Food triggers are said to be caused by several factors, with the two most common being memory and a lack of nutrients in the diet. For example, craving potato chips during emotional eating can be triggered by the memory of reaching for those snacks when you were younger and upset or by a lack of sodium in the diet. If you are trying to reduce the triggers, or remove them totally from your life so healthier foods can be added, then you need to know how to find your food triggers. Here are a few methods you can use.
Keep a Journal
One of the first ways to find your food triggers is to keep a journal. This doesn’t have to be anything major or outstanding. It can be a simple paper notebook or it can be an app on your tablet. What you really need is an area to take notes when you start having a food trigger. If you are having a craving for a certain food, or if you grab a specific food when you are having an emotional time in your life, write it down. Keep the date, the type of food you are eating, and any notes about the food. Keep notes on what may have lead to it, or write down your emotions and thoughts. Go back and look at your entries, taking notice of triggers that are recurring and food that keeps coming up during these moments. With this information you can start making the right choices and changes to eliminate the need for the food trigger you are having.
Use Your Phone
You may not think your phone could play a part in the process of sourcing your food triggers, removing those triggers, and replacing those triggers with a healthy option. The truth is, your smartphone can be the easiest way to keep track of the food triggers. Take a picture and keep the picture in a gallery on your phone. You can also use a food app or a health app that keeps track of the supplements you take, food you eat, and can tell you the most common options you are reaching for. This can help you see if you are missing something in your diet that is causing the trigger and possibly give you options to replace the triggers.
Breakdown What You Eat
If you find that your food triggers are not due to emotional responses, then it may be due to a nutrient issue or lack of the right nutrients. Start breaking down your food trigger choices. For example, if you grab potato chips start looking at why you grabbed them. On a base level they are made of potatoes, oil, and salt for seasoning. Are you grabbing them for the starch, the carb, or the salt? This simple breakdown question can help you figure out if you are missing something the food contains or a supplement to that food like the sodium.
These methods are all fairly easy ways to find your food triggers, figure out why the triggers are happening, and replace the triggers with healthier options. By incorporating all three of these methods you can not only keep track of your food triggers, but also work towards a healthy path to finding out what your real triggers are and where you may be experiencing stressful issues in your life.