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Defeating Weight Loss Enemy Number One: Trigger Foods

By Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri, Medical Director

Just about everyone has a couple of trigger foods inciting them to say,” I need to leave this room now or I will eat all of those…”

These foods provide comfort and pleasure, which is part of enjoying the act of eating. But during your weight loss phase and even after achieving goal weight, there are foods that you need to keep at bay.

A trigger food is any food that literally “triggers” a compulsive emotional response.

These foods can lead you down a path to destructive eating, potentially even opening the door to binging, in some cases.

The origins of our individual trigger foods are usually steeped in our personal histories.

Regardless, we can all list our trigger foods faster than we can recite our addresses. (For me, it’s chips in any flavor, shape or brand.)

Make no mistake, when times get tough, those old trigger foods will be waiting to help soften the blow.

Below, I’m sharing a few simple recommendations and words of encouragement to help bypass the temptation and avoid that sense of regret after falling victim to a trigger food’s call.

Tools to Defeat Trigger Food Cravings

Remember That You Are In Control of What You Eat

With the support of our team here at Sterling Surgicare, you are reasserting the power of what you eat. You are the boss, not the trigger food. Kick the urge to the curb. Move forward.

Trigger Foods are Not Medicine – Break the Cycle

Trigger foods are born when they have been used in the past to manage discomfort. But you are on a path to living healthy and that includes leaving bad habits behind.

Trigger foods are part of your old life. This is your new life.

You have the power to form a healthy relationship with food by understanding it is fuel, not medication.

Eliminate the Temptation

“But I buy the cookies and Wing Dings for the kids’ lunches, not for me…” They don’t need this stuff, neither do you.

Make it simple. Eliminate it from your home environment and reject it in the workplace.

Write a Goodbye Letter to the Trigger Food

Write a break-up letter to cheese, donuts, ice cream—whatever it is. Let the food know that you’ve moved on to a new way of living, one that will lengthen your lifespan and help prevent the onset of weight-related diseases. Let the trigger food now it’s just not doing it for you anymore.

Finally, keep in mind perfection is not required to lose weight a large amount of weight or live a healthy lifestyle.

Allow yourself to enjoy a trigger food in moderation, occasionally.

You might be surprised to discover it isn’t so great after all.

About Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri

Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD, FASMBS, is a board-certified advanced laparoscopic, bariatric and general surgeon on staff at several central New Jersey hospitals.

He is the medical director of Sterling Surgicare in Holmdel; medical director of the Institute for Weight Loss, Hackensack Meridian Health Raritan Bay Medical Center-Old Bridge, and co-medical director of Central Jersey Bariatrics in Freehold. 

Call our friendly team of bariatric experts at 732-217-3897.