Nutritional Psychology – Feelings About Food Affect the Nutritional Value
“Every thought we have is tangible energy with the power to transform. A thought is not only a thing; a thought is a thing that influences other things.” – Lynne McTaggart
Everyone knows that person in their life, if it’s not you reading this, that has always been able to eat any food, in high quantities and frequency, yet they never gain a pound. Like most you probably asked why is that at some point and received the culturally accepted answer that they have better genes and because that complied with the models of reality presented to you in school you probably accepted that answer as true. Is it true though?
Is it True?
We have to ask a few questions to really answer that. The first question we have to ask is about the idea of better genes, are they actually the recipients of a genetic lottery where they have superior genes? That question begs the question of does their family also have this same propensity to not gain weight from eating? If they are the only one in the family how could it be that their genes are better? If they are not the only one, does that actually verify the source of the propensity is in their genetic code?
Next we have to ask a question about our model of reality as far as genes are concerned. Do our genes control what we are? If our genes are the blueprints, how can that be? Blueprints don’t do anything but provide the information necessary for the contractor to direct their workers. The discoveries of epigenetics has lead us to a revolution in our scientific understanding of how our biology actually works compared to the old model of genetic control over biology. Why haven’t you been told about it? It’s more difficult to teach and so older models were kept in schools to reduce costs.
Our last consideration here is in the model of reality first popularized by Rene Descarte known as dualism. He is quoted as saying, “I think therefore I am.” Yet he firmly believed that thoughts and the physical world were distinctly separate. His philosophy coupled with Sir Isaac Newton’s physics discoveries, have dominated the world since their release into it by these two great minds. They have proven useful in advancing our world understanding and technological power to heights their creators could not have fathomed when doing their work in their time periods.
Where that has lead us is to the discovery of the quantum nature of reality on the fundamental level. This has in the last century been one of the fastest growing and most highly debated fields of study in science. It has not however been taught in schools, and why you may ask? Because it’s easier and cheaper to teach the older models of reality, because they work well enough for people to be contributing members of society. How does all this relate to the person who doesn’t seem to gain weight no matter how many donuts they eat? Is it possible that the connection is that their consciousness plays a role in the effect of the food they consume? Ralph Waldo Emerson would likely agree since he said, “Thoughts rule the world.”
This brings us to the realm of study known as nutritional psychology. This field has shown us that how we feel about what we eat sends signals throughout our digestive system and body regulating how well we metabolize the food and efficiently utilize the nutrients within it. This ties directly into the placebo and nocebo effect that has been studied extensively and verified in multiple disciplines of science.
What does this tell us about the most likely cause of the different response to donuts of the person in question compared to others? It suggests very strongly that they have habits of thought and feeling about their food which have proven to be highly effective for promoting maximum efficiency in digestion.
Applying the Practices
How can you apply this in your own life? Simply by changing your habitual thoughts and feelings about the food you eat. How do you know that will work? Look to anyone who has ever changed their habits around eating because they believed the changes in habits would help them. Not simply someone who adopts temporary diets, but actual changes to their habits in life and feels positive about their choice to change those habits. Or simply do some research on food psychology for yourself or through the links provided at the end of the article.
Does this mean that how you feel is the final arbiter of whether a food is good or bad? Not necessarily, but it does lead us in an interesting direction to study further. It’s likely that once your feelings signal the efficiency, a feedback loop begins to reinforce that feeling due to the information received by the body in the form of the nutrients we absorb from it.
This would be a good reason why hating the food on your diet produces less positive shifts in health than others who do not hate that same kind of food. It is also relevant to note that it’s not simply feeling happy to eat the donut, but having a matching set of beliefs about eating the donut that do not involve fear of empty calories or gaining weight or other negative health impacts that are the key. If you cannot remove the fear of consequence, then no amount of happiness in the moment will stop the fear from also affecting the body’s response to eating it.
The Food-Thought Journal
One good way to get started is begin with awareness of your current thoughts and feelings about what you are eating. Begin keeping a journal where you write down what you think about the food you are about to eat and how that feels to you, then again after eating it. A sentence for each is a good enough minimum input, but feel free to expand as you’re inspired to. After you have begun to make it a habit of noticing your thoughts and feelings it will be easier to question those thoughts and feelings, and decide to choose new ones or alter what you are eating to something that you feel better about eating.
The goal is to create a better habit of thinking and feeling about what you eat rather than to define any specific food as objectively bad or good. Make sure you record your reflections on how your body feels, and any changes in your body as you walk this path of being more mindful with your meals so you can note the changes that occur over time.
With all this to consider, now we understand that not only are you what you eat, you are what you think about what you eat and the feedback loop formed by this interrelated system.