World Mental Health Day- The Food Psychology of Staying Healthy

By      10-Oct 2020       Reading Time: 4 Mins

World Mental Health Day- The Food Psychology of Staying Healthy

You are what you eat, digest and assimilate. But, in this loop, your food psychology plays an important role. When you make wiser food choices, you are in a better state to control compulsive eating behaviours and hence, weight gain. You also simultaneously feel more alert, energetic and calm.

What is the psychology of eating?
Good nutrition is one of the greatest ways to optimal health. But, often the relationship with food comes in the way of healthy eating. Too many individuals face the problem of being obese, overeating, unhappy body image, and binge eating. Food must make us feel good. If you eat too little, or too much- your quality of health will get negatively affected. But, by learning how to make healthier and more mindful food choices, you can take charge of your appetite, and hence, how you feel.

What are the factors that influence our eating behaviours?
There are multiple factors that have an impact on your eating behaviour and how you feel. To state some;

  • Cultural
  • Evolutionary
  • Social
  • Family
  • Individuals
  • Economic status
  • Psychological

Food has also been used as a coping mechanism by people dealing with stress, anxiety, and boredom. Overindulgence can at first make you feel better. But, later fill you up with regret, guilt, and other negative emotions. Furthermore, it can also have physical health repercussions like elevated blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.

What are the treatments used?
Cognitive behavioural treatment is the approach most people use, as it deals with both thinking patterns and behaviour. Some of the areas addressed through this are:

  • Determining the readiness to change.
  • This includes an awareness of what needs to be done in order to achieve one’s goals and then having a commitment to do it.

  • Learning how to self-monitor.
  • Self-monitoring is when you better understand your triggers of the moment and make more mindful food choices and portions.

  • Breaking linkages.
  • The aim is at the stimulus control. Things, like not keeping unhealthy foods at your home, having distractions, having healthier alternatives to eat, and coping up with stress, are used to break linkages.

What are the strategies that will help you?
In order to be able to successfully curb your food psychology, understanding what roles does food play in your life is important. Following are some tips for healthy eating.

  • Don’t skip meals.
  • Plan meals and snacks ahead of time.
  • Limit night eating.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Distract yourself when experiencing cravings.
  • Don’t eat while watching TV, or using the phone.
  • Watch your portion sizes.
  • Have a variety.

Over to you.
Try to recognize self-defeating patterns- your triggers, know when you are fault, and understand when you are really hungry. Also, it will be wiser if you start being mindful about what you eat and why you eat. As the food is not only nutrition for your body. It decides what you feel and how you feel. So, give time to understand and unlock your food psychology for a better overall health.

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"At Nmami Life, the meaning of good health is a combination of nutrition and fitness, which are essential to your well-being."
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Nmami Agarwal

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