What are your environmental weight gain triggers? Have you ever stopped to consider this question?
Look at it this way: Do you sometimes feel that external events are interfering with your diet? What are the specific triggers that lead to weight gain for you? Maybe you automatically buy a soft drink and popcorn at the movies even though you’ve only just had dinner.
Discover the environmental weight gain triggers that make you want to eat more, and learn how to overcome them.
Managing Social Triggers
1. Prepare for the holidays. Whichever hemisphere you live in, the summer/winter holidays around the end of the year are challenging for many people. Before you know it, endless parties and extra food can pack on kilos/pounds.
Develop a plan of action before temptations arise: Limit yourself to a main plus EITHER one dessert OR an entrée when you go out for dinner; watch your portion size; keep an eye on sugar and sweets. Workout each day to burn off those chocolate truffles.
2. Re-focus celebrations. Of course, there are festivities year-round like birthday parties and networking events. Pay more attention to conversation so you’ll make fewer trips to the buffet.
3. Pass on seconds. You probably eat more when you are around certain family and friends who encourage overeating. Enjoy their company while you stick to your diet principles.
4. Welcome support. On the other hand, think about the neighbour you see jogging each morning or the co-worker who brings in a salad for lunch.
Spend more time with healthy role models so their habits will rub off on you.
Managing Food-Related Triggers
1. Engage your senses. Food is about more than flavour. Notice how sight, sound, smell, and touch also cause cravings. Decide if you really want a strawberry shortcake bar or you’re just reacting to the music playing on the ice cream van.
2. Adjust your vocabulary. Similarly, some words can make your mouth water. If you love cinnamon, skip the buns and satisfy your taste buds by sprinkling it on plain yoghurt.
3. Clear out the pantry. Junk food is easier to resist when it is out of your kitchen or at least beyond easy reach. Fill your refrigerator with fruits and vegetables instead of donuts. If you want to keep some treats around, put them out of sight on a top shelf.
4. Eat at home more. Restaurants have made a science out of luring you into eating more with tantalizing menus and hearty portions. Prepare more meals at home. When you do eat out, set aside half your serving to take home for another meal. Order grilled fish or quinoa salad with fresh vegetables.
Managing Other Triggers
1. Change the channel. Break the habit of snacking in front of the TV. Aim to go for an hour without eating anything. Work your way up to watching a whole movie without food or drink (except water).
Do floor exercises during the commercials instead of heading to the refrigerator.
2. Check the weather. A piping hot cup of cocoa with sugary biscuits may sound very good when it’s cold outside. A sunny beach may make you long for a margarita and corn chips or a triple serve ice cream. Use healthy substitutes year round like herbal tea or popsicles made from fresh fruit.
3. Release stress. Do you drive to the nearest fast food place after a tense meeting with your boss? Next time, try relaxing with a warm bath and a good book.
4. Slow down. It’s easier to make sound decisions when you stop rushing around. Pause for a few seconds before visiting the vending machines at work. You may realize that a handful of nuts are all you need to tide you over until lunch.
5. Create new bedtime rituals. The hours before bed can be hazardous to your diet.
Listening to an audio book will lull you to sleep faster than wolfing down leftover Chinese food.
Learn to eat when you’re hungry instead of mindlessly grabbing a bowl of chips because a TV commercial shows a famous athlete munching on them.
Tune out environmental weight gain triggers and start listening more closely to your body. You’ll eat less and enjoy your food more.