Thursday, August 13, 2009

The trigger effect of sweet foods

This afternoon I made one of my favourite free-meal treats to enjoy on the weekend: lemon slice (I'll post the recipe here, it is too delicious not to try!) and I was oh-so-tempted to lick the spatula after pouring the batter into the cake tin. The fresh lemon zest mingled with the aroma of the sugary base already baking in the oven smelled delicious. But I resisted. I knew once the licking started, I wouldn't be able to stop. This has happened to me before - many times. I would have cleaned that mixing bowl the way my cats clean up canned tuna water in their dish - not a speck would be left.

If I were just counting calories maybe cleaning up the bowl wouldn't be too damaging to the ol' waistline. But a few slurps of that batter would not be the end. I'm not talking about cravings here, which I posted about recently. I am talking about triggers. Even one lick of that batter would be a trigger for me. I would want more sweet foods - lots more. It actually reminds me of one of my son's books titled, "If you give a moose a muffin". The first few lines go something like this, "If you give a moose a muffin, he'll want another. And another. And another. And when they are all gone, he'll ask you to make more."

I wonder, is the moose really hungry or are those sweet muffins (he did ask for blackberry jam to go with them, by the way) triggering his need for even more muffins. Maybe he was just hungry. For me, however, sugary-sweet foods act as triggers to eat more sweet foods. This is not psychological, it is physical.

Every Wednesday my son and I go to our 'coffee group'. It is a group of other mom's who have the same aged kids who live in the neighbourhood. We get to have a chatty catch-up over a coffee, and the kids get to play. There is also fabulous home-baking involved. For some reason we all enjoy baking! I rarely eat the treats on offer. If I don't want the rest of my day to turn into an eat-fest, I have to stick with my own snacks. My friends understand I watch what I eat, and they respect my choices. Most of the time they don't even bother offering me a piece of cake or a cookie off the serving tray - they know my answer! But I am not sure they really get the fact that it's not just their one lovely cookie, which I would like to try (!) ... it would be the entire cupboard cleaned out once I got home.

So, I just have to be mindful of the triggering effect of sweet foods - it has saved me from many binge-eating sessions.

No comments:

Post a Comment