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.
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“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.