Food Psychology | What Food Psychologist Do?

Do you know food can be responsible for altering your moods? Or have you ever seen someone who eats when they are upset? It may surprise you, but food, apart from being a significant element in our lives, can also affect our behavior and emotions. Foods have a connection to our minds. The relationship between food and mind is discussed in food psychology.

To be more precise, food psychology implies studying the mind or mental processes, which shows how or why we eat. Consuming foods and the process of digestion all sounds too scientific. However, researchers found that the way we eat is largely influenced by how we perceive the food item. 

So, let us discuss in detail food psychology and how our mental processes are linked to foods.

Last update on 2022-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Food Psychologists and What They Do?

We can easily tell food psychologists are skilled in the areas of food psychology. So, what is their responsibility, to be exact? Food psychologists study the cognitive choices, for example, what meals to eat, nutrition influence, mental, and overall health conditions.

Also, they provide various courses, degrees in honors, or masters level. In recent, food psychology jobs are trending. People are giving more importance to their nutrition and eating behavior. 

How Your Brain Functions When You Eat

The brain, spinal cord, and nerves are a vast network system by which your mind can communicate with the digestive system

For instance, let’s say chocolate is your favorite food item. When you eat it with delight, the hypothalamus will send this positive vibe via parasympathetic nerve fibers to the digestive system’s different organs (Salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, intestines). This will result in fuller metabolic action. 

When you feel guilty about having chocolate, it will affect you negatively by reducing metabolic activities. Therefore, guilt, body shame, or negative judgment on health would lead you to stress when you eat food, hence, struggles with weight. 

Popular Facts on Food Psychology

There are various psychological facts on the relationship with food. The most important 12 facts are listed below:

1. Hunger and food consumption. 

We usually believe that the hunger intensity determines the quantity of food we have taken. It’s true. Some visuals, such as plate size, could also affect our consumption or intake. 

2. Fat is equal to bad. 

Not true always! Unfortunately, this particular belief makes people intake more in amount rather than a small snack with low-fat content.

3. Tastes weaken as we age.

Yes, taste fades gradually with our age; growing up, our taste buds decrease and weaken our senses. 

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Last update on 2022-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Food tastes different according to context and surroundings.

It is true, indeed. You may have noticed that we prefer different taste at various phases of a day, for which our meals throughout a day is also planned differently. Also, the taste is affected by our surrounding nature, even people.

5. The eating habit has social ties.

Society can influence how much we eat. We eat more when we are with a large group of people. The norms also have influences.  

6. Habits rule eating type. 

It is a habit that aids to eat. For example, some with the practice of eating early dinner may feel uncomfortable when eating late. Again, late-night snack intake habits could trigger hunger at midnight.

7. Overeating tendency when distracted.

If we think about something else when eating or being distracted by watching television, this could lead to overeating. So, mindful eating is recommended, which helps you eat with pleasure and good for your digestion and metabolism.

8. Suppressing food thoughts leads to binge eating.

While you are on a diet, you tend to suppress the thoughts of food. However, this suppression leads to a negative impact by indulging you in binge eating later. 

9. Healthy food means can eat more. 

Well, this is something that should be avoided. Healthy food does not necessarily allow you to eat in a large portion, which is a lot in calories and result in weight problems. 

10. Eating healthy uplifts your mood. 

When you grow the habit of eating healthy, you would feel happy inside. This also keeps you away from feeling guilty about eating an unhealthy meal. 

11. Say yes to small changes instead of crash diet. 

Crash diets are sometimes crazy. They may or may not work. Thus, it could make one feel guilty of having food, hence, dissatisfaction. In contrast, adapting small changes such as drinking plenty of water could be effective in the long run and would actually lead you to a healthy life.

12. Fancy foods mean good taste.

It is not necessarily true that foods with names or labels are better in taste. We tend to believe that they are tasty with fancy foods and have a high expectation even before eating.

Some Popular Books on Food Psychology

Now, we will show you the best-selling and top-rated 10 food psychology books which are popular of all time:

Final thoughts 

Foods affect our mind and emotions, which is the main objective discussed in food psychology. We have seen a plethora of facts on how foods can impact our mind either positively or negatively. Also, how feeling guilty about food intake could hamper our metabolism. 

The food psychologists recommend not to get distracted while eating or not feel terrible about eating a particular food. It is also useful to our health if we eat correctly, properly, and have mindfulness.

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