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Metadata of Note

Type: 🍃 Leaf [Nomenclature present here.]

Source: [[Andrew Huberman]]’s [[Podcast]] with [[Dr. Alia Crum]]

Tags: #food #foodnutrition #Stress #exercise #psychology #Balance

Date: May 10th, 2022


Watching this helped me solidify my mindset on food, exercise, and stress. To choose more healthy food and view it indulgently, acknowledge the importance of the exercise I’m getting already, and leverage stress in a positive light. Also interesting to see the clear mind-body connection, similar to what I saw in [[🍃 202204151230 The Connection Between Stress & Disease by Gabor Mate]]


Mindsets & examples

  • “Mindsets simplify life by constraining the number of things we have to consider.”
  • The most famous “mindset” example is Carol Dweck’s work on having a “growth mindset” — the real question is, “do you believe that your intelligence is set and fixed or fluid and growing throughout your life?”
  • #Stress: Having a mindset that stress is bad leads to physiological changes in the body and in the decisions we make.
  • Food: Similarly, having a mindset that healthy foods are generally disgusting/insipid affects our decisions in eating them.
  • Illness: Do you view illness as an “unmitigated catastrophe” or something that’s manageable or even an opportunity?


Placebo vs Mindset Effects

  • My interpretation: in placebo, you are given something that is told to be the same thing as the drug when in fact it’s different. In mindset effects, you are given something that is told to be different when in fact it’s the same. So they are quite the opposite.
  • #randomfact There’s also something called “nocebo effects.” It’s when negative beliefs cause negative consequences. E.g. thinking you’re sick leads to a 2-3 degree F increase in body temp.


The Milkshake Study (Diet)

  • The question of the study: Do our beliefs about what we’re eating change our body’s physiological response to our food?
    • #randomfact We have more evidence than placebo effects than on any other drug because of the clinical trial process in which all new medication is required to “outperform” a placebo effect.
  • #researchstudy participants were asked to consume two different milkshakes with a time period of a week in between each. One was told to be a high-calorie, indulgent shake. Other was told be a low-calorie, sensible shake. Although in reality, it was the exact same shake!
    • Results: the “ghrelin” level (aka the hunger hormone) decreased 3x in the cases when participants thought they were drinking the high-calorie milkshake.
    • Conclusion: counterintuitively, it’s better to think you’re eating “indulgently” than thinking you’re eating “healthily” when you eat something, so physiologically your body thinks you’re full faster.


The Hotel Housekeepers Study (Exercise)

  • A study was done with Ellen Langer, a prof of psychology at Harvard (and the first woman professor in psychology to get tenured!)
  • The question of the study: Is exercise a “placebo”? Does actively thinking you’re getting exercise improves outcomes of it vs not thinking you’re getting exercise?
  • #researchstudy A group of hotel housekeepers was split into two random groups. One group was told explicitly that their work every day (of pushing cards, walking stairs, cleaning rooms) was in fact good exercise. The other group wasn’t told anything, and they inherently didn’t believe their work gave them exercise.
    • Results: the group who thought they were getting exercise had better health in 4 weeks. Systolic BP was reduced by 10 points, and they lost weight and felt better.
    • Conclusion: Focus on not just getting more exercise, but also reaping the benefits of the exercise that you’re all already doing. And in believing in the potency of the exercise.


“Never feeling like enough’

  • [[Dr. Alia Crum]] says, “Even though I was exercising all the time for hours, I felt like I was never getting enough. (because of my mindset)”
  • This is a key point that can be applied to other areas in life, and life itself. Of working a lot but never feeling like it’s enough because of how you view it. #impostersyndrome
  • There is a [[Balance]] act here of having a belief mindset and positive mindset about what you’re already doing, without getting carried away by it and continuing to do more of it.


The Nature of #Stress Study

  • The question of the study: Does orienting people to different mindsets change how they respond to stress?
  • #researchstudy Participants were split into three groups. One group was shown videos about stress in a negative light (or the light most of us view it in usually). Another group was shown the same message, but oriented in a positive way, with a sense of how stress empowers us. The third group was shown nothing.
    • Results: The group who were shown stress in an empowering/enhancing light had less muscle tension, insomnia, racing heart, and performed better at work compared to those who watched the debilitating videos. Interestingly, there was no change between that group and the group who watched no videos. i.e. we’re already used to seeing stress in a bad light so it didn’t change much for people.
    • Conclusion: Stress is not a good thing, but it can be an enhancing thing. The general reaction to stressful things is checking out in denial or freaking out trying to deal with it. But if we changed out mindset around how we see it, we could derive motivation and studies have shown that doing this will decrease our cortisol levels.


Unpacking #Stress : 3 Ways To Leverage It

  • I like how she mentioned that first, we need to acknowledge that we only stress about things we care about. And so if we care about things in life in general — which we all do — then stress is inevitable, so fighting against it is futile.
  • 3 ways to leverage stress
    • first, acknowledge that you’re stressed
    • second, welcome it because the stress contains something you care about
    • third, utilize the stress response (processing info faster, being more focused, etc) to achieve what you care about.


4 Sources That Influence Mindsets

  • Our bringing and how our parents perceived food/stress
  • Culture and media: movies, podcasts, social media
  • Influential others: doctors, close friends, peetrs
  • Conscious choice.