The Secret To Eating Healthy: Hope, Not Pride
Dieticians call it “emotional eating,” and it’s generally considered to be a bad thing, because research has shown that people who are feeling bad eat bad. Or badly, to be correct. Now comes research from Penn State University suggesting that feeling good can also lead to eating bad(ly). That happens when we reward ourselves for something done well, with a candy bar, or perhaps something stronger. A Penn State news release reports that researchers studying the complicated relationship between positive emotions and food consumption have teased out the difference between positive feelings — pride and happiness — that arise from thinking about the past or present, and hope, a more future-oriented emotion. They’ve found that people who focus their positive emotion toward the future eat less unhealthy food and have lower preferences for unhealthy snacks than those whose feelings of pride or happiness are focused on the past. In other words, if you are expecting to feel proud, you are more likely to eat healthy food than if you already feel proud. In still other words, prideful people eat bad, hopeful people eat good. Read more from Penn State.