The Top 6 Trigger Foods That Inhibit Fat Loss

920a57b9bf63c768dbf9836800395a1e     We all know that we are unique individuals.  Human beings share overlapping similarities but we are also have differences.  This is true of our appearance, personalities, intelligence, talents, ect.  This is also true of our metabolic make-upBecause of this, the nutritional approach an individual takes to achieve fat loss has to be unique to them.  When an individual finds her correct metabolic formula, she is able to achieve and sustain fat loss while having balanced energy, reduced hunger, and absent cravings.

     The concept of TRIGGER FOODS is important to learn and understand in order to find your unique fat loss formula.  A trigger food is a food that triggers cravings, hunger, or adverse changes in an individual’s energy.  These foods can result in a slowing of fat loss, a lack of fat loss, or compensatory eating (which will also result in a disruption of fat loss).  The top six trigger foods are:

  1. dairy
  2. gluten
  3. fruits
  4. sugar-free products
  5. nuts and nut butters
  6. alcohol

     In some individuals, dairy and gluten interrupt their metabolisms through an immune response.  Dairy can also disrupt fat loss in some by causing an exaggerated insulin response when consumed.  Nuts and nut butters are typically digested inefficiently, but in some individuals these foods are digested more efficiently .  This results in them extracting more fat and calories from the nuts.  Fruits, sugar-free products, nuts and nut butters, and alcohol can act as trigger foods because they can result in extreme hunger and cravings later in the day.  Another interesting mechanism by which sugar-free products can act is called the cephalic phase insulin response.  In some individuals,  the sweet taste of these products on their tongue results in increased insulin production by the pancreas.  The insulin is released in anticipation of an increase in blood sugar, but since the individual has not consumed the sugar and her blood sugar does not rise, the insulin causes her blood sugar to drop low enough to induce hunger and cravings. 

     The important thing to realize is that while these are common trigger foods, every individual’s reaction is different.  The number of these foods that actually act as trigger foods in an individual’s body may be most of them or none of them at all.  It is also important to note that many of these foods, such as nuts and sugar-free products, may actually aid in fat loss by reducing cravings and compensatory eating later in the day.  This may sound complicated and confusing, but actually it is not.  Now that you understand that these reactions exist, you just need to be a detective.  If you are consuming some or all of these foods and are having issues with cravings, extreme hunger, energy fluctuations, or are having difficulty with fat loss, try systematically eliminating the potential trigger foods.  Then, see if the symptoms resolve and fat loss resumes. 

     Remember that every individual has her own metabolic fat loss formula.  With detective work, every individual can discover her own reactions to potential trigger foods; and ultimately, their own unique formula to achieve and maintain a lean, muscular, and healthy body.


Easy Fat Loss Protein Pudding

Haylee turns 3We are all looking for quick and satisfying snacks.  This recipe fits the bill.  It is full of protein, has half a serving of healthy fats, and is very low carb.  It also contains cocoa, which can help with cravings and mood.  Try it for your afternoon snack and let me know what you think.


  • 1 scoop whey protein (your choice of flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 4-6 ounces almond or coconut milk (could also use water)


  1. mix all ingredients with a spoon or mini blender (I used the Ninja)
  2. refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes
  3. enjoy!

This makes one serving but you can easily make more to share with the rest of your family!

The Three Batteries of the Brain and Why They Are Important

iStock_000008183124_ExtraSmall[1]     A really cool way to look at the brain is to think of it as having three batteries.  These batteries are the physical, cognitive, and emotional.  Some key points with regards to these batteries include:

  • most people tend to operate in the cognitive battery most of the time
  • each battery can charge the others
  • all three batteries charge a person’s self-control and willpower

     So, you might be wondering how these batteries get recharged.  Well, you can only have one battery turned on at a time and when a battery is turned off, it is being charged.  Here are a few more key points when it come to these batteries:

  • top performance time for these batteries (before they become drained) is 90-120 minutes
  • after the 90-120 minutes, the battery you have been operating under needs to be turned off and charged for approximately 20 minutes

     So, are you wondering why all of this is important?  Can you see that if most people spend a lot of time in the cognitive battery, this battery will become drained and you will become cognitively much less effective.  Think of how often this happens in life.  For instance, do employers routinely give breaks after every 90-120 minutes or for moms who home school, do you routinely give yourself and your children breaks every 90-120 minutes? 

     But if this is how our brains work, how much more effective and productive would we be if we respected the parameters of our batteries?  We now know that our cognitive battery can only operate for a limited period of time.  It is also important to know how to recharge our batteries.  The best way to recharge your cognitive battery is to activate one of the other batteries.  Ideas for this include:

  • having a snack (physical battery)
  • having a fun conversation with your friend or spouse (emotional battery)
  • going for a walk (physical battery)

Try this out: Pay attention to what battery you are using throughout your day, make sure you do not stay in any one battery for longer than 120 minutes without recharging, and see if you feel less exhausted and have gotten more done by the end of the day.

     One final note about our brains, batteries, and our bodies.  We also have a willpower battery that is exhaustible.  The top ways that your willpower battery can be drained is over planning, self-editing, cluttered surroundings, poor sleep, low blood sugar, and stress.  The top ways you can charge your willpower battery is the opposite of the things listed above and it can also be charged with the other three batteries.  It seems counter-intuitive, but as you can see, in order for us to get more things done,  we have to take breaks and have down times!

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