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Eating: How Emotions Affect Our Eating Behaviour

After stressful days, there is nothing better for many people than sitting on the couch with a huge pizza and chips. Others can’t eat anything for days when they are in love. How we eat, what we eat and how we taste it has a lot to do with our feelings. We all experience this over and over again, and there are also scientific reasons for it.

“We’ve done studies and shown that a bar of chocolate like this tastes less when you’re sad than when you’re in a cheerful mood,” says nutritional psychologist Michael Matcht on the Spiegel podcast. “Live smart”. He has studied for years how emotions affect our eating behavior.

A problem with the diet of modern humans in an affluent society is that it is also burdened with thinking, guidelines and rules. Eating feelings rush into the background,” Macht says.

Of course, there are also dietary rules that can have a positive effect on health: intermittent fasting, intuitive eating or avoiding sugar, for example.

But they usually only work if they are individually adapted and take emotional life into account. “If we start eating according to rules that conflict with our feelings about eating, changing our eating habits is difficult and doomed to failure in the long run.”

So how do we access our eating feelings? Can we really trust our appetite? And how do we learn to enjoy our food more again?

Michael Macht explains it in the Spiegel podcast “live smart”.

You can hear the episode here: