Monika Kuzminskaitė on Food & Eating PsychologyHealth psychologist, with special love for food and eating mattersSome time ago
94: a little light on the question of food Do you switch on additional lights during the dark evening of winter and keep pining for the longer, brighter days? Some research says that you might feel better because of the additional food that you eat and not the light. A little theoretical background from what we already know. Person in a dark gives in to slumber, because the brain (pineal gland to be precise) in the dark starts producing a sleep inducing hormone, melatonin (3). So when your environment is light and bright, you receive very few instructions to sleep, brain will work is a "day mode" and rather tend to look for various activities, and eating happens to be one of them. And this is how light and eating may be related. We do not have a solid evidence base for that, but the ongoing research activities produce interesting questions. People who go to bed later, also eat later (truly logical consequence), they consume more calories after 8 p.m. (on average 248 calories more, and more calories at night), also eat less fruits and vegetables. All of that is a significant tendency regardless of age and sleep duration (which also means that more food is not a "mere" compensation for lack of sleep). Researchers say that relationship between late full meal and risk of obesity is very strong. They also predict that people active at night (who also eat at night) "extend" the bright part of the day with the artificial light and get less natural light in the morning (1). Additional risk factor list also includes all brightly lit screens. Researchers believe that if we spend our leisure hours at night looking at the screens, then we create an even stronger "day effect" in the brain and have more difficulties falling asleep later (4), because in the brighter light person feels more alert (5). Just to make sure that these are not some random results - here are results of 100 000 UK female sample. The longer women spent time in the artificial light at night, the bigger was the risk of being obese, even after accounting for sleep duration, use of alcohol, physical activity and smoking differences (6). And the most recent piece of research: 3-5 year old children who spent time before sleep in the environment that was lit brighter than 200 lux, weighed significantly more than children who did not spend time in such bright environment. For comparison, working areas are usually lit at 500 lux, 200 lux brightness is usual level for entryways, halls, staircases, restaurants. At home, living room environment is usually around 50 lux, moonlight - 1 lux (7). Good night, I will attempt to switch off my screen earlier today.. 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. Role of Sleep Timing in Caloric Intake and BMI: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2011.100/full 2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melatonin 4. Effects of nocturnal bright light on saliva melatonin, core body temperature and sleep propensity rhythms in human subjects: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168010201003108 5. Dose-response relationship for light intensity and ocular and electroencephalographic correlates of human alertness: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d903/5f83f7c46da1ac88c8df766dc31c8b92fbc9.pdf 6. The Relationship Between Obesity and Exposure to Light at Night: Cross-Sectional Analyses of Over 100,000 Women in the Breakthrough Generations Study: https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/180/3/245/2739112 7. WEIGHT STATUS OF YOUNG CHILDREN: EXPLORING THE RELATIONSHIP WITH SLEEP AND LIGHT EXPOSURE: https://eprints.qut.edu.au/108054/1/Cassandra_Pattinson_Thesis.pdf Photo: Jukka Niittymaa from Pixabay #spoonfulofreason #psychology #eating #light

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Monika Kuzminskaitė on Food & Eating PsychologyHealth psychologist, with special love for food and eating matters3 days 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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