Monika Kuzminskaitė on Food & Eating PsychologyHealth psychologist, with special love for food and eating mattersSome time ago
87: Simply (?) fat While reading an article (1) on this topic (why so many recommendations to the overweight people are formulated as if speaking to a small child), I was actually thinking something completely different. True, the fact that a person weighs more that it is healthy for him or her, is a very complex issue. It never is a matter of eating too much food. It also never is a matter of "just seven days of diet" (they, a well promoted but rather poorly based diet company still e-mail me encouraging me "to take care of myself"). And it cannot be. Because nutrition is not "I weight as much as I ate", which makes counting calories completely useless. At some level it has some truth to it, but the devil is in the details. How much oh the nutrients we will use for energy production (will eat and will actually use for energy or reserves) depends on how healthy we are, whether we take any medications or supplements, what is the mood, how do we sleep, what do we do and with what intensity, what are our genes, do we have any allergies, what is our hormone balance right now and usually, how did we eat not only yesterday, but also years before that. No, that is not it, not yet. It also depends on what is or eating environment, what is our company, what are the dishes, what are other people eating, how important they are to us, whether food is important to us as a person (do we "get a bite" or "we live to eat"), whether the food is nice to look at, smells good, did you taste it before, what did you eat when you were a child, what did your parents eat back then, did they make you clear your plate, did you eat on your own, can you control your behavior in other areas. Still more! What country do you live in, what are the local beauty standards, what is the food culture and traditions, what is the season, how much money do you spend on food, are you making decisions regarding food purchases, or do you depends on someone else for it, do you cook your dinner, do you go to the food store, do you cook well yourself or need to depend on someone else for it, do you trust external information about the value of food, do you hear well your internal signals of hunger and satiety... And I meant it to be concise. Oh well. In summary, the situation is never a simple one. Also, the solution is never simple as well. One way or another, first of all we need to focus on conditions that would allow overweight people to safely (without pressure, shaming, lying about miracle diets, humiliating "preventive" measures) REALLY concentrate on their health, consciously analyze their personal reasons and get to resolving them in a safe environment. It is nothing close to a simple problem. So the worst thing one can do is start suggesting "just stop eating so much". 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. Article: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/why-treating-fat-people-like-children-wont-work/news-story/8270c0e2a7af1b10f91a7e527ba0f096 Photo: Anrita1705 from Pixabay #spoonfulofreason #psychology #eating #overweight
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Monika Kuzminskaitė on Food & Eating PsychologyHealth psychologist, with special love for food and eating mattersSome time ago
4: So where's psychology in eating? Short answer is - everywhere. Habits. Choices. "Must have" wishes. Holidays. Gifts. Punishments. Non-verbal feeling expressions. Image (vegans, also). Happiness and serotonin. What tastes good and what is healthy, also what is trendy. Science of nutrition, I suspect, is much more about psychology than about physiology. What we eat is most often NOT what body requires at the moment (even though we very often state that we have some kind of "energy boost", and this is why we crave for something sweet. "It's what the brain wants!"). Usually it is what we are used to eat. And habits is truly a meadow of psychology. Why do we have habits like we do is shaped by the culture, family traditions, significant events in our lives, significance that we assign to food and eating (compared to other activities), usual environment in which we eat - and the company of people, and a whole lot of other factors. By the way, we do not usually think about the reasons why we eat the way we do. If we choose from several alternatives (choice, again, is the field of psychology), the final decision is shaped by the opinions and attitudes, environment (fast food stand on the street or Italian white tablecloth restaurant?), time e dedicate for eating ("quick bite"?), your prediction about opinion of other people about your choice (including whether you care at all), knowledge about digestion and nutrition ("if I avoid gluten, my skin will be fabulous"...), automatic thoughts ("I will be very weak if I don't eat right now"), time we spend choosing... Decision not to choose or choose the same thing every time is also a decision! Food may be an important symbol and sign of well-being (Christmas roast, Sunday pancakes, coffee with friends or birthday cake). It also may be a lifelong punishment (like a crust on warm milk... "you are not going anywhere until you are finished with this!"), or a way to show special attention or enforce image (anything from mom's meatballs to Valentine's chocolates or desserts with diamonds). Childhood food leaves especially strong memories, and it consciously or unconsciously becomes our comfort (or punishment) food during times of distress (1). Even where physiology should rule, psychology still peeks from around the corner. After we eat fatty and sweet food (think ice cream), the brain rewards us with a dose of neuromediator serotonin (2, 3). At the same time we think - we are happy. And this happens every time, automatically, as if a button was pushed. And not really because we actually were short for something fat and sweet. So... think before you put anything in your mouth. And why. It's all in your head! 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 hear load more about psychology in nutrition! Photo: Devanath from Pixabay #spoonfulofreason #psychology #eating #food ------------------------------------------------------------------ 1. If you are good you can have a cookie: How memories of childhood food rules link to adult eating behaviors: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rebecca_Puhl/publication/8679359_If_you_are_good_you_can_have_a_cookie_How_memories_of_childhood_food_rules_link_to_adult_eating_behaviors/links/0c96052f38db04e424000000.pdf 2.Serotonin, Eating Behavior, and Fat Intake: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.1550-8528.1995.tb00214.x/pdf 3. You Are What You Eat: How Food Affects Your Mood: http://dujs.dartmouth.edu/2011/02/you-are-what-you-eat-how-food-affects-your-mood/#.WJoLPPl969I

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Monika Kuzminskaitė on Food & Eating PsychologyHealth psychologist, with special love for food and eating mattersSome time ago
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! Study: https://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/29323/ Photo: Steve Buissinne from Pixabay #spoonfulofreason #psychology #food #eating #reward #wanting #motivation #pleasure

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Monika Kuzminskaitė on Food & Eating PsychologyHealth psychologist, with special love for food and eating mattersSome time ago
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! Research: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/joss.12647 Photo: Miu Sua on Unsplash #spoonfulofreason #psychology #food #eating #perception #calories

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