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Psychology of Food

This topic came up in one of my groups, and I was wondering if anyone has ready any good books on the topic. I'm thinking about more that just emotional eating, but also, how we think about eating and how we can have eaten a full meal but still "feel" hungry for something sweet, etc.


Wed. Apr 19, 9:44pm

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I am currently reading "Body Intelligence" by Edward Abramson, PhD. I have not finished it yet, so can't really give you a good opinion yet, but I am the type of person that will take SOMETHING away from anything, no matter how bad - sometimes reading something - even if I think its wrong - helps spark my mind. There are some points that he brings up so far that are great.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006, 10:22 PM

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could you share some of those points? I'm very interested in the body/mind connection. I know from experience that when the mind is in order the body quickly follows.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006, 11:56 PM

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Try "On Eating" by Susan Orbach, book that keeps things simple and helps you really think about your own issues. It's a good one.

Thursday, April 20, 2006, 8:10 AM

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I recommend Thin Tastes Better, written by a doctor (can't remember his name). It deals with the psychology of dieting and gives you real strategies for dealing with the rough patches we all hit sooner or later. Whenever I fall off the wagon, I reread this book as I get back on and stop beating myself up.


Thursday, April 20, 2006, 2:02 PM

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A brief excerpt from "Body Intelligence"

"When we have a negative emotion, it's natural to look outside of ourselves to find the cause. You are stressed because of all the work that you have to do by Friday. You are depressed because your partner ended your relationship. You are angry because that idiot telemarketer interrupted you while you were cooking and now the rice has burned. The truth is that the source of the emotion is not outside; it is inside, in between your ears. As the bumper sticker crudely proclaims, "S--t Happens." But when it does, it's not necessary for you to become anxious, depressed, angry, or otherwise stressed (and then to eat to feel better.)

No one is suggesting that you won't have a reaction to the unpleasant events that happen in your life, but how you think about these events will determine the type and degree of emotional response you will have. After a divorce or at the end of a romantice relationship, it is perfectly reasonable to feel sad about the loss. However, if you then think that you will never find another person to love you because you are unlovable (or have some other permanent defect of character) you will sink into a more pervasive depression. Negative thinking causes depression, not the external event that you are thinking about."

Here is a BRIEF summary of how he proposes to end emotional eating -

1) Change your automatic, irrational thoughts to rational thoughts.
2) Develop other methods of nurturing yourself, other than eating.

Anyway, that is from the 4th chapter and I haven't read beyond that yet. There are 13 chapters total.


Thursday, April 20, 2006, 2:14 PM

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OP here -
Thanks for the excerpt Star, what they say makes sense. And thanks for all the good suggestions everyone. I'm going to check out the library tonight and pick up a few of them.

Thursday, April 20, 2006, 3:41 PM

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emo eating books

Fat is a Family Affair - Judi Hollis
Fat and Furious - Judi Hollis
The Diet-Free Solution- Laurel Mellin (NOT dr. phil)

these deal with the compulsion & addiction aspect of overeating.

Thursday, April 20, 2006, 3:46 PM

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Yes, Laurel Melin (Mellin?) talked about this on Oprah. The hunger as a desire to fill a void within us that we just can't seem to fill, because it is an emotional void. Some people shop, some drink, some overwork, and some of us eat. You are on to something.

Friday, April 21, 2006, 5:20 AM

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To the 5:20 poster: Thanks for adding shopping to the discussion!

I'm very in tune with the fact that shopping is used to fill emotional voids. (I like that the previous poster mentioned this.) I resist shopping because I notice that it just makes me depressed. It's like a sugar rush: it's great when you walk in but then I start to feel like crap about the fact that I'm wasting hours of my life looking at stuff I DON'T need. My closet is STUFFED and what I really need is to read more books and be OUTSIDE more and make friends. And one more thing: I grew up going to malls with my mom a couple times a week because she didn't want to be home much after my parents divorced. So I associate trying things on in dressing rooms with her depression. I'm not saying she is a terrible person. (I've read enough to know that there's no point to that.) I'm just saying that shopping triggers a negative emotional response for me. Food, on the other hand, doesn't! So it has been hard to reduce my portions!

Friday, April 21, 2006, 8:36 AM

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Taming of the Chew

I can't recall the author right now. My mom went to a fat farm a couple of summers ago (she is morbidly obese) and it was one of the books she came home with. Talks about a lot of different sources for overeating and how to deal with them. It's not preachy or 'you're broken' but gives you strategies.

Friday, April 21, 2006, 4:49 PM

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