Monika Kuzminskaitė on Food & Eating PsychologyHealth psychologist, with special love for food and eating mattersSome time ago
81: hunger and appetite Do you eat with appetite only because you are hungry? Are they two different things? How one and another or both of them affect our decisions to eat one or another food? Dictionary defines "appetite" as "a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat", and "appetite" as "a natural desire to satisfy a bodily need, especially for food". Not too different... But it is important to make a distinction! Other books provide this definition: appetite is a feeling related to previously experienced sensations of smell and taste. Appetite can be distinguished from hunger when we eat tasty desserts only for the pure pleasure of it. Appetite is defined by the sensory associations from the past of the present. Hunger s a rather dull sensation of emptiness below the chest area or in the stomach. Hunger is your body's way to request nutrients. If you do not pay attention to the hunger, it may become a rather unpleasant feeling. Because of hunger we may eat certain foods that we would rejected if judgement was made based on feeling of appetite only. The terms should be differentiated, because situations when we eat not because we are hungry are too many. Back in 1949 Hebb proposed that hunger reaction is learned - babies initially experience hunger as intense and unpleasant feeling, but in the longer run they learn that food diminishes this feeling, so they start looking for food and asking for it. Such behavior is constantly reinforced by dopamine. (well, because brain always does that - rewards for the food, no matter if we ate when hungry or not). After some time the dopamine is the reward you want when you see food - and it does not matter anymore whether the primary reason (hunger) is present or not. This reaction is automatic, it will not be a well thought out decision. Snap, and you want the food. This is why it is very important to control the environment in which you teach yourself to eat healthy, If you eat what you see and what you can reach - you will most probably eat more and not what you intended. Besides, people eat because they are sad, anxious, tired - and if the primary "measure" of tasty food will not be available, they will have to look for something else. Finally, a wish and a repetition. While you are still re-learning to recognize hunger and read it's messages (the only real signals that you need to eat) - try to arrange your environment so that unwanted foods will not be accessible to your eyes or your hands. While Mster Hunger will regulate what appears on your plate, let Mister Appetite take care of the healthy and tasty food choices. Bon appetit! ----------------------------------------------------------- Photo: Marina Pershina 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 #hunger #appetite
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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
Research. People tend to eat more when they feel more positive emotions as well as they feel more negative emotions than usual (here we should think of both celebrations and stress situations). On top of that, people tend to eat more after they overeat (here we should think about feelings of guilt and helplessness). I short, emotional peaks are a risk for overeating. My take on this: it does not really matter whether you "let yourself go" during vacations, or you "seek comfort" in food when stressed - too much food is too much food, with all the consequences. Emotional problems need to be resolved using emotional tools (like deliberation, planning, behavior rehearsal, speaking), and food needs to be used food-related issues (obtaining nutritional substances). Your dismay or frustration does not have a role in the physiological digestion process. Research: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hande_Oenguen_Yilmaz/publication/348297086_How_does_emotional_appetite_and_depression_affect_BMI_and_food_consumption/links/5ff6cb4645851553a026d5db/How-does-emotional-appetite-and-depression-affect-BMI-and-food-consumption.pdf Photo: Jill Wellington 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 #eating #emotions
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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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