Monika Kuzminskaitė on Food & Eating PsychologyHealth psychologist, with special love for food and eating mattersSome time ago
Today I will write from myself personally, even though all of it will be based on academic research, you'll have to trust me on that :) Let's say that yesterday you had few bites too many of the herring, salads, bread or other Christmas Eve goodies. Let's also assume that you had plenty of duck yesterday, and then a bit more, and then just that bit with a roasted skin, opened one, another, third gift package with chocolates and gingerbread cookies, and then "something else" on top of that. Let's. Then cocoa. Then mulled wine. Holiday foods are so many, holiday time so short. Today feel a little empty already - all traditions are already performed, greetings sent, but it feels like holidays are not over yet, screens are full of magic, wish to take on chores is nowhere to be seen, and... you find yourself on your way to yet another helping of sweets and then continue onto sofa. And just look at all those left-overs, peeping from the fridge. Can't just throw away it all, you just can't. But today is an important day. If now, right this moment you will put away whatever you are eating and will go back to your regular diet, will not try to rescue leftovers, will not attempt to stretch out holidays by eating more - your digestive system will still treat these two days as irregularity. Look at the time ahead - today is Saturday, the we will have Sunday, next week we will have either vacation, or "noone is really working". Holidays will truly be over on January 4th. And you still have plenty of cookies, and you wish to continue with that magic, and put-here-your-own-reason. So if you continue eating like you did for past two days, your slow but steady digestive system will have plenty of time to build a new "regular", you will grow gut bacteria that love sugar (and they will demand more of sugar), and you will want more and more sweets. If you treat your wishes as masters, then it will probably end like it usually does. This is why today is the best day to make a change. No, holidays do not have to be just sitting and eating. Even when you cannot travel, it can be reading, drawing, sleeping (a rare luxury to many of us), going for a walk, taking pictures, knitting, watching a long due movie, calling mom once more, opening new page in a diary and listing goals of your life, of next year, or perhaps just upcoming days, your good and bad qualities, finding recipes for healthy food for this next week, writing a letter to someone who you are angry at (and perhaps ripping it to bits) or so people whom you are missing and who already passed to next life. PErhaps this might be more in holiday spirit than another dose of magic from the screen. Besides, that is not going anywhere - and your time is. WIshing you true holiday spirit for your thoughts, and healthy food in reasonable amounts for your digestive system. Starting now. Please share in comments what are your holiday activities that can replace sitting and eating. Photo: Manolo Franco from Pixabay 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. #spoonfulofreason #psychology #whattoeatafterchristmas #christmas #food #nudge
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Monika Kuzminskaitė on Food & Eating PsychologyHealth psychologist, with special love for food and eating mattersSome time ago
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
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Monika Kuzminskaitė on Food & Eating PsychologyHealth psychologist, with special love for food and eating mattersSome time ago
Another book that I would like to recommend. Not the only one of this kind, I will come back to this later as well. Even though it is not psychology, but this knowledge is still very important. One of the obstacles that does not allow to achieve the desired result is lack of knowledge about how things work. If you stand in front of the door with the key in your hand, but have no clue how to use it - you can spend loads of time just standing there, experiencing despair, anger, blaming the door, the key, yourself or the others. But the door will not open because of this. Accepting this fact, also that knowledge needs to be verified, collected, updated - is the field of psychology. This specific knowledge - on food and eating - currently is developing very rapidly. There are still things that are valid, but a lot of other things that are new, and even contradict the previous "truths" - to avoid fats, to snack, to eat until full and not get hungry by any means, to eat sugars or food in general in order to have energy (whatever that is), to be able to compensate by exercising if you ate more the day before, to be able to "burn" excess food, etc. Now we know more, so we can treat our bodies a lot better and achieve results a lot faster. Bon read. #spoonfulofreading #books #psychology #nutrition
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Monika Kuzminskaitė on Food & Eating PsychologyHealth psychologist, with special love for food and eating mattersSome time ago
73: Barriers to the healthy nutrition As I am back to the city, I am also back in the flow of messages encouraging me to "let yourself go", "to treat myself", "to go for the sweet sin"... Without too much effort it is easy to see that healthy eating is seen as trouble while almost-non-food items that are also lots-of-pleasure products are shown as a guaranteed benefit. Almost like cocaine, but it is not popular to be advertised and definitely not legal to be distributed. How have we come to this - things that are good are difficult, and not a pleasure? I have looked at some qualitative research hoping to find what are the reasons as told by the people themselves. Men in United Kingdom say they avoid to choose healthy food because they have a cynical attitude towards government's messages on healthy eating, besides, healthy food does not taste well and is not satisfying. Authors believe this is related to the need of men to be independent and strong (which may mean they do not agree with government and to avoid deprivation (1) Australian children and their parents state that the primary barrier to the healthy nutrition is contradicting messages sent to the children - what advertising says and what parents say are two different things, you need to void fats, and fats are necessary, salt is both harmful and beneficial, TV has both useful and harmful shows (2) Adolescents in Ireland say that they do not choose healthy food, because they do not get the expected physical and psychological reward when eating healthy food, (mis)understanding of what is food and what is healthy eating, contradicting social pressures regarding food, and basic misunderstanding of what healthy nutrition is. Interestingly enough, healthy eating concept is masked behind pressure to eat unhealthy food and pressure to be thinner (3) UK adolescents say that they do not choose healthy food because of poor food quality in the school, also very accessible, relatively cheap and personally more tasty fast food. Supporting factors are family support, accessible healthy food, wish to care about the body image and a power of will (4) Speaking about the healthy elementary school children nutrition, their parents say that among barriers they see food provided in school, opinion of the peers (some foods are not "cool"), poor example shown by brothers and sisters, also parents and grandparents that are not living together. Parents did not see their own example as important. Parents believe that children have unchangeable tastes which shape the diet of their children. Finally, parents believe (researchers say - incorrectly) that healthy food must be prepared at home, fresh, organic, and because of all that - hardly accessible (5) Older British men say that they do not follow healthy diet because they lack skills to cook and they lack wish to change their life habits (6) There are many more research papers. But conclusion for me is quite sad. We are used to cook and eat in certain way, and unhealthy one, we have a habit of thinking that we must get the food quickly, and that time spent on cooking is time wasted (even if we are learning to cook healthy food - this is still considered the waste). We simply ignore any long term healthy eating consequences and keep luring ourselves with an instant pleasure, even if we will blame ourselves afterwards, daily. What is your reason to "treat yourself" with unhealthy food? ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Barriers to healthy eating amongst men: A qualitative analysis: http://www.660607.co.za/.../Course.../Mens%20eating.pdf 2. Healthy eating, activity and obesity prevention: a qualitative study of parent and child perceptions in Australia: https://academic.oup.com/.../Healthy-eating-activity-and... 3. Adolescents' views of food and eating: Identifying barriers to healthy eating: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/6577/2/Fulltext.pdf? 4. Young people and healthy eating: a systematic review of research on barriers and facilitators: https://academic.oup.com/her/article/21/2/239/671343 5. Promoting healthy diet and exercise patterns amongst primary school children: a qualitative investigation of parental perspectives: http://s3.amazonaws.com/.../Promoting_healthy_diet_and... 6. Old and alone: barriers to healthy eating in older men living on their own: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/.../HughesBennettetal2004.pdf Photo: andreas160578 from Pixabay 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. #spoonfulofreason #psychology #food #barriers #nutrition #eating
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