How to Control Weight by Identifying and Controlling Eating Triggers

Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of some health problems. Some people can achieve this by eating regular meals and avoiding consuming too many calories.

Stocking a kitchen with diet-friendly foods and creating structured meal plans can also aid in losing weight. Eating mindfully can improve the taste and enjoyment of food.

Identify Your Triggers

The bottom line is that identifying and controlling eating triggers is an essential part of the weight loss journey. Often, these are foods, situations and feelings that lead to unconscious overeating.

The good news is that many food triggers are easy to identify. For instance, you may realize that certain foods, such as dairy or gluten, cause you to feel bloated or have a stomach ache.

An elimination diet is an effective way to discover these triggers. For example, you can try to eliminate these foods for two weeks to see if your symptoms improve. Managing triggers is one of the best ways to control your eating, especially when you are trying to lose weight in Ypsilanti or Saginaw.

Keep a Food Journal

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain it, tracking your food intake with a journal helps you stay on track. It’s best to use a paper one over a digital tracker, which can be more distracting.

Writing down everything you eat for a week allows you to identify patterns. You might discover that you tend to eat when bored or out of emotional frustration, and you may be surprised to learn you aren’t eating the right amounts to feel satisfied.

You can also use a food journal to help you figure out any food sensitivities that may be contributing to uncomfortable symptoms like bloating or stomach pain. You may need to go on an elimination diet to determine which foods are causing you discomfort.

Eat More Often

Eating more often has been suggested as a way to discourage large swings in blood sugar levels and prevent hunger or impulsive eating throughout the day. Some people also believe that eating more frequently helps you burn more calories, due to the energy required for digesting and absorbing food’s nutrients. However, some experts disagree. For example, some people who suffer from digestive issues such as acid reflux and gastroparesis may feel better by eating fewer larger meals per day.

Eat Slowly

Eating slowly improves digestion, promotes better hydration and weight loss or maintenance, and increases the satisfaction you get from meals. Conversely, eating too quickly leads to poor digestion and hunger.

Slowing down gives your body the time to break down food into the liquid mix called chyme, which helps reduce appetite and make you feel full. It also gives your brain the time to receive satiety hormones and signals that indicate you’re satiated.

One study found that women who ate at a slower rate reported greater feelings of fullness than those who ate at a normal speed, even three hours after the meal.

Don’t Restrict Foods

When people commit to a healthier diet, they often focus on cutting out foods that are not nutritious. But restricting foods can lead to a number of eating disorders, including avoidant restrictive food intake disorder. Instead of limiting foods you enjoy, try the “add don’t restrict” approach. This means eating a balanced diet of healthy whole foods while also giving yourself the freedom to eat the occasional ice cream bar, birthday cake or dinner out with friends.

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