Listen to your gut, says USA student, who by the way studies interoception - human capability to perceive internal processes of the body (like pain, hunger, fatigue, etc.). If we do not clearly understand what signals our bodies send us, we cannot take good care of it. For example, if we don't know that most of the serotonin is produced in the gut (we just discussed that), we cannot ensure that we have lively movement in the gut or optimal mood, appetite, sleep, memory or attention regulation. Students (in my opinion - most of the working people) who are in constant stress, overworked, keeping poor sleep and eating hygiene, are at especially high risk if missing the important signals of the body and not taking care of it.
All internal organs have numerous nervous connections to the rain (including vagus nerve!) - and they are in place for intensive information exchange. This is why we tend to define the emotions we feel in somatic terms (sinking heart, butterflies in the stomach, cold feet, etc.) - and various physical distresses make us feel and think differently. The connections go both ways. One research has identified that women with different gut microbiota react differently to negative emotional material - there are different patterns of activity in brain's hippocampus, areas processing attention, emotions and sensory information.
So, by paying more attention to your body signals, to how different food affects your well being, by ensuring wider variety of gut microbiota (think fermented and soured products, like yoghurt, kefir, soured cabbage and kimchi, kombucha, aged cheese, small amounts of wine and beer, sourdough bread, olives, etc.) - you will ensure a better balance of internal processes in your body and improved well-being. Learn to hear what your body says by practicing daily meditation, breathing or mindfulness, and make sure you provide sleep, rest and quality nutrition whenever your body asks for it.
Photo: 5598375 from Pixabay
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Well, I read this one with one eyebrow raised and kept thinking about the children who demand that their foods do not touch in the plate. But the research is not about them. After reading at least three times and thinking about it for a bit longer, it does make some sense.
So, the research compares how people make assessments about the food that is served "separated" (all products in groups and not touching one another) or "mixed" (like in a salad or stew).
- participants believe that "separated" food is less caloric, even if it obviously is (for example, fried snacks)
- when eating "separated" food, participants eat more mindfully, they also believe that such food affects body weight more
- when eating "separated" food participants also control the amount of the consumed food more - even though here I keep thinking of parties and rivers of snacks flowing freely across the tables and plates; it is possible to eat more of the snacks than to have more salad that you need a spoon or fork to eat... then again, research was done in the lab, not at the party.
My conclusions are these. Whenever you can, eat with your hands (this is not part of this research, but you can control the amount of food you eat better, besides, you will get more pleasure out of eating). If possible - try eating food that is "separated" - not salads and stews, think poke bowls of buddha bowls direction. During parties (not fancy dinners, but talking and snacking parties) drink water, and if this does not sound like a plan - get yourself a plate for your portion of snacks, so you don't go foraging across the big platters.
And, bon appetit!
My name is Monika, I am health and nutrition psychologist. I help to deal with daily and difficult questions about behavior, thinking, emotions. I write, teach and provide psychological counselling. Book my talk to ask more!
Photo: Miu Sua on Unsplash
#spoonfulofreason #psychology #food #eating #perception #calories
Question "How eating and psychology are related?" will probably remain on repeat for a long time, but I will not give up :) and I am not alone.
Eating decisions are "quick decisions" (here you should think of Kahneman's quick and slow thinking), because people are busy with other things, they are constantly in a rush, and healthy nutrition information is very complex and difficult to process. Besides:
🧠 food advertising very often aims to invoke emotional response (more emotions - less rational decisions)
🧠 try some time reading food label in an easy and fun way. Not a chance. What about simple and intuitive way to understand kilocalories, body mass index, portion size? Nope.
🧠 people usually tend to choose present focused decisions (in a fight of cookie now and health later, cookie always starts and wins)
🧠 people also tend to stick to their habits and maintain status quo, and choose the same things over and over again
🧠 in presence of food, it is almost impossible to not think about food and not to want it. At the same time food is available everywhere, in especially in worst situations, like line at the cashier register (hail self-service!), on the screen or in the street cafes.
Insights based on psychology and behavioral economics may help us as society he eat better. Food marketing and advertising should be strictly controlled (for example, celebrity or action hero images should not be used on the packaging), package from should display uniform food content and nutritional value information as well as warnings. Healthy alternatives should become default option (full grain pizza, unless you specifically ask for white flour). Probably portion size control should be implemented as well. Additional taxation for unhealthy foods and beverages should be implemented.
My name is Monika, I am psychologist. I help to deal with daily and difficult questions about behavior, thinking, emotions. I write, counsel and teach. Book my talk to as more!
Photo: StockSnap from Pixabay
#spoonfulofreason #psychology #food #eating #decisions #policy #behavioraleconomics
Very good timing on the topic - on Wednesday I will be giving a speech in Login 2021 conference on the very similar topic: https://login.lt/agenda/?&day=26#
92: Everything is connected: stress, eating and sleep
This time I read a thesis from University of South Dakota (1). REad and kept nodding - yes, yes - you are what you eat, you will reap what you sow... Everything is connected to everything else - psychology and behavior, eating and digestion hormones, neuroscience and science of sleep. Let's get straight to the meat of it:
- The more stress people feel, the more often they eat not because of hunger, but to relax
- Women tend to use food for comfort more often. Also comfort food is a common relaxation method for people who work for more than 40 hours a week and people who lack sleep.
- If someone meets physical activity recommendations (at least on the recommended level), they are significantly less likely to eat for comfort
- The more someone believes that he or she is experiencing high levels of stress (believes, but not necessarily does experience stress) - the more likely someone is to eat uncontrollably (does not notice eating, does not stop eating when full, eats in a company, etc.)
- People who sleep well, but experience high levels of stress, are still likely to eat uncontrollably
- People who apply cognitive rules to their eating are more successful at maintaining their low body index as the time passes.
- Physical activity, stretching workouts and yoga routines were both successful weight loss programs. But people who chose yoga, were not eating uncontrollably compared to the stretching group. So while physical activity did it's job well in both groups, yoga also helped to deal with emotional eating triggers.
Let's tie it all together. Lack of sleep leads tired people to use food as compensation. Lack of physical activity leads to food as relaxation method (also when people are anxious about poor work results which may result from lack of sleep and related fatigue). When tired mind fails to find good reasons to stick to the eating plan, people eat mindlessly, eat more, work slower and work longer - instead of getting more sleep and being more productive. Everything is connected to everything else.
WIshing you good night sleep, experiencing true hunger and have a good walk - instead of trying to fix just one corner of this triangle. That should do it :)
My name is Monika, I am psychologist. I help to deal with daily and difficult questions about behavior, thinking, emotions. I write, counsel and teach.
1. Relationship of Stress, Sleep, Physical Activity, and Food Insecurity on Eating Behaviors and Obesity: http://openprairie.sdstate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2879&context=etd
Photo: Andrew Martin from Pixabay
#spoonfulofreason #psychology #system #stress #sleep #activity #food