Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nourish Yourself

What is your criteria for deciding what you will eat?

Is it convenience? cost? taste? health? energy requirements? or do you just reach for the first thing you can find?

Choosing foods that are nourishing, rather than merely filling, are just as easy, inexpensive and quick as a "fast-food" option, giving myriad macro nutrients (carbohydrate, protein, fats) and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals), for your body to rebuild and repair itself.

As mentioned previously on this blog, fresh food is best for your body and your mind.

Eating an orange, banana or other fruit, rather than reaching for a processed, sugary snack, gives you a great tasting snack and important vitamins and fibre, as well as water, protein, carbohydrate, sugar, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C and B group vitamins.

How do you feel when you eat?
Emotional eating is “the tendency to eat in response to negative emotions”. (1)
Studies have indicated that anxiety leads to decreased food consumption in people with normal weight and increased food consumption in the obese.
Many laboratory studies showed that overweight individuals are more emotionally reactive and are more likely to overeat when distressed than people of normal weight.
Also, it was consistently found that obese individuals experience negative emotions more frequently and more intensively than do normal weight persons. (2)
One study compared the emotional reactivity and emotional eating of normal and overweight female college students. The study confirmed the tendency of obese individuals to overeat, but these findings applied only to snacks, not to meals. That means that obese individuals did not tend to eat more while having meals – rather, the amount of snacks they ate between meals was greater.
One possible explanation is that obese individuals often eat their meals with others and do not eat more than average due to the reduction of distress because of the presence of other people. Another possible explanation would be that obese individuals do not eat more than the others while having meals due to social desirability. Conversely, snacks are usually eaten alone. (2)
Eat when you are calm, think about how this food will nourish you and really let yourself enjoy the experience of eating healthy food.

1 Eldredge, K. L., & Agras, W. S. (1994). Weight and Shape Overconcern and Emotional Eating in Binge Eating Disorder. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 19 (1), 73-82.
2 Lowe, M. R., & Fisher, E. B. Jr. (1983). Emotional Reactivity, Emotional Eating, and Obesity: A Naturalistic Study. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 6 (2), 135-149.

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