Imagine eating that luscious piece of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. First, you bring your fork to the spongy cake and slice the fork right through, making sure to take a bit of the velvety, chocolate frosting. As you take your first bite, you feel an ecstatic sensation begin to tingle through your mouth. Savoring the flavors as the taste buds begin to send signals to your brain activating those endorphins and stimulating the serotonin production in your gut, which further increases your satisfaction. Bite after bite after bite, you enjoy your chocolate bliss. Until finally, you put your finger on the plate and swipe off that last remaining bit of creamy frosting. Absolutely divine!
Ummm…did we just have sex with our food? A foodie’s version of soft porn! Yes, food can be just like that: savoring the flavors and eating in the moment. These trends can allow us to enjoy our food and even eat a smaller portion of it. For example, when we eat rapidly, we may not enjoy what we are eating and we may also not give our brain the proper amount of time to really register that we are full and satisfied. By taking time to eat, we can allow our brain the 20 minutes that it needs to recognize true fullness and satisfaction. In addition, we can further stimulate those sensory hormones, such as serotonin, which tell our bodies that we are ecstatic. Last of all, by really savoring our food, we can also eat a smaller version of that rich, delicate, goodness which falls into the portion control aspect for ideal weight management.
The French love their desserts and they eat them daily. However, their serving amounts are tiny compared to American serving sizes. The French also take a lot of time to eat their meals, where they truly savor the flavor and enjoy the delicacies of life. Therefore, I recommend eating like the French by the following:
- Eat the foods you love in smaller portions. Choose 1-2 delicacies per week for weight loss or 3-4 per week for weight maintenance.
- Eat slower. Remember, our brain recognizes satiety after about 20 minutes.
- Take time to taste, smell, and enjoy your food. Savor each bite. You’ll reduce your guilt and learn to take pleasure in your food!
So what food are you going to take on a date this week? Bon Appétit!
Sarah Koszyk, MA, RD, is a nutrition coach at Eating Free who cooks with love and loves to eat.