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How One Little Bite Can Trick You!

It's Danno!, Flickr

Donuts! Bacon! Ice Cream! Fries! Nachos! Burgers! Cake! Cheese! They’re called Trigger Foods and just one bite of any of these can lead to the demise of all your healthy eating habits.

Experts say there are some fatty and sugary foods that, once you bite into, can lead to an avalanche of bad eating choices.

From your brain’s viewpoint, these so-called ‘gateway’ or ‘trigger’ foods are just like an addictive drug. They make you feel out of control, maybe even physically unable to stop reaching for a second bite…and then a third.

Your nervous system responds by relaxing your stomach muscles, which makes you feel like you need to eat more to be satisfied. And of course, since we have it so hard in so many ways already, food triggers are felt more intensely in women than in men.

As an added bonus, when you add extra sugar to already fatty foods, you also increase your levels of a hormone that increases cravings and releases endorphins… that your brain remembers how much you love these foods but rarely allows you to discipline yourself with just one bite.

So how do you fight back?

— Stop a binge before it begins. Say no to the binge!

— Interrupt yourself. If you’re three bites in and feel the regret, STOP IMMEDIATELY. It’s not too late!  Do NOT give into your body’s demand for more.

— Put the healthy foods right in front of you and easily accessible.

— Get back on track. Okay so you polished off the entire caramel sundae. Don’t give up entirely! Keep your long-term goals in mind….like the bathing suit you want to fit into this summer. Then start over.

Reverse-gateway foods (healthier and less addictive choices when you need to munch) include: Sunflower seeds, plain frozen yogurt with fresh fruit, dark chocolate, pistachios, and mini whole-wheat pretzels……ALL IN MODERATION!

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