There is an ongoing discussion in various corners of the nutrition/wellness industry as to whether or not “trigger foods” should be included in the diet in any form. While some groups say to include them to avoid feelings of deprivation, others say to avoid them at all cost. I tend to believe that it’s better to avoid them. If a food has any qualities that make you want to stand in the place that you found it and polish off as much as possible as quickly as possible, just say “NO!”
Foods that are high in salt, sugar and fat are the primary offenders in the ongoing battle to win the rights to our own bodies. Salt is used to make serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is the “feel-good” neurotransmitter that is replenished by many anti-depressants. If we consistently eat these foods that create serotonin then we are literally “self medicating” just as surely as if we were taking a prescription drug. While the effects may not be as fast, they are similar. As we consume larger amounts of carbohydrates, we usually eat significantly more calories and the scale goes up. While the scale is not the be all and end all of our existence, it is an indicator of long term trends. Some common foods that produce intense cravings are chips, cake, cookies candy, hot dogs and Oh My God…PIZZA. Don’t forget alcohol, it’s sugar on steroids and has to be metabolized twice, basically. Again, if at all possible, just say “NO!”
As much as I love pizza, I almost never eat it because it is loaded with all of the common elements that create cravings. It is abundant with salt, sugar and fat. How many times have you bought pizza with full intentions of eating one or maybe two slices? And how many of those times did you put the empty box in the garbage with your head fuzzy from binging? It’s a lot like an alcoholic fully intending to have just one or two drinks and stumbling to bed an hour later with an empty multi-serving bottle in his hand. The pizza is loaded with salty meats and fatty cheese and the crust itself is broken down into sugar in the process of digestion…addiction on steroids.
One of my trigger foods is peanut butter, specifically Smucker’s Natural Chunky. Give me a spoon and any excuse and I can make short work of any size jar that you give me. The only answer to that dilemma is don’t have it in the house. I buy peanut butter powder and use it to flavor protein shakes, oats and more with a bit of protein to boot. It has to be mixed with water to make peanut butter so there is a natural time buffer to make me think before I go crazy binging in the kitchen at 3AM. I have almost choked to death more than once from eating it too fast, half asleep, before I figured out this ploy. The sacred Smucker’s doesn’t come anywhere near my house. Tortilla chips can be a problem for me so that is a relationship that has to be continually negotiated which quite often results in no chips of any kind in my house for long periods of time. Bad food can kill us just as surely as drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and rat poison. It just takes a little longer.
I guess the question is, once again, how bad do you want it? How much do you want to be healthy? Are you serious? Are you tired of being miserable? Do you want to feel good and look as good as you feel? Talk is cheap. Put your talk into action and get these trouble makers out of your life. Nothing feels as good as healthy. Even when life deals harsh realities to me, I know that I can walk through them with Grace and a healthy body forged in the fire of commitment. It’s not easy for me and neither will it be easy for you but it will always be easier than sitting in a doctor’s office month after month receiving treatment for something that I could have avoided with hard work. Clean your cupboards now, live healthy. Let us know how you progress after getting rid of the contraband. We’ll be here! ;-*