Can you believe it is November already? While we can get excited for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays to follow, you might be finding yourself stressed and surrounded by yesterday's Halloween candy. For some people, candy is their trigger food.
What are trigger foods? In the words of Michelle May, trigger foods are those that a person feels triggers a loss of control, sometimes leading to overeating or bingeing. When we restrict certain foods, these can become our trigger foods. And restriction is what starts the cycle of craving, overeating, and bingeing followed by guilt.
During Halloween time when your house is filled with all kinds of candy and chocolate, you need to learn to trust yourself. It is important to remember that food does not have to control us. Trusting yourself around ‘forbidden food’ means to give yourself permission to eat it when you want it. This will instill in you questions like ‘Do I really want this now?’ or ‘Will I enjoy it in the moment,’ but also ‘Will I feel good when I’m finished?’. When you ask yourself these questions it may make you realize that you don’t even want that specific food. You only craved it because it was restricted. So it is okay to pick up one of your child’s chocolates and eat it with full attention and awareness. Try to savor that chocolate, without any distractions or feelings of guilt. Notice the pleasure it makes you feel and enjoy its wonderful flavor. Don’t be surprised if you would like to have another chocolate. Over time you will realize that that food has lost its power over you and you don’t crave it as heavily anymore. That’s what mindful eating is about. We should all try to make food our friend and not the enemy.