We’ve all felt like there’s a particular food in our life that if we take just a bite we won’t be able to stop eating it until it’s gone.
This is possible, by the way. However, it’s more likely the cause and effect you’re experiencing is being exaggerated by scarcity in your diet and/or emotions you’re using food to cope with.
Real outright trigger foods are rare. And labeling something flat out a trigger food is all-or-nothing thinking.
Instead, try to view foods on a spectrum. On one side you have compliance, and on the other you have trigger. Every food you eat, whether it’s chicken, pizza, cookies, or ice cream falls somewhere on that spectrum.
Foods closer to the compliance side, whether more stereotypically fun foods or whole foods, have the ability to keep you consistent and adherent to your goals.
For example, cereal for me is a compliance food. Yes – it is a fun food. But I have it every night, and as a result, I’m able to eat 80-90% whole foods the rest of the time and consistently stay in a deficit without feeling restricted or deprived.
This is why you can’t view foods in isolation. Whether a food is “good” for you or not is entirely dependent on a macro view of your diet and what the outcome is days, week, or months down the line.
For nearly a decade I tried to restrict these fun foods and eat as close to perfect as I could. All that resulted in was a binge eating disorder and countless nights of 7,000 calories. That is nowhere close to healthy.
But adding in fun foods and practicing moderation resulted in much healthier behaviors both mentally and physically.
I used to label cereal as a trigger food. But I had made the mistake at the time of looking at the food instead of the preceding mindset and behaviors that actually lead to me eating the entire box in one night.
Your job is to analyze your relationship with food. Understanding this dynamic and how you react to specific foods is how you start feeling more abundant, and that’s what results in food freedom, consistency, and reaching your goals.