Ever wonder what makes you have certain eating habits or cravings? The answer can be linked to your first exposure to food. 

 

From an early age we can associate food with comfort or discomfort. Being sick and having your mother bring you chicken noodle soup can make your mind associate that as a comfort food or the candy bar runs and junk food your dad used to get you on a road trip can make you crave those chips and candy bar on your own grown-up road trip.

 

The opposite can be true if you have had a bad experience...say you associate pickles with a time you got sick after you ate a pickle or the times your parents made you sit at the table until you ate your cold broccoli. You probably will carry this dislike as a grown up.

 

Knowing this can be really helpful when you are trying to lose weight and have real food struggles. I certainly do when I am having a bad day, week or month and this is when I see myself gain weight if I am not aware of what I am doing. 

 

You are not alone if you crave sweet, salty and fatty foods as most of us do as a society. How much we were exposed as a kid I personally think can train us to eat these foods in excess as an adult.

 

What can you do to change this?

 

1. Write down what your weaknesses are and try to figure out if there is an association of a certain food to a memory as a child.

 

2. Awareness is the first step. Next, remind yourself when you are about to give into temptation that it is a comfort and not a need.

 

3. Make sure you have a back up food if you absolutely needing to eat. Fruit is a great trade out for sweets and veggies like peppers, cucumbers and carrots for more of a savory snack.

 

For us moms out there, now is the time to really make sure we are training our children to eat right. I am taking a second look at how often I give my children sweets and junk food. I try to not give it after a stressful day for them or to cheer them up. It is not that they don't ever get a treat but it is not part of our daily routine and always is after they have eaten the healthy stuff. I have seen real change to my daughter's attitude towards sweets when I explained when yummy treats are appropriate. She has been choosing on her own to eat veggies and fruits over cake and candy. I also tell her that she can have as much fruits and veggies as she wants and that fruit is nature's candy. She gets a kick out of that!

 

*These suggestions do not constitute medical advice and are meant to encourage healthier eating. For more serious situations it is recommended to check with a physician, dietician or counselor. 

 

Have you ever tried figuring out why you eat what you eat? Please share!

 

 

Monday, April 16, 2012 3:29:00 PM

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