Food can be nostalgic and can evoke happy memories. For example, does eating certain foods make you feel safe and happy? Roast dinners can conjure up images of family gatherings. If hot buttered toast was something your mother used to give you, or if grandparents always offered a certain type of cake, then these may mean more to you than just 'food'.
Think of seasonal factors too. Ice cream as a summer treat, tins of chocolate and fruitcake at Christmas, Easter eggs, birthday cakes; the list is endless.
Also consider the attitudes towards food that you have grown up with. For example, always being told to finish the food on your plate as a child can condition you into doing so as an adult, even when you reach the point of fullness before your plate is empty.
Do certain emotions such as anger or loneliness encourage a need to reach for food? When stressed you may reach for crunchy foods that help to relieve tension in the jaw and this may constitute crisps and biscuits over carrot sticks! Creamy foods such as ice cream can feel comforting, and let's not even get started on chocolate and how this stimulates serotonin ; the 'happy' hormone!
Ideal Weight's coaches advise trying to identify your individual triggers for emotional eating and the foods that satisfy these. Are you a sweet or a savoury person? Can you be content with just a couple of squares of chocolate or a handful of crisps, or does this lead to complete abandonment of willpower?
Working out your weak spots can be a huge help to you, and this is where a food diary can be a great aid to slimming success. Try recording how you feel each day and at what points you feel your willpower waning. Ask yourself, what emotions or situations triggered this? You can then use this knowledge to take action. Can you avoid walking past that bakery on the way to work or on the school run, or can you take a short breather when stress makes you crave sugar?
Discussing a food diary with your Ideal Weight coach could help in making your weight loss journey an easier road to travel.