emotions in ways other than eating. Exercise, for example, or call a friend, go for a walk, do some needlework, read a book, join a bowling league, or find some other hobby you enjoy.

Angela Pifer, Certified Nutritionist

Seattle Nutritionist– I work Nationally through Skype

Categories: Emotional Eating

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