Monika Kuzminskaitė on Food & Eating PsychologyHealth psychologist, with special love for food and eating mattersSome time ago
88: food for me and my buddy “Diet starts Monday” - said thousands of friends, in a unison. Good idea? Yes? No. Well, not always. 67 pairs of roommates were divided into three groups - in one group both roommates were eating their regular diet, in another group - one was on diet, another - not, and in the third group both were on a diet (1). The goal of the experiment was to measure how successful was the diet, how much weight was lost, what was anxiety and stress level of the participants and how many symptoms of depression and disordered eating were present. Those who were on a diet lost more weight (duh), about half a kilogram in 28 months (compared to most goals this is, let's say, not very ambitious). Adherence to the diet was good in both single dieter and both dieters group. In the group of just one dieter there were less symptoms of anxiety, depression and disordered eating (here we need to add that symptoms of anxiety, depression and disordered eating were recorded in all groups, but diet had an additional impact). The magic of statistics shows that stress, anxiety, depression and eating disorders symptoms are all interrelated and were least expressed in a single dieter group (was the dieter then more mobilized?). The participants in this experiment were of a normal weight, but would things go differently, if both roommates were overweight? Physical activity of the participants was not tracked. Researchers speculate that if both roommates were on a diet, they shared the difficulties they experienced and make it more difficult one for another. Nutrition consultant Brigitte Zeitlin in commentf of this experiment suggests to consider these ideas (2): - choose a proper friend - not someone who will prevent your progress or will laugh at your failures - do not try to stick to the same plan - what works for one, might not work for another - choose a realistic plan - for example, do not plan to lose 15 kilograms in one week - pay attention to the signs that diet is failing. Do not discuss diet often, limit the time dedicated to it, for example, to 15 minutes per day - choose a support group over support person; remember that the responsibility lies with you and not with your diet buddy In addition. Research says that in groups of teenage girls, where an increased level of attention to body image, diets and fasting is paid, clinical symptoms are much more prominent (is it because girls are competing among themselves?) (3). People who chose support of the friends lost more weight than those who chose support of family members (4). If you asked me, I would like to add a note in red ink - when I say "diet", then I mean "long term changes in the eating habits", and not "week long cabbage soup diet". Don't ever start with the latter ones. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. The buddy system: A randomized controlled experiment of the benefits and costs of dieting in pairs: http://dishlab.org/.../Incollingo%20Rodriguez%20et%20al... 2. 7 Things You Need To Know Before Dieting With A Friend: https://www.prevention.com/wei.../dieting-with-a-friend-tips 3. Friendship clique and peer influences on body image concerns, dietary restraint, extreme weight-loss behaviors, and binge eating in adolescent girls: http://psycnet.apa.org/record/1999-13982-007 4. Trial of Family and Friend Support for Weight Loss in African American Adults: https://jamanetwork.com/.../jamaintern.../fullarticle/224865 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. Photo: Maggie Morrill from Pixabay #spoonfulofreason #psychology #diet #buddy #support
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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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