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The Full Mind Weigh™ to Lifelong Weight Management, a program of the Institute for Lifelong Weight Management – teaching you the skills you need to keep the weight off forever!

Eating Triggers – Social Events and Activities

Ever notice how we automatically associate certain foods with particular events, dates, activities, and so on?

– Donuts on Fridays
– Cake on birthdays
– Chocolates for Valentine’s Day
– Hot dogs at the ball park
– Popcorn at the movies
– Dessert after dinner in a restaurant – or after dinner anywhere, anytime.
– Popcorn or chips while watching TV
– Cotton candy, candy apples or funnel cake at the carnival
– Chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream when you’ve had a rough day or your relationship just ended
– Pizza, wings and beer at the Super Bowl party
– Candy on Halloween

I’m sure you can think of many more examples!

But who says it has to be this way? These associations are purely a matter of social construction – and/or clever marketing by the food industry.

I invite you to question tradition!

Some weight management programs will tell you to avoid your trigger situations – perhaps forever. I disagree. Why should you miss out on having fun? I believe, instead, that the key to managing these situations is learning to separate the connection between the event and the act of eating. Learn how to enjoy it without engaging in eating – or, at least, without engaging in eating the usual unhealthy foods.

Of course, this is not always easy. It’s all about what’s in your mind. Tina, one of my Full Mind Weigh™ program graduates learned to ask herself this question: “What do I really want – to eat that food, or to look and feel the way I want to look and feel?” It’s also about planning and preparation, as I’ve discussed in a previous post (Planning Ahead, July 6th, 2014).

How would you plan ahead for an event where only unhealthy foods will be served?

– By keeping your motivation in mind: why it is important to you to maintain your health weight.
– By eating a healthy meal before you go, and planning on eating another when you get home.
– By taking your own healthy snacks with you.
– By focusing on enjoying the event and the people – even without the usual foods.
– By reminding yourself that nothing catastrophic will happen if you avoid the usual foods. In fact, something good will happen – you will maintain your healthy weight and you’ll feel proud of yourself.

Should you allow yourself just a taste of the unhealthy food?

Some people can stop with a taste. Others cannot. If you can do it, more power to you – enjoy! But this is not for everyone.

Instead of dwelling on what you “can’t” have and still maintain your healthy weight, focus on what you “can” have – good health, improved self-esteem, perhaps improved mobility, and great healthy food!

Please share your thoughts and experience with me and with other readers, by commenting on this post.

For frequent updates on this topic and related topics on weight loss maintenance and motivation, follow me on Facebook: Institute for Lifelong Weight Management. Also, check my Pins on Pinterest. On Twitter: I4LWeight Management.

“I went into a McDonald’s yesterday and said, ‘I’d like some fries.’ The girl at the counter said, ‘Would you like some fries with that?’” – Jay Leno

“If hunger is not the problem, then eating is not the solution.” – Author unknown

With your continued health in mind,

Doreen Lerner, Ph.D.
Director, The Institute for Lifelong Weight Management
Creator, The Full Mind Weigh™ to Lifelong Weight Management

The Institute for Lifelong Weight Management provides education and training. The Full Mind Weigh™ is strictly an educational program and is not a substitute for medical or psychological evaluation or treatment. If you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder, please consult with a qualified mental health professional who is trained to evaluate and treat eating disorders.