Eating Psychology

Advice and information about emotional eating and eating psychology associated with crash dieting, weight loss and a dysfunctional relationship with eating and food.

Meal Timing, Thermic Effect of Food, CICO, and ‘Starvation Mode’ – Real or BS?

Meal Timing, Thermic Effect of Food, CICO, and ‘Starvation Mode’ – Real or BS?

“If you don’t eat enough calories, your body will go into ‘starvation mode’ and it will hang onto fat, and you will gain weight.” “You should eat six small meals instead of three to lose weight.” I’m sure you have heard these before.  The girl from accounting says them.  I used to say it myself. Though I had no proof, it sounded like it made sense.  I mean, our bodies do respond to stress in times of crisis – so surely it is designed to literally ‘stall’ metabolic processing so that we don’t die? This blog post is all about popular things people say to justify why losing weight is complicated and futile. Spoiler alert: It’s not. But let’s look at the first item on our list: Thermic Effect of Food First, let’s look at TEF – the thermic effect of food or the amount of energy expenditure above the basal metabolic rate due to the cost of processing food for use and storage. (Whew – that was a mouthful!) The TEF averages at about 10% of a person’s caloric intake and varies based on macro groups – i.e. dietary fat is easier to process than protein. For example, when you… View Post
Why Am I Really Eating This?

Why Am I Really Eating This?

I used to have a thing for Skittles. It was more like a compulsion for Skittles. At one of my former jobs, there was a vending machine.  If you work in an office, chances are there are one (or five) convenience portals to grab food. The first six months of working in this particular office, I didn’t know anything about that vending machine.  Not a thing.  I couldn’t have told you one item that was in that machine.  You get it. One day I was informed that I had to take on a new, challenging and time-consuming task that would take up approximately three days at the end of each month.   And then that one task turned into multiple responsibilities also expected of me each month.  And needless to say, some of these tasks did not come easily to me and often frustrated me to tears. When I couldn’t balance out reports or my workload started to become completely overwhelming, I began to feel the stress.  At first, I tried to incorporate stress relief tactics like mindful breathing and going for a walk out to get some fresh air.  However, one of those days on my ‘time out,’ I decided… View Post
What I learned When I  Quit Crash Dieting

What I learned When I Quit Crash Dieting

Crash dieting used to feel like my full-time job. Every time I tried to give notice, the insecurity over not trusting myself enough around food stopped me. It felt familiar.  Crash dieting was second nature. And so was my self-doubt and dissatisfaction with my body. I tried every crash diet, pill, potion, cleanse whathaveyou over the nearly two decades of my toxic relationship with food and my body. So, I tried something radical (for me):  I simply quit crash dieting. What do I consider ‘crash dieting’? Anything extreme – as in the polar opposite of whatever way a person may have been eating – and with strict parameters (i.e. cayenne pepper, maple syrup, and lemon ‘cleanses’; celebrity juice diets, ‘detox’ pills/shakes, etc.). I’ve worked with clients who would rage over not losing weight fast enough when they lived on celery juice Monday through Friday — and then drank bottomless glasses of merlot and the brunch buffet all weekend long. There is no need to do all of that black and white restrictive crap, and it is the one way I would say you will likely not keep the weight off if you continue your relationship with food in this way.… View Post
Why a Revenge Body is Bad Motivation

Why a Revenge Body is Bad Motivation

As a wellness professional, I encounter various forms of personal motivation when it comes to fitness. Some people want to be fit enough to run a half-marathon because it is something they have always wanted to do. Some people have specific health concerns and are advised to start a fitness regimen. And then some people come to me looking to “make their ex-significant other regret the day they broke up with them” by getting a “revenge body.” Any tabloid magazine, on any given week, will post a story about the “revenge body” of a celebrity who is going through relationship woes or bad times. Khloe Kardashian was paid a bunch of money on her E! show aptly titled, Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian to assist people in obtaining a ‘revenge worthy’ physique, and I’m not the only person who thinks this show is bad news. I have a policy that I won’t work with individuals with body revenge goals. Instead, I ask clients to focus on the power of a growth mindset; to have them take their desire for revenge and turn it into an exercise in self-compassion and forgiveness. Why having a revenge body is a lousy motivator Simply… View Post
4 SIGNS YOU MAY BE IN A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD

4 SIGNS YOU MAY BE IN A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD

Ah, toxic relationships.  Chances are you’ve had a few of those or maybe your suspect you might be in the grips of one right now. One relationship that many people struggle with is a toxic relationship with food, and it is easy to see why this happens.  Everybody has to eat to survive. Most people, particularly women discuss food and weight at multiple points in any given conversation.  Talking about weight, diet and bodies is a part of our culture. So, what makes a relationship with food toxic? Have you ever wondered if the way you think, view and discuss food is affecting how much and what you eat? Truthfully, many traits can help you determine if your relationship with food is toxic, but for this post, we will focus on four specific characteristics: Blaming  Lack of autonomy Self-judgment Bad feelings 4 SIGNS YOU MAY BE IN A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD Blaming When we are young, it’s understandable that we would blame ourselves for the traumatic things that happen around us.  Self-blame is a way to make sense of things that quite frankly are not for us to explain or figure out. You may be thinking; of course, you are… View Post