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Woman eating pizza

I have a confession to make. It’s not pretty and slightly embarrassing seeing as I coach people to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle…

I totally overdosed on pizza the other night. I mean, I ate FAR more than 2 slices and, of course, I was up all night due to the sheer amount of dairy I ate and the fact that I was full beyond measure.

You see, two things happened here: 1) I made a meal plan for the week but somehow never actually got the groceries (we even order our groceries and it still didn’t get done!) and, 2) like Brokeback Mountain, I just can’t quit pizza. It’s my Kryptonite. I look at pizza and I lose my mind, my focus, my drive, my everything. Pizza is my food drug of choice and I can never, NEVER have just one slice.

And I absolutely hate that! I know what I’m doing when I go overboard with pizza and even as a coach I have a hard time talking myself out of it. This is why we don’t buy frozen pizzas (other than that they’re gross) and when we make pizza at home we have to stick to pita pizzas. It’s a total trigger food.

Why am I telling you this? For a couple of reasons actually. First, I want you to understand that just because I’m a weight loss coach doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle myself. Yes, I have a VERY good handle on my food now but I know that I will always have to manage myself around food and because of that, I, like you, slip on occasion. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you human! It’s what you do 90% of the time that matters.

I’m also telling you this because it speaks to the power of meal planning. I get pizza when I either a) haven’t meal planned for the week, or b) skip the grocery shopping for the week. For me personally, if I don’t already know what I’m eating for dinner I feel lost and I wind up not wanting to make anything at all and that’s when my mind wanders to take-out which inevitably leads to pizza regardless of the fact that I know what it’ll do to me for the next 12 hours. Now, I’m a huge meal planner and do it almost every week so it’s not that I haven’t made it a habit, it’s just on those rare weeks I haven’t.

So what’s to be done about it? Well, because I know that lack of meal planning/grocery shopping can cause this trigger, something I’ve never really considered before, it’s now more important than ever that I make sure I have a meal plan in place and that I order my groceries every single Sunday! My goal for this month is to do just that, sometimes I meal plan a month in advance (I know, I know… craziness!) and I do think that this is extremely helpful as I only need to meal plan once per month. Then it’s just putting in a reminder on my phone to get me to order the week’s groceries every Sunday.

What do I want you to get out of this snafu? I want you to:

  • Recognize that everyone has a trigger food – even that person who seems to have it all together! Recognize what your trigger foods are (I’m sure there’s more than one, my other trigger food is chips) and, if applicable, try and find patterns of when or why you go overboard with them around.
  • GET IT OUT OF THE HOUSE! Seriously, don’t make this harder than it needs to be. If you can’t manage your portions you need to refuse to have it in the house. If your family balks in horror, be up front and tell them that this is a trigger for you and that for you to achieve your goals (or maintain them), you need their help and support to make it happen and that means to agree to keep that food out of the house.
  • If at all possible, when you realize what triggers you to go nutso on your trigger, try and find an alternative way to deal. Like for me, I know that for some weird reason, I just refuse to throw something together when I don’t know what I’m having for dinner so I get pizza. Because I know this (you don’t really need to get deep into why it does this- just recognize it when it happens) I know that meal planning is absolutely crucial!
  • Don’t let it derail your goals! One snafu isn’t going to kill you (although it may give you heart burn), make it a goal to eat super healthy the next day and get your workout in! Get right back on track and learn from it!


Image courtesy of marin /

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