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Food and Feelings, a Proven Connection

Posted Sep 30 2009 10:49pm

by Maria' s Last Diet

There is no question that our emotions affect the amount of food we eat. Our emotions also affect every other aspect of our dealings with food, such as our motivation to eat, our emotional responses to food, food choice, chewing, eating speed, even our metabolism and digestion.

You have most likely experienced changes in your own eating habits in response to your emotions.

Let’s take a look at some different ways emotions can affect eating, as cited by Dr. Michael Macht of the University of Wurzburg, Germany, in the scientific journal Appetite.

Did you know that…

Emotions control your choice of food
What this means is that food arouses not only your senses, but your emotions as well, and together, your emotions and senses affect your choice of food.

Emotions can suppress your food intake
Highly arousing and intense emotions usually suppress your eating.

Emotions can determine how much you eat and what you eat
If your emotions are moderate in intensity or arousal, your eating is affected according to what the particular situation is.

For example:

  • When you are restricting your eating, like when you are being weight- or portion-conscious or you are formally dieting, both your negative and positive emotions generally increase your food intake.
  • In emotional eating, your negative emotions (i.e., emotions that make you feel bad) most likely lead to you eating sweets and high-fat foods.
  • In the normal course of events, your emotions affect your eating according to what you are thinking and what is motivating you.

Eating can regulate your emotions
Negative emotions and negative moods trigger eating, and eating (or overeating) can momentarily reduce your negative emotions and mood states.

Emotions can alter the way you experience food and eating
This is where feeling sad might decrease and feeling joyful might increase the pleasantness of food.

Try to discover something about yourself that will revolutionize your effort to lose weight. Our question to you is…


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