Hi folks! Thanks for visiting us at Healing Path Counseling, LLC. We pride ourselves on bringing you content tailored to bariatric patients and/or folks struggling with overeating or binge eating. This blog will focus on a tool that can be helpful in shifting our behaviors with food. Take a look!
Do you ever buy a food and notice it doesn’t stay in the cabinet for more than a day? Or, you notice that there are specific foods you know you will overeat? Maybe its potato chips, or chocolates; Whatever foods it may be, you may find yourself reliably binge eating or overeating that food, while other foods remain in the cabinet much longer.
At Healing Path Counseling, LLC, we work to help clients address behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that contribute to one’s struggle with food/overeating/binge eating.
One of the many tools we introduce includes the traffic light categorization. This is adopted from the Overeaters Anonymous folks. Some folks find it helpful to categorize some foods as “red light,” “yellow light,” and “green light” foods. Red indicates a highly dangerous trigger or binge food (food we WILL overeat or binge on), and green indicates a food that can be eaten with no problem. Creating categories for food is highly individualized. A food that is "safe" for one person could be a "red light" food for another.
The purpose of this classification is NOT to judge, shame, or restrict. The purpose is to look at the data, gather knowledge about your behaviors, and plan accordingly. This is highly personalized. One person may be able to have chocolate in their cabinet without bingeing, (and it may even gather dust in the cabinet), while another person may eat all of the chocolate in one sitting or in one day, reliably and consistently. This is not a judgement. This is solid data that we can identify and use to help folks create a more flexible relationship with food, while also knowing areas they may continue to struggle.
While this is a helpful tool, it is only a small piece of the whole picture of treatment.
I challenge you to take a look at your cabinet and classify some of the foods in the cabinet. Are there foods missing that could be labeled as red? What’s been in there for a long time? Which foods seem in the middle of trigger food or benign food?
What does this information do for you? Make sure not to judge!
(Also, you may find that some of these behaviors occur in other places aside from home. For example, parties, in the car on the way home from work, etc.)
Feel free to reach out to us if you are looking for specialized support with bariatrics, overeating, binge eating, or struggling with exercise or movement.
We are here to help!
1S132 Summit Ave.
2100 Manchester Rd.,
Building C, Suite 1620
Wheaton, IL 60187
10540 S. Western Ave.,
Chicago, IL 60643