Holiday Survival Secret: Enjoy food more while eating less
November 29, 2019
For many of us, the holidays mean tempting foods that challenge our willpower and our waistlines. So how do we deal with this? That’s a discussion I have with many people who see me for help addressing weight or gut health issues. The techniques I share are based on each person’s individual situation, but one of my top holiday survival secrets is this:
Unless it’s a medical necessity, it’s not about denying yourself a food.
It is about maximizing your enjoyment
of what you choose to eat.
Now there’s far more that goes into that than I can cover in this post, but I’ll share one holiday survival secret here:
Stop cheating yourself out of the full enjoyment of what you eat!
Yes, you read that line correctly.
If you’re like many people, you do this every day. You cheat yourself out of flavor and pleasure while paying the full caloric price for what you eat. So in order to satisfy your desire for the taste of a food, you eat a larger portion of it.
That’s like paying full price for something, but only getting half of what you bought!! Hmm…that sounds like a waste that most of us would not settle for in other parts of our life.
How that happens and what to do about it…
One of the things I love doing is helping people understand how to make their body work with them instead of against them. Often this means talking about metabolism, hormones, or their gut microbiome. In this case, it’s helping you to understand how your body works and how a slight change can make your holidays more enjoyable and less calorically expensive
When you eat something and like it your brain has decided that what you have in your mouth is pleasing. While texture and aroma play a role in this, taste is a crucial factor.
Here’s the easy way to think about it. Think back to the last time you had something that smelled wonderful but tasted far less enjoyable than you imagined it would. That’s aroma versus taste.
You taste something because the food in your mouth has triggered some of the approximately 10,000 or more taste receptors in your mouth. Most of them are located in the taste buds on your tongue. The longer the food stays in contact with your tongue, the more frequently those taste receptors are stimulated and the more you get to enjoy the taste of the food.
Rushing through the experience…
If you’re like most people in our busy world today, you chew your food only a few times and swallow it. The second that food moves from your mouth to your throat, you are mostly done tasting it.
Yes, there’s still some aroma coming into play at the back of your mouth, and there are a few taste buds at the back of your throat, but the majority of your tasting experience is over. To experience it again you need more food in your mouth, and that means more calories.
The holiday survival secret…
So one secret to getting more enjoyment from your food and eating fewer calories is this:
Don’t be in such a rush to swallow!
Keep food in your mouth longer. Chew more. Since your taste buds will be exposed to the food for longer, you get more taste to enjoy!
Making it happen…
The solution sounds easy, but in reality, our busy lives can make this difficult. One of the things my coach approach does is to help you discover the techniques and build the skills that enable you to do this.
What many people have found when working with me is that they get more enjoyment from their favorite foods even while they are eating smaller portions of them. So set up an appointment or a discovery call so you can enjoy your food more!
Can’t get to my office? I may be able to work with you via the internet depending on what state you live in. Your insurance may even cover part or all of the cost.
Not ready to see if I can help you? Sign up for my mailing list and get some more of my tips and recipes while you decide if you’re ready to make a change that can help you feel better and enjoy life more.
Having personally struggled with weight and gut health issues, I understand how easy it is to think that food is the enemy especially with the changes our bodies undergo as we age. It doesn’t have to be that way!
I love using my extensive education and coach approach to help people realize it is possible to feel better and be healthier while still enjoying their life and food.