Have you been gravitating toward higher calorie foods since 2008? In a study presented back in August at the yearly meeting of the American Psychological Association, University of Miami marketing doctoral student Anthony Salerno suggests that your choices may be due to the economy.
Salerno's research found that study participants primed to focus on deprivation chose higher calorie foods, compared to those who focused more on pleasure than survival.
Most of us have accepted the fact that, for any, deprivation around food tends to lead to overeating. What makes this study interesting is that it widens the playing field to include deprivation as general concepts. Salerno's results indicate that if we feel deprived at all (not just around food), we may have a tendency to eat more.
Assuming this data translates beyond the lab, it suggests that to curb this form of (biologically induced?) emotional eating, we bring our focus to gratitude. What is it that you have (vs. have not) in your life? Can you highlight areas of abundance, rather than deprivation? This shift in mindset can be profitable across the board.
And, where can you add indulgences that don't cost much? Can you treat your senses with appealing scents, comfortable fabrics, enticing flavors, soothing visuals, and melodic sounds? Doing so can ease distress, increase our experience of pleasure, and, perhaps most importantly, communicate to ourselves that we are worth it.