Beyond Nutrition: Understanding the Psychology Behind Eating

Nutrition is about more than simply eating to stave off hunger pangs, it is of course about the quality of the food eaten. However, researchers are also presenting a bold concept when it comes to nutrition, suggesting that other factors should be considered and encouraging people to take a long hard look at when, how, and why they eat.

According to the Seattle Times, understanding the underlying psychology behind eating will help people follow better nutrition. It negates the notion that food is food, and that proper nutrition depends only on the food a person consumes.

1. What Time You Eat is Important

It is important to keep to a schedule when eating in order to train your body to eat at regular times. The body becomes hungry just before it is time to eat. However, if you have an irregular schedule, your body rhythm gets messed up. You would either eat too much or not at all. Either way is not good for your health.

2. Your Reasons for Eating Affects How Much You Eat

Stress eating can lead to overeating. Depression, food cravings, boredom, a need for comfort, as well as impulsiveness also contribute to overeating. If you find yourself in this predicament, you would not be mindful of what you eat, nor notice that you are already full. Stressful situations have a profound impact on overeating or for consuming sugar-rich and salty fare. Everyday Health reports that this has a direct effect on the continuing rise of obesity in America.

3. How You Eat Determines Your Satiation Levels

If you eat with a mindset to enjoy the food, you would eat only until you are full. Being mindful of your eating and the food you eat helps to keep you from consuming more than what you need. Instances where you are surrounded by junk food also trigger a need to eat, even if you are not hungry. According to a Huffington Post article, mindful eaters have been proven to have healthier body weights, were less susceptible to eating disorders and had a more developed sense of well-being compared to those who simply wolfed down their meals. People are encouraged to chew their food slowly in order to explore and fully appreciate the taste, smell, texture and combination of flavors.

4. Carefully Choose Where You Eat

When you eat at your desk, amid clutter, or any reminder of stress, you are distracted from the primary activity. In this environment, you might miss clues telling you that you have had enough food. There is also a feeling of well-being when you eat well in a good environment, surrounded with intelligent conversation, in clean surroundings. British researchers revealed that the location where one eats impacts awareness, memory, and attention. Being distracted when eating also causes people to eat more and eat more frequently afterwards.

5. There are Patterns to Eating

Keep a journal to keep tabs on all these details. In order for your journal entries to be effective, you have to keep track of what you eat, what time, what you were craving, how much you ate, how you felt, and what your motivation was. With an objective journal, you would be able to see patterns of behavior or triggers for specific behavior. Bad behavior or eating habits can be seen beforehand and you can change your habits when you recognize these patterns.

Taking a long, hard, and honest look at a person’s eating behavior and patterns is a notable suggestion which will make bold impact in people’s health over the long run. Americans are growing heavier and becoming more unhealthy as the years pass due to increased food consumption and lack of physical activity. These two are truly a lethal combination and steps, no matter how small, must be taken to prevent this from getting out of hand.

Originally Published at: http://www.boldbusiness.com/food-nutrition/beyond-nutrition-understanding-psychology-behind-eating/

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