Behavioral Health Blog

Bookmark this blog for tips on changing your paradigm around your relationship with food.

Dieting and the Scarcity Heuristic

There is a concept in psychology and behavioral economics known as the scarcity heuristic. It simply means that when there is something that we want but are afraid we can’t have it, we want it even more. But scarcity affects more than how much we want ...
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Patience, Fairness, and Self-Control

Recently, I was waiting in a long security line at the airport when a woman came from somewhere in the back and asked those of us near the front if we would allow her to go through. She explained that she was there to meet a ...
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Too Much Information

When we rely on the collective wisdom of diet “experts” we question the kind of sensible decision-making process that has guided human food consumption forever. Our common sense ideas about eating have been replaced with the notion that in order to eat in a healthy way, ...
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The Paradox of Freedom and the Allure of the Diet Plan

Are children free? On the one hand they have to do what they’re told. They can’t just skip school if they don’t want to go. They have to eat what they’re given, go to sleep at their bedtime, and do their homework. That may seem very ...
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Visualizing Your Future Weight

I recently went to a lecture by a scientist at Northwestern named Malcolm MacIver about how our ability to look ahead – literally to see more than what’s right in front of our noses – affects how our consciousness has evolved. (Here’s a TEDx talk that ...
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Four Coping Styles in Emotional Eating

There are many reasons that people use food as a way of coping with stress. In my work with emotional eaters, however, I have found that there are four common types of coping styles that are most prevalent and seem to uniquely predispose people to emotional ...
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Great Expectations

Two psychologists were debating which is stronger, one’s perspective or one’s circumstances. So they recruited two young boys to participate in a little experiment. One of the boys always had a positive and optimistic attitude while the other was always negative and pessimistic. They put the ...
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Change Your Filters

A while back, I wrote a post called “Feeling Trapped in Hamlet’s Prison.” The point of it was to show that how we perceive something can have a profound effect on how we feel. By recognizing that we have the ability to change our perceptions, we ...
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Is Emotional Eating a Food Addiction?

People often talk about emotional eating as a “food addiction.” The same goes for being “addicted” to shopping, gambling, and other behaviors – even positive ones like exercise. It’s true that these behaviors can sometimes seem to take on a life of their own and make ...
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