I first learned about the concept of buffers and triggers from Metabolic Effect. Their Metabolic Effect Diet is an incredible resource for understanding why traditional diets fail and how you can eat more, exercise less and lose weight!
Learning the concept of buffers and triggers was one of the most empowering experiences throughout my fat loss journey. It allowed me to put a name to something that had been derailing my success and it gave me a practical strategy for overcoming it.
Think of a buffer as something that takes the edge off. You know, when everyone around you is enjoying birthday cake and you enjoy a handful of nuts and chocolate chips to give you a sweet fix and distract you enough to keep you from grabbing a fist full of cake. They are small, dietary concessions, which provide mental relief and allow you to stay on track. Buffers don’t have to be food or drink but for me, they often are. I wrote the other day about sweet tooth strategies and some of those are certainly buffers for me! Some common buffers include:
- Protein bars
- Nuts or seeds
- Nut butters
- Dark chocolate
- Diet soda
- Coffee with stevia and cream
Triggers, on the other hand, are things that are likely to send you into a downward spiral. You know, those things that you can’t have “just one” of? Foods that defy self-control and moderation? Uh huh, we all have them. When you are able to identify and avoid your triggers, you’ll make your fat loss journey FAR easier! Some common triggers include:
- Nuts or nut butters
- Salty, crunchy snacks
- Dairy products (cheese, ice cream, yogurt)
- Any and all processed foods
The lists of common buffers and triggers look similar, don’t they? That’s the thing, what’s a buffer for one person might be a trigger for the next. I’ve also found that for me, something that is a buffer at one point may become a trigger a few weeks later!
The best way to identify your own buffers and triggers is to pay close attention to what you eat, when you eat and why you eat. Keeping track will allow you to look back and see what sent you off the rails as well as what allowed you to get into a nice groove of good, healthy choices.
Check back next week – I’m going to be sharing my personal buffers and triggers and how I use them to stay on track and accelerate my fat loss!