Junk Food Triggers: How to Wipe These Bad Boys Out for Good!

Eating Triggers 2

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. πŸ˜‰

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!).

Triggers 1

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. πŸ˜‰
  • 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!




Related reading:

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

32 Responses

  1. I love this!! I love my junk food. Carbs in particular, but my junk food doesn’t love me and likes to stick around, boo! Ready to get control of my eating and get my sexy body back! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for all y’all do, yall are so inspirational!

  2. Yes!! I have been reading through your blog today because of your give away but my goodness I needed this. Triggers are so real. I always thought it was a crazy thing when I would get sad from “feeling fat” and want to eat! I love seeing that it is a trigger. Thank you so much for a great article. You are definitely an inspiration to myself and many others!!

  3. I have a little dilemma. I am getting ready to start the carb cycling but at this time the only exercise I think I can do is in the pool. After a bout of UTI/e coli turned into sepsis and pneumonia I am having a lot of trouble with my Achilles tendon (caused by antibiotics). I see a specialist next week but right now I can barely walk. Can you recommend any exercises that don’t require walking or even being on my foot? Thanks in advance for any advise you may have. I did water therapy for my back so I will probably do that plus laps.

    1. Hi Deb: Swimming is awesome, and it’s a great option when you’re recovering from an injury. You should be able to do any upper body workouts, and I’d show the 9-Minute Missions program to your healthcare team and have them help you make any modifications while you’re healing. And remember, a huge part of weight loss is the nutrition side of things, so stick to your eating program, move as you can as directed by your healthcare team, and you can achieve your goals!

  4. Hi heidi. Im a wife and mother of5 children i have always had problems with my weight im am now probably a little over 400 lbs my husband just got sick this past January and was hospitalized for three months he had pancreatitis and other health problems i don’t mind working out but i need to know how to eat right i have 2 daughters who are also over weight one is 16 and 240lbs and the other is about to be 9 and she’s 93lbs please help me understand what to do my husband got pancreatitis from unhealthy eating and now he is home but his gallbladder is infected thank you

    1. Hi Latoya: You can begin your transformation journey today with the tools in this post: https://heidipowell.net/9060. This post outlines Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program, and it’s the same program they use on the show. You can do this! πŸ™‚

  5. I started watching Chris on his extreme weight loss show on tlc. That’s how I actually met you and chris through TV. I’m naturally a thin person but found it was harder to get back to thin after each c-section (3rd 7 months ago). I met a jazzersice instructor who has helped me realize my goal of not just being thin but in shape and muscular too. Watching you and Chris has been such an inspiration and would truly be a dream to get a one hour session with you both! What you do for people is so amazing. To help people through such a struggle physically and mentally is so wonderful to see. My trigger is not food but beverage. I like to indulge in a couple glasses of good red wine after my children are in bed. It’s my relaxation when things become quiet. My eating is clean, I work hard at the 80/20 ratio but I can’t seem to cut my nasty habit. Do you have any tips for me?

    1. Hi Amanda: A huge part of dealing with food triggers is to realize you have them, so you’re doing awesome there! I’d think of something you can do to replace that wine that doesn’t involve calories but will still offer the same relaxation for you. Here’s a post that might help too: https://heidipowell.net/8679. πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Heidi,
    I would like to know your opinion on canned vitamin drinks and musli bars – are they healthy?
    Also: Is a yogurt and a banana (together) counts as a meal or as a snack? I eat 4-5 meals a day and I count it as a meal..

    1. Hi Marta: There’s an awesome graphic in this post that shows you how to put your meals together in carb cycling: https://heidipowell.net/4514. And we recommend nonfat plain Greek yogurt, which counts as a protein. For canned vitamin drinks, each can be different, so there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but it is best to get your nutrition from whole foods when possible. Muesli bars can be good options, but as to how they fit into carb cycling depends on the bar you choose. Hope that helps!

  7. A cry for help.

    Over the last three years I’ve lost 100 pounds. For two of the 3 years I kept it off. Unfortunately the last 6 months I’ve watched that scale creep back up, this is a result of me working from home and not moving much. In addition I had an injury that kept me down for the count for 3 months.

    Last summer I was super into learning about weight training and making it my main focus. I threw out my scale batteries and watched my inches fly off. I dropped two clothing sizes and has tons of energy. I didn’t count calories and I ate too feed my muscles.

    My problem is that I know how to eat healthy, I know how my body responds to exercise, and that I am not dieting it’s a lifestyle choice. But I’m just not feeling it. I don’t WANT to exercise or eat healthy. So I’m stuck in a vicious cycle of gaining, watching the scale go up, my clothes not fitting, all of that makes me say screw it I’m not exercising, I’m tired, and I’ll eat what I want. I just can’t seem to break this cycle, and it’s frustrating because I have done it before!

    I’m 33, and I will be 34 this summer. I am a single parent of two kids, I work full time and go to school full time.

    I want to be fit, healthy and strong. I want crazy energy. But right now I feel like eating my fourth homemade cookie of the day and I want a ginormous glass of whole milk to go with it.

    Do you have any advice for people like me who just need to get motivated again?

    1. Hi Sarah: Thank you for your comment! Here’s a post about Chris and Heidi’s #1 transformation tool, and I really think it could help you get and stay motivated to achieve your transformation goals: https://heidipowell.net/8679. You can do this!

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