Worldwide, 9% of the population suffers from various eating disorders. The best known of these are anorexia and bulimia. But there are also less obvious disorders like compulsive overeating and orthorexia, an obsession with eating right. We've compiled some signs that you should reconsider your relationship with food.
😥 You confuse hunger with negative emotions.
When one is hungry, the body gives understandable signals, from abdominal discomfort to weakness and dizziness. But often the hand reaches for a packet of chips not at all because of physical sensations, but because of anxiety or boredom.
Scientists believe that the correct recognition of hunger and not to confuse it with emotional signals can be learned. We should start with a simple exercise called HALT. It stands for: hunger - hunger, angry - anger, lonely - loneliness, tired - tired. When thinking about food, you need to honestly answer the question, "What am I feeling right now? Is it really hunger? Or maybe anger or fatigue?
🍕 Do you have strict inhibitions about eating.
Forbidden fruit is sweet - it's a scientifically proven fact. Tracy Mann, doctor of psychology and author of the book "Secrets of the Nutrition Lab," conducted an experiment: for three weeks, volunteers had to make notes every time they had thoughts about a certain product. At the same time for one week, this product was forbidden to them.
Of course, during this week the number of thoughts about food increased noticeably. Participants began to think about the forbidden product more often, even if they didn't like it much before
🤐 You force yourself to starve yourself.
Eating as infrequently as possible and only when you feel very hungry is not the best strategy. When one is hungry, certain areas in the brain are activated to find food as quickly as possible. Because of this, we begin to pay more attention to food, think about it more often, and it seems much more appetizing.
At the same time, the activity of the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for decision-making and impulse resistance, decreases, so there is a risk of choosing a more caloric meal and taking too large a portion
😖 You feel guilty about what you've eaten
As an experiment by scientists from New Zealand showed, feeling guilty after eating doesn't help you stick to a healthier diet at all. The participants were asked to answer the question of what they associated chocolate cake with: a holiday or guilt. Researchers expected that the "guilty" group would be more motivated to switch to a healthy diet than the "celebrants."
But instead, people in the "guilty" group noted that they only found it harder to control themselves while eating. And after weighing themselves a few months later, it turned out that the "celebrants" were more successful in achieving their goal of maintaining or losing weight
🍽 You don't know when to stop.
Satiety states can be roughly divided into 10 points, where 1 is hunger fainting and 10 is nausea after overeating. It's best to start eating somewhere at level 3 or 4, and to leave the table at level 6, when you're no longer hungry but your stomach isn't full.
As strange as it may sound, not overeating is easier for those who are not on a diet. Scientists gave a milkshake to two groups of participants in an experiment: one was on a diet, and the other was not. Afterwards, they were called into a room and offered to eat as many cookies as they wanted. Those who were not on a diet stopped when they felt full. Those on the diet, on the other hand, ate many more cookies. Since the diet is broken anyway, it's okay to binge.
🍰 You're having "fat talk."
"You can't wear shorts with those fat legs." "I need to lose five pounds by vacation." "I gain weight even if I just breathe next to dessert." "You haven't gained any weight at all, not like me." These are all "fat talk," that is, discussing food in a negative way, and body size and shape, both your own and someone else's.
On the surface, these phrases look harmless, but they can ruin self-esteem and relationships with food. During one experiment, the presenters discussed the model from the video with the students in a neutral way or purposely started a "fat talk." Participants in the second group involuntarily picked up on the discussion, and afterwards noted increased dissatisfaction with their bodies and feelings of guilt
🥗 You get distracted during meals.
Breakfast on the run, lunch at work, and dinner under a YouTube video can lead to overeating and not enjoying your meal at all.
To avoid this, you should practice mindful eating: remove all distractions, focus on the food and pay attention to the texture and taste of the food