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- Notice Your Trigger Before You Eat.
- Now that you know your triggers, you can monitor them. You don’t have to fight against your hunger, just give your brain enough time to make a choice. Instead of robotically reaching for food, which is a reaction that comes automatically, let yourself find a way to choose what you really want. At first, this involves a simple moment of mindfulness, or self-awareness, as follows:
- Any time you are about to eat outside mealtime, go through the following simple steps:
- Pause and take a deep breath.
- Ask yourself if your hunger is being triggered by a familiar pattern, such as feeling bored, restless, or sad, or wanting a distraction. You now know some of your most common triggers, so see if any of them are involved.
- Once you’ve identified a trigger, ask yourself if you really need to eat. Maybe you can find an alternative activity, one that simply postpones reacting to your trigger, such as:
- Doing a household chore.
- Calling a friend.
- Checking your e-mails and answering some saved ones.
- Reading a book.
- Drinking a glass of water.
Any harmless diversion will do. Your goal is to insert a pause before you automatically react to a trigger. If you still feel hungry, go ahead and eat. But get in the habit of noticing your triggers this way—it’s a basic step toward overcoming them and giving yourself more freedom to choose.