• All posts,  Self development

    Dealing with cravings by surfing the urge

    Surfing that craving might help you lose weight Craving sweet, fatty, or otherwise unhealthy food might be one of the biggest hurdles that trip up those of us on the path to a healthy weight. Food cravings are a perfectly normal part of life. It’s rare you come across someone who says they never ever have a strong desire to…

  • All posts,  Self development

    We could all use a little help

    I read a piece this week in The Philosophers’ Mail called Why you need to go and see a therapist. It’s a really good piece, but it’s a bit narrow in scope. The basic premise is simply that “thinking about our lives is so hard,” that “getting therapeutic help should – ideally – be an ordinary and wholly unsurprising thing.”…

  • All posts,  Self development

    Those hippie words we use

    I was on holiday last week so I gave myself permission to write something a bit different; to discuss a topic that’s close to my heart though it makes a lot of folk squirm. Let’s talk about spirituality. I meditate regularly and have done so for nearly two decades. I have attended Buddhist events. I have read many English translations…

  • All posts,  Self development

    TV makes food taste bland

    Last week I suggested a few simple rules to follow if you want to change your eating habits for good. Key to these rules was the idea of paying attention to what you’re eating. We humans are actually pretty awful at paying attention to what we’re paying attention to. That is, we think we’re paying reasonable attention whilst actually we’re…

  • All posts,  Self development

    The un-diet

    You’ve just got to groove with the food man. In previous posts I’ve explored how traditional weight-loss diets don’t work, how relying on nutritional labels might not help us as much as we think, and how being overly restrained probably leads to binges and over-consumption. So what’s the alternative? Clearly, cutting out ‘unhealthy’ foods completely doesn’t work (that’s partly what…

  • All posts,  Psych science

    The sin of the perpendicular pronoun

    Many psychologists, myself included, want to make psychology more like the natural sciences. Psychology, as a scientific discipline, may be a couple of hundred years younger than chemistry or physics, but with cautious work we will be able to reach the same level of replicability and confidence in our findings, despite the complexity of our subject matter. Unfortunately (and for some…

  • All posts,  Self development

    I’m saving myself for pie

    For over thirty years, behavioural scientists have investigated so-called ‘restrained eaters’ (Stunkard & Messick, 1985). These people, and to some extent I still count myself among them, tend to eat less than they would really like at mealtimes, and often think about their weight and what they’ve recently eaten in order to decide how much to eat. In other words,…

  • All posts,  Self development

    Does dieting make you fat?

    Years of dieting have irreparably damaged your metabolism and as a result, you’ll never be as slim as you’d like. Or at least, that’s what a number of doom-mongers would have you believe. In 1984, Geoffrey Cannon published his bestselling book Dieting makes you fat. It sold so well that he re-wrote it and in 2009 released an updated version. Mr Cannon’s…