How Your Food Choices Are Influenced by Outside Factors

Following a healthy diet can be hard. From deciding when and what to eat to how much food you actually put on your plate, the average person makes over 200 food-related decisions each day, most of which are automatic. These automatic choices – dubbed “mindless eating” by some experts – happen when we eat and drink without consciously considering what kind of or how much food to consume. We’ll keep eating from a bowl of chips past the point of fullness simply because they’re in front of us.

Source: Hungry? Food choices are often influenced by forces out of your control

One thing something we need to stress on is that the companies that makes junk food and fast food, their main concern is to market their products and less care about your health being.

At the end of the day, they need to make a profit and sales and so they spent a huge amount of money on marketing and advertisement. It is very hard for an average person who cannot resists the junk/fast food when they are cheaper, readily available and the ads are attractive.

I see it is our own individual responsibility to make sure that what I am putting in my mouth is not junk.

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Lack of Rest Might Be What’s Giving You the Munchies

If you feel like you’ve been snacking more than usual, a recent study suggests your munchies are being caused by a lack of rest.

Source: Lack of Rest Might Be What’s Giving You the Munchies

Lack of rest? I haven’t tried that strain.

Can Kitchen Clutter Influence Your Appetite?

It’s not just your mindset that can shape your eating habits. Your environment plays a role, too. And in the case of your kitchen, a pile of dirty dishes just might influence you in ways you don’t realize.

Source: Can Kitchen Clutter Influence Your Appetite?

Walking into a dirty kitchen makes me not want to cook anything. I just grab a snack out of the cabinet or fridge and leave.

You Snooze, You Win: How a Lack of Sleep Can Hold Back Your Weight Loss

In grade school, we were told that “You snooze, you lose.” Now as adults, we know sleep is important, but when life gets hectic it’s often the first thing we cut out. That’s truly our loss. In fact, crappy z’s could be a big reason you aren’t losing weight. Here’s why.

Source: You Snooze, You Win: How a Lack of Sleep Can Hold Back Your Weight Loss

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that despite an awful lot of money thrown at this by pharmas (it’s potentially the holy grail of a weight loss pill) while we have some interesting correlates on leptin and ghrelin and sleep and appetite, we haven’t really begun figuring out their mechanisms yet.

In fact, one of the more interesting bits of research that came out after that Chicago study was that that a population with untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has levels of leptin far above what their BMI should indicate, yet they are entirely resistant to its effects on appetite.

It’s also why any study involving leptin or ghrelin should be screening participants for potential sleep disorders, as the latter can wildly skew data. Unfortunately, almost nobody does that.

No, Exercising On an Empty Stomach Doesn’t Make You Lose More Weight

Exercise is inherently linked to less food intake, possible related to less responsiveness to food cues (as behaviours do not change).

In otherwise healthy normal weight males, running for an hour on a treadmill at 70% VO2 max compared to either fasted or after a standardized test meal (30% daily energy intake and mostly carbohydrate) noted that fed exercise suppressed appetite to a greater degree than fasted (both more effective than control) but there was no significant differences in whole-day food intake.

Source: Is It Better to Do Aerobic Exercise Fasted?

Dammit.  There’s certainly a risk in “reward” eating after exercising through fasting.  But part of my motivation for exercising while fasting was about poor timing – too little time to fuel before doing something, which could make things uncomfortable and regurgitated.  It’s up to you to figure what works for you, just do it for the right reasons.

Soda Executives Are Just as Evil as Tobacco Executives

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, is backing a new “science-based” solution to the obesity crisis: To maintain a healthy weight, get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories.

Source: Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets

It’s standard marketing, in the same way that a parent company will sell different brands in an effort to get business from those who’d buy one brand and not the other for various reasons.

Eat High Cellulose Vegetables to Suppress Hunger and Stay Full

Eating at a caloric deficit for extended periods isn’t just physically difficult, but also mentally. Battling hunger cravings can be frustrating because you’re often fighting both brain and body, trying to convince them that no, you don’t actually want to eat that brownie.

Luckily there are several methods, backed by scientific evidence, that can help curb hunger cravings.

Source: 3 Science-based steps to curbing your appetite

Foods such as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, collard greens, kale, cauliflower will work to satiate your hunger.  However, broccoli and cauliflower are the the least concerning (only in comparison to the other options listed – there’s still lots of vitamin K) if you have blood thinner/vitamin K concerns.

The Best Ways to Deal With Hunger on a Diet

Because of leptin and ghrelin’s actions, we annoyingly feel more hungry when dieting and less so when gaining mass. The horrible irony of this means we need some ways to control our appetite, so without further ado:

Source: Appetite Experiments – Part Two: 13 ways to Suppress Appetite

Before anything else, make sure you’ve covered the basics:

  1. You should not feel hungry at the very start of a well-designed diet.
  2. It might be a good idea to keep your diet flexible, because rigid dieting may lead to binge eating tendencies. Even if you’ve been doing everything perfectly, fat loss increases hunger for biological reasons.

If you still find yourself straying on your diet, binge eating, or fighting your own willpower to stay on track, relax, practice mindfulness and some self-compassion, and discover the root causes.

Study: Hunger Associated with Advantageous Decision Making

Three experimental studies examined the counter-intuitive hypothesis that hunger improves strategic decision making, arguing that people in a hot state are better able to make favorable decisions involving uncertain outcomes. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that participants with more hunger or greater appetite made more advantageous choices in the Iowa Gambling Task compared to sated participants or participants with a smaller appetite. Study 3 revealed that hungry participants were better able to appreciate future big rewards in a delay discounting task; and that, in spite of their perception of increased rewarding value of both food and monetary objects, hungry participants were not more inclined to take risks to get the object of their desire. Together, these studies for the first time provide evidence that hot states improve decision making under uncertain conditions, challenging the conventional conception of the detrimental role of impulsivity in decision making.

Source: Always Gamble on an Empty Stomach: Hunger Is Associated with Advantageous Decision Making

Casinos have cheap, all-you-can-eat buffets for a obvious reasons I suppose.

Related read: Study Confirms Hangry: You’re Not Yourself When You’re Hungry