7

votes

Psychology of eating

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 11, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Anyone familiar with Marc David's concepts around the psychology of eating? I just finished a webinar of his, and I must say I'm intrigued. One of his primary concepts is that it is as much HOW one eats as much as WHAT one eats that relates to digestion and health.

He talks a lot about the cephalic phase of digestion, and suggests that our typical practice of inhaling food quickly interferes with our ability to digest and assimilate food.

I find this intriguing for two reasons. One, I see that this potentially ties into the whole concept of food reward, because if you eat typical SAD food quickly, perhaps there is an issue with it not "registering" ... whether in terms of nutrients or satiety etc.

Two, I think it's relevant wrt our evolutionary past. Grok didn't inhale his food nor did he multi-task his meals with lots of other activities. Sitting down and just eating? Yikes. Perish the thought!

What say you PHers? Is mindful eating something you spend any time or energy on?

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 14, 2012
at 04:57 PM

Don't people who lose their sense of smell through injury or illness tend to lose weight?

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on May 12, 2012
at 02:27 AM

I was thinking this, too. I mean, when you're dealt with the concern of no refrigeration, no idea of when the next meal might be, and the possibility of another animal coming over to join the feast...it makes sense to scarf it down a little quicker. But just because "Grok did it" doesn't mean we should too (as with many other things)

9ffe43c6c5990ed710c7c49b12d6ee7f

on May 12, 2012
at 12:59 AM

Sometimes what Grok did doesn't matter; Grok probably did a lot of things we shouldn't do... What matters is finding the best way to things, IMO.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on May 11, 2012
at 11:20 PM

If we did not have taste buds, would we eat less? Low food reward? I certainly ate less and lost weight on my unseasoned beef and kale soup only experiment.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on May 11, 2012
at 10:21 PM

P.S. I didn't mean this to be an answer, just a comment, whoops!! Sorry!

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3 Answers

8
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 12, 2012
at 01:50 AM

I think the "how" of eating is more related to being angry, stressed out, or in a hurry around the eating period -- a little before, during, and a little after. The GI/digestive system is intimately linked with our brains (in fact, some call the GI tract "the second brain"...there's a book about it.) It's the enteric nervous system. Our mental state when we eat can powerfully affect our digestion -- decrease or suppress stomach acid, inhibit peristalsis (physical movement of food through the system), etc. (Why do we think digestive issues are so closely linked to psychological feelings: "butterflies in the stomach" when we're nervous, and a lot of people get GI effects from nerves or fear -- constipation, diarrhea...depends on the person how they react.)

I'm amazed by what I see at work on a typical day -- people scarfing down "food" (and I do use the term loosely) at their desks in front of their computers, then hurrying off to meetings. (And invariably popping antacids or something later on!)

You'd be surprised at what just slowing down can do for digestion. (Relax the sympathetic nervous system and engage the parasympathetic. Kill the "fight or fight" and allow the "rest and digest" to take over.) You'd also be amazed at what CHEWING sufficiently can do! I'm shocked at how quickly some people eat. No wonder their bodies have such a hard time breaking down food...chewing is the first step. The better you do that, the more surface area you give your digestive enzymes to work.

(Sorry...probably WAY more than you wanted to hear!)

P.S. And I didn't even address the issue of over-anxiety some people feel about a little exposure to regular ol' salad dressing or grain-fed steak at a restaurant. (Sometimes the stress about that can be worse than the consequences of just eating the food, if you ask me.)

6
26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on May 11, 2012
at 10:18 PM

How do we know, though, that Grok didn't inhale his/her food? I'm not saying grok did or didn't scarf it down, but how can we even know that?

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on May 11, 2012
at 10:21 PM

P.S. I didn't mean this to be an answer, just a comment, whoops!! Sorry!

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on May 12, 2012
at 02:27 AM

I was thinking this, too. I mean, when you're dealt with the concern of no refrigeration, no idea of when the next meal might be, and the possibility of another animal coming over to join the feast...it makes sense to scarf it down a little quicker. But just because "Grok did it" doesn't mean we should too (as with many other things)

9ffe43c6c5990ed710c7c49b12d6ee7f

on May 12, 2012
at 12:59 AM

Sometimes what Grok did doesn't matter; Grok probably did a lot of things we shouldn't do... What matters is finding the best way to things, IMO.

2
7f7069fc4d8d2456cec509d0f9e9bb34

(865)

on May 11, 2012
at 11:13 PM

I think the real key to this is the parotid gland. It has been compared the pancreas, and it is where the digestive hormonal and enzyme cascade starts; in the mouth.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on May 11, 2012
at 11:20 PM

If we did not have taste buds, would we eat less? Low food reward? I certainly ate less and lost weight on my unseasoned beef and kale soup only experiment.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 14, 2012
at 04:57 PM

Don't people who lose their sense of smell through injury or illness tend to lose weight?

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