Exposure Therapy Can Help You Manage Food Triggers
Weight Loss
May 2, 2020

How to Manage Food Triggers

Even though you might promise yourself that you will keep junk food out of the house, it can be really tough to do. Also, even if you try your hardest to avoid temptation and manage food triggers, you simply can’t always avoid cravings, and that can all make your weight loss journey so much harder than it needs to be. You might end up swearing off certain unhealthy treats, only to find yourself giving in to those cravings and binging later on. Not good!

According to Piedmont, common trigger foods are those that are high in unhealthy fat, salt, and sugar. They are terrible for your health, but they taste amazing, so the temptation is strong. Thankfully, there are several ways that you can work on taking control to manage food triggers, and one of them is exposure therapy. Check out the information below to learn what it’s all about.

The Basics of Exposure Therapy to Manage Food Triggers 

To be able to manage your weight for the long run, it’s better to give yourself repeated exposure to the foods that trigger your cravings. This is more effective than eliminating them abruptly. Over time, with this method, you can become comfortable with the fact that the triggering foods are in your environment, and you won’t feel the need to give in to the cravings.

How to Implement Exposure Therapy to Manage Food Triggers

How does exposure therapy work? You continually expose yourself to the food trigger, but you do so in increasing degrees. You work on this until you can fully encounter a trigger food without giving in.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Write down a list of foods that trigger your cravings, and write down the places where you often encounter these foods.
  2. Rank your triggers by the degree of their severity, and rank the environments by their severity as well.

Writing this information down can help you come up with ideas of how to implement exposure therapy to maintain control over your cravings.

As an example, you might be tempted to eat a lot of fried potato chips at work, but you want to stop. So, when your coworkers are eating them as a snack, you can make sure to be near them, but don’t have any.

It’s a good idea to talk yourself through this. Ask yourself whether the logical or emotional side of you is craving the food. Are you only craving the flavor? If you don’t have the food, you’ll be perfectly fine, right? After a bit of time, move to a different area to remove yourself from the trigger. Then, repeat this over time, remaining consistent. Before long, you won’t need to leave the area.

As you tackle one craving and one environment, you can move on to the next. Start with the easiest and work your way to the hardest.

Stay Positive to Manage Food Triggers! 

With the right effort and strategy, before you know it, you will be able to be near trigger foods without giving in. And, if you fail along the way, that’s okay! Just jot down why you gave in, and then keep up with this type of therapy. It will all be worth the time and effort that you put into it!

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