An idea that’s been around for a while is you can reduce the possibility of getting a headache by avoiding the ‘triggers’ for your headache. The most common headache triggers are things like stress and unpleasant emotions, lack of sleep or excess sleep, foods like chocolate and cheese, eyestrain, noise, odors, alcohol, menstruation, and high humidity, heat, or cold.
In a recent research study in which avoiding predisposing factors or triggers was compared with learning to cope with triggers, learning to cope with headache triggers proved to be more effective in reducing headache episodes.
Do you think learning to cope with your triggers rather than avoiding your triggers for a weight-gaining, weight-maintaining pattern of eating would also prove to be more effective? Why don’t you try out this idea and see if it works for you.
First of all, if you are trying to learn to cope, don’t avoid. Stay with whatever the trigger is and see if indeed it does cause you to eat too much food or to eat fattening foods. After you do this little experiment, you can do it over and over again with each of your triggers. In other words, if you think a down mood sends you to food or a certain time of day or even the odor of a certain food, check this out by exposing yourself to the trigger.
If you find triggers that do predispose you to a weight-gaining eating pattern, try exposing yourself for longer and longer periods of time to see if you can get used to the trigger and not have it propel you into food. Finally, during the time you are exposing yourself to a trigger, see if you can think of the trigger as a problem you need to solve. Determine what you can change in the situation or in your reaction to the situation. Make sure to analyze the change you wish to make so you come up with short-term goals that are sufficiently challenging to maintain your interest and also reachable to allow you to be successful.
Remember, you are doing all of this to learn to cope with your weight-gaining and weight-maintaining eating triggers and not to avoid them. It works for headache triggers so why not for your eating triggers.