So many people race to achieve an unrealistic body size that getting enjoyment from food is often overlooked.
Instead of receiving pleasure from food, the diet culture has made guilt and shame common feelings related to the experience of eating.
When you start settling for unappetizing foods that you believe will magically help you get the body you want, you’ll not only be unsatisfied, but you’ll keep looking for that feeling from other foods.
Eating what you really feel like and want in a safe environment can help you rediscover satisfaction from food and find pleasure along with nourishment with each bite.
Read on for 4 tips on how to increase your satisfaction factor from food:
1. Ask Yourself What Foods You Really Want to Eat
The first step in discovering the satisfying factor is asking yourself what you really want to eat, which can be done by exploring your childhood eating experiences.
You can ask yourself questions such as: Was there a diet mentality in your house? Did you get a choice of what to eat and when? Were you punished and criticized if you did not follow these rules?
Respect the preference of your taste buds and choose only foods you enjoy, not what you were always told to eat.
When considering what food to consume, take into account sensory considerations such as what taste sounds appealing, what texture sounds interesting, what aromas you find appealing, as well as what temperature and appearance of food you find enticing.
Lastly, ask yourself if you want to eat something heavy that will keep you satisfied for a long time, such as bean chilli or something light that will not fill your stomach too much, like a yoghurt.
2. Eat Slowly and Mindfully
Having an inner awareness when eating allows you to stay present in the current moment and feel the direct experience and many sensations when eating.
To practice mindful eating, choose food you can eat without utensils, such as a fruit, sit in a comfortable place without distractions and in a calm manner, investigate the sight, smell, touch, sound, mouthfeel, and taste of the food.
Next, swallow the food and pay attention to the different senses while the food goes down your throat.
Reflect on how this eating experience compares to your usual eating process and how it contributed to your satisfaction when eating, as well as how you could start doing this for most of your meals, starting at one meal per day.
To avoid distractions and be able to truly concentrate on the satisfying factor, select a sensory focal point in the food, such as the taste, and gently direct your mind towards it each time you get lost in the thought while eating.
3. Sensory Specific Satiety
Studies have shown that the most pleasure from consuming a specific food happens two minutes after consumption—before the food has had time to be digested and absorbed.
When eating mindfully, your taste buds become less sensitive to taste as sensory-specific satiety kicks in.
This means that the less pleasant the food tastes, the more full we are.
You can practise sensory-specific satiety by waiting until you get moderately hungry and then pick a food you enjoy. Practice mindful eating to investigate the food by going through all your senses.
As you eat, ask yourself, “Is the flavor diminishing? Does this still taste as good? Is the texture and appearance still as appealing as initially?” Repeat this exercise with a full meal.
Note how many minutes have passed before pleasantness diminishes when eating. After doing this multiple times, you will have the knowledge to know when you can walk away from the table feeling fully satisfied.
4. Choose a Pleasant Eating Environment
If you disregard your environment while eating, you will get less satisfaction from the meal itself.
Ask yourself questions about your eating environment, such as where you eat, how much time you allow yourself to eat, in what position you eat, and what you do while eating.
Now ask yourself what impressions you have of your eating environment and notice any trends in your answers.
It is important to create an environment that is pleasant and distraction-free in order to greatly increase your chances of satisfaction from meals.
Certain people, noise, clutter, setting, and stressful emotions are all consideration points when choosing an eating environment.
If you found this blog post interesting, please continue reading our 10 Intuitive Eating principles series. Intuitive Eating is challenging, but with the help of a Registered Dietitian, it is common that clients will break through and get off their diet rollercoaster for the long haul and open up space in their life to feel more freedom.
If you are interested in learning more about Intuitive Eating, continue reading:
- Ditch The Diet Mentality
- Honor Your Hunger
- Make Peace With Food
- Challenge The Food Police
- Feel Your Fullness
- Discover The Satisfaction Factor
- Cope with Your Feelings Without Using Food
- Respect Your Body
- Exercise: Feel the Difference
- Honour Your Health: Feel the Difference
Find Your Registered Dietitian here:
About the Author: Dawid Furman is a nutrition and exercise science student studying at the South East Technological University in Ireland and hopes to pursue a career as a dietitian in the future.
Reviewed by: Lindsey McGregor, RD
Images from: Unsplash and Pexels
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