Mindful Eating: Easy Tips to Get You Started

July 14, 2014
Mindful Eating: Easy Tips to Get You Started

There is something to be said for behavioral influences on our food choices as well as mood states. Mindless eating includes how food psychology and environment influences what and how much we eat. The probable foremost authority on Mindless Eating is Dr. Brian Wansink of Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. His 2006 book, “Mindless Eating; why we eat more than we think” is still considered a classic and an important read of behavior. This column today will cover Dr. Wansink’s latest research and how the results may be helpful on an individual level.

The latest research finding is that if you think about your future before you make daily food choices, the better food choices one will make. What is also realized now, is there is more to stress eating than simply emotion (many more things influence food decisions than just mood alone). More often than not, those in a bad mood will choose to eat junk food while those in a good mood, chose healthier food choices. Scientifically, we can measure affective regulation and temporal construct. Simply said, this research is measurements in how people react to their moods/emotions and perspective of time.

In a study using Parent Teacher Associates (PTAs) (211 of them) determined that those in a positive mood compared to controls, did better and earlier evaluations of foods to select, thus picked healthier foods. The researchers strongly noted that ability to think about the future was strongest in relationship to making healthy food choices. In a follow up study of 315 collegiate students, the same result occurred. Those in a positive mood made more nutritious choices.

The take home from this research to me is simple. Make your food choices when you are in good spirits, therefore keep a log or use the proper app to do your priority lists and food choices review.


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