The Psychology of Food

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We eat. We work. We eat. We play. We eat. We sleep. And we eat. It’s clear to see the significant role food plays in our lives. Our culture plays a large role in our beliefs around the foods we eat. Best of all, food brings us together. What determines what we eat? More importantly, what determines how we feel about the foods we’re eating?

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Food has long been used as a way to make meaningful connections with others. The way we think about our food is developed as early as childhood. The way our body metabolizes food is dependent on our thoughts about food. Consider the way our limbic system works. The limbic system is responsible for regulating emotions and physiological functions like hunger, thirst, temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Therefore our thoughts in relation to our food transfers this information into physiological responses.

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According to the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, if we’re thinking positively about our food choices, the body can better metabolize the foods and better provide needed nutrients. However, if we’re thinking negatively about our food choice, our body may not metabolize the food as efficiently, causing it to stay in the digestive system longer, possibly diminishing healthy gut bacteria and release toxins into the bloodstream.
Positive mindset is key in relationship our eating habits. If we want to receive the full nutritive power of our foods, it is vital to think positive about the foods we are eating. Instead of shaming yourself after indulging in a dessert, try incorporating positive self-talk by saying something like, “Ill be sure to take a walk and make healthy choices for my next meal.” Instead of negative self-talk, staying positive will help our mind and body move toward positive change.
Making a Diet and Lifestyle Transition
Food preference is an interwoven sense of our identity and culture. Making changes to our food choice can be difficult and even scary, in that we don’t want to lose this sense of identity and connection to culture. The good news is, taste is acquired. Transitioning to a new way of eating can be accomplished through a personalized plan, customized to your food preferences and lifestyle. Simple meal planning, food journaling, an other measurable tools can be used to effectively transition. food

If you’re interested in working with a nutritionist to support your diet and lifestyle, contact us at 412-532-1249 for a free 15 minute consultation!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

Sara Makin MSEd, LPC, NCC

Sara Makin MSEd, LPC, NCC

All articles are written in conjunction with the Makin Wellness Research Team.

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