What’s a stress eating trigger? Anything that makes you want to eat. It could be something you see, hear, or smell. It could also be a thought or an emotion emanating from inside you. Yes, your own self talk could trigger the urge to eat!
The trigger is the WHY.
So it might go like this – “every time I feel tired, bored or frustrated, I have the urge for something sweet.”
Or…”every time I see a food commercial on TV, I want that food, even though I wasn’t at all hungry!”
Advertisers count on you being triggered by the delectable images they put in front of you. They WANT to get your mouth watering.
And sometimes we even KNOW logically that in reality, it doesn’t taste as good as it looks, as one client said to me “I’ve been to that restaurant, and the food isn’t all that good, but I wanted it anyway!”
A trigger can be something in our environment that creates a certain desire, or changes our behavior. Seeing on the clock that it is 12 noon can trigger the urge to eat, whether you are hungry or not.
How To Manage Triggers
1. Track your triggers. It’s critical to know what your triggers are, so you know what you are dealing with. Some of them may surprise you!
2. Write it down. We know from psychology that simply recording our behavior, changes our behavior.
3. Be curious. Sometimes just bringing this information into awareness, with curiosity is enough to make a change.
4. Tap, or use some other intervention to calm yourself when you realize that you have been triggered. The urge will often go away if you stay calm, and don’t give in to it right away.
5. Plan for the future. Think about situations and events that may be challenging in the future, and how you might get triggered. Create a strategy to deal with it in advance.
What’s important is to break the associations you have between the trigger and the urge to eat. You want to reduce the automatic nature of the behavior. Look for habitual patterns, and try to put a different, healthier pattern in place.
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