FACT: Consuming too many calories will result in weight gain. Simply put, it is “calories in vs calories out.” If you consume more calories than you burn in a day, your body stores those excess calories as body fat (or muscle, with the proper nutrition and weight training plan). While this is the truth, there are just a couple of exceptions — and these exceptions can be incredibly frustrating!! Regardless of how meticulously follow your nutrition program, certain medications and/or some health conditions can, in fact, cause you to gain weight.
So then begs the question, “Well…what if the foods I’m eating are super healthy?? Like chicken, rice, fruits, or veggies?”
My friends, it’s important to know this other truth: Eating too much of any food— including super healthy options—causes weight gain too! A calorie is a calorie is a calorie, and our bodies really don’t make any distinctions about where those calories came from if they’re “extra” calories over and above what our bodies need (ie. Our RMR + additional calories burned during the day = what we need to maintain weight). And while it would be amazing if our bodies knew, “That’s a healthy calorie, so even though it is extra, I’m not going to store it as fat,” that’s just not gonna’ happen. 😉
So…what things can trigger us to eat more calories than we need to? I’ve got three of the biggies to share with you, and I hope they will help you better understand what your eating triggers are so you can be aware of them and make a plan for how to deal with them instead of resulting to food. Like I say—A LOT, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” And this definitely applies to eating triggers.
See if any of these sound familiar:
People Triggers: These have less to do with others and more to do with ourselves.
- The need to feel loved
- The need to feel trusted
- The need to feel valued
- The need to feel desired
- The need to be respected
- The need to be right
- The need to be understood
- The need for freedom
- The need to be in control
Food Triggers: I’m going to get a bit science-y here because these triggers are becoming one of the biggest addictions throughout the world. As humans, we are programmed from day 1 for food to be soothing and comforting for us. Food releases the feel-good endorphins (mostly dopamine) in our brains. This neurotransmitter helps to calm and relax us when we experience feelings of anger, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, or others. It will even magnify feelings of happiness. Considering these “comfort” foods cause this physiological reaction, and make us feel so good, food has become an emotional “painkiller” for many people. Mind-blowing, but true, these foods can have an effect on the brain similar to what happens with drugs. It doesn’t help that we are also bombarded by junk food advertisements on TV, online, in newspapers, magazines—everywhere! And even this picture here…sorry…eek (but it looked so good!).
Event Triggers: These triggers live up to their name—they’re caused by situations and events we encounter throughout our day. Things like restaurants, social gatherings, parties, family get togethers, time with friends, holidays, the drive to and from work, boredom, stress, finishing a tough workout, and even finally getting the kiddos to bed (my trigger) can all tempt us to eat off-plan.
So, what can you do to combat these eating triggers? Here is a list of our proven tactics (and don’t forget to click on the links for even more tips!):
- Keep your “WHY”—the reason you’ve chosen to lead a healthy life—front and center at ALL times. Post it anywhere and everywhere—make it your screensaver on all of your devices!
- Plan ahead so you’ll know how to handle these triggers before they start.
- Keep those promises to yourself.
- Practice managing your stress better. I know…this is a lifelong pursuit!
- Get enough sleep.
- Drink up! Water, that is. 😉
- Exercise. Even a few minutes of movement can make a huge difference!
- Prepare for and make better choices at all those food-filled events.
- Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking and every 3 hours (for a total of 5 meals a day) like we do in carb cycling.
- Have healthy options available at all times, especially when you’ll be away from home.
- Where possible, avoid anything and any situation that is an eating trigger for you.
With so many different types of eating triggers in our lives, we definitely need to think outside of the box for ways to conquer them. While it might take some trial and error, once you figure out what works best for you, these triggers won’t be able to trip you up on the path towards achieving your transformation goals. They’ve got nothing on you!!!
For even more tips and tricks on handling eating triggers—and many, many other transformation-related topics—check out our new book, Extreme Transformation!
Emotional Eating: How to Take Control Once and for All
What’s Your Excuse?
How to Begin Your Transformation Journey—Step by Step
Commercial Break Workout: Total Body Blaster
Reignite Your Fire to Achieve Your Goals!
The Extreme Cycle | Meal Planning Tips