If you don’t learn to cope with trigger foods, it won’t be long before you relapse and end up bingeing again. Find out all about trigger foods, what they are and how to cope with them. This is essential reading if you seriously want to stop binge eating.
What is a trigger food?
As the name suggests it is any food or food group that triggers you to binge eat. You may have an instant reaction or the binge may come within a few days. These are key trigger foods groups where at least one of these groups affects the majority of binge eaters:-
- High Sugar – chocolate, cakes, biscuits, sweets, desserts
- High Fat - crisps, fried food, chips
- White Flour - pizza, bread, pasta
Types of triggers
- Smell- cakes cooking in the oven
- Sight - food left out on the kitchen surface
- Thought - hot day and thinking about ice-cream
Photo by Laszlo-photo
How to find out your trigger foods
Unlike other addictions where it is very clear what triggers an alcoholic or drug addict, those of us addicted to food have to learn by trial and error what triggers us. The good news is that you will really begin to understand your own body and how it reacts to food. Everyone is unique and what triggers one person will not trigger someone else. The other thing to know is that your trigger foods can change over time so vigilance and honesty is the key to a successful recovery from binge eating.
You can discover your trigger foods by:-
- Asking yourself which foods would you always binge on if it was available
- Keeping a food diary and monitoring what you eat before and during a binge
- Analyzing your food diary
- Is there a food group that triggers you:- high sugar, high fat, white flour or processed foods?
- What foods do you want to eat more and more of?
- Do you drink high amounts of caffeinated drinks like coffee, coke / diet coke? These can trigger binges too.
Make life easier for yourself
Remove all trigger foods from your house, it’s that simple. If you don’t buy the foods, then you have less chance of being tempted by sight or smell when you are in the house. If you have already got of list of excuses as to why you can’t do this, then think again. Do you really want to recover?
Photo by Dawn-Pink Chick
Look how many excuses this lady found!
- The children have to have sweets/ crisps in the house - Don’t you want your children to have a healthy lifestyle too? It doesn’t mean they can’t ever have them but they are bought at the time of wanting them rather than being kept in the house as a temptation for you. There is no reason why they can’t eat them away from the house until you are safe to have trigger foods around.
- I must keep food in for visitors who drop in – How many times does someone drop in and expect to be given food. Offer them a coffee and if they really want food they will learn to tell you when they are coming. If you really can’t bear to not offer anything then why not bake something healthy and keep it in your freezer ready to heat up in the microwave.
- My partner must have a supply of these foods – Let your partner buy their own supply and keep it hidden from you at work or wherever they choose to hide it. Explain why you don’t want your trigger foods kept in the house where they will tempt you.
Spend time working out what your trigger foods are and then come up with a plan of how to deal with them. Remember that trigger foods can change over time, so remain vigilant and honest in order to tackle your binge eating effectively.