Research. The research team - mice - were provided with unlimited amount of tasty food. All mice lived together, so let's assume, that all were somewhat equally stressed, happy or rested. Still, some ate more and gained more weight, and some others ate less. Researchers identified that neuron synapses in the reward circuits were different in mice that ate more than mice that ate less. Which means that tendency to overeat is somewhat innate. These mice get more pleasure from food and are more motivated to eat more.
My five cents. Please focus on the fact that innate is not tendency to get fat, but to eat more. We eat the amount we are used to eat. This is a habit that can be learned and can be controlled consciously. This is not a reason to feel helpless and stick to saying "I have bad genes". We can learn and we can get used to eating a certain amount of food. Instead of that, consider this: people with these genes get more pleasure from the same amount of apple or ice cream. You cannot beat that.
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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.
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We choose food most often (statistically speaking) based on taste. There is also another, a wider concept - food reward, which is composed of food taste, decreasing of hunger, created pleasure (liking of food) and perceived motivation to eat (wanting). Food reward is a driver of amount o food we eat and commonly thought to be related to obesity. But perhaps food liking and wanting are interacting with weight in different ways?
People on a diet during this study had decreased food liking across all food categories, in one year after the study without any interventions - body weight was regained, appetit control weakened and food liking returned to initial level.
Overweight women (when compared to normal weight women) did not want high fat/sweet food more, but they wanted low fat/sweet food less.
Wanting low fat food was associated with improved appetite control and less fat mass, and wanting high fat food was associated with decreased appetite control and more fat mass.
👆 so, diets bring temporary results (we knew that, right?). If you want your eating method to be helpful in reaching your weight goal - make sure you choose the nicest words and definitions for your food (thus increasing your motivation), low-fat food in this case. Do not eve use anything that related to struggle, limitations, deprivation or similar. This is the expression of your utmost care and love for your body!
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 know more about psychology and food entanglement!
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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!
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How does stress affect the eating? This meta-research was run focusing on the group of healthy people.
🧠 Not surprisingly, stress is related (correlated) with higher unhealthy eating and lower healthy eating (after thinking about it for a bit longer - these are two different things)
🧠 Relationship does not mean causality - based on this study, you cannot say that stress makes you eat more, or that unhealthy food makes you stressed - only that two of them commonly happen together.
🧠 This relationship is not affected (moderated) by gender, body mass, age of method of stress measurement
🧠 But this relationship is affected by whether person puts any restraint on the eating or not (and, obviously, the more control is put forward, the less sress makes you eat unhealthy food).
👆 my two cents: if you can relate to this problem, then during the stress (or if you predict you will experience stress), try to create a gap between you and food in space and in time. This is one of the most efficient eating control measures. And, naturally, do not strengthen your habit to "eat" the stress.
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 know more about eating and psychology!
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