Can’t Get No Satisfaction?
We live in a world of diet culture that focuses so much on the pursuit of thinness that it overlooks a super important aspect of healthy living: pleasure and satisfaction. That’s right – eating what satisfies us can improve our health.
When we don’t eat foods that satisfy us, it creates a feeling of deprivation and can even lead us to munching on a lot of other food we didn’t actually want. If you are craving a homemade piece of cake but try to eat a lower calorie “diet” ice cream bar, you may find that you still have a strong desire to eat afterward. When we allow ourselves what we truly want and experience the pleasure as we eat it, we can then move on with our day.
So how can you start to get in touch with what will satisfy you? You can start by asking yourself these questions:
- What do I actually want to eat? Do you want something creamy, crunchy, or smooth? Something buttery, sweet, or salty? Something hot or cold? Get in touch with the food experience you want to have and what your body is craving.
- Do I want to be colorful and organized on my plate, or simple and non-complex? When you have time, think about the appearance of your food.
- How does my interest in food change during a meal? Do the first few bites taste better than the rest? Does your interest in the food decrease throughout the meal? As our body registers feeling full and nourished, we may notice the food doesn’t taste quite as good as it did at the beginning our our meal.
- What is my eating environment like? The environment we are in definitely has an impact on the satisfaction a meal provides. Is your environment noisy or distracting? Is it peaceful and attractive? Work on cultivating a pleasant eating environment into your life.
- What is my emotional state like right now? Are emotions disrupting your meal experience?
Discovering satisfaction is a practice that involves your mind and body. It involves listening to your body signals and taste buds, and also considering your environment and emotional state. All of the principles of intuitive eating help support our ability to eat a satisfying meal. For example, food is usually most satisfying to eat when we are moderately hungry rather than ravenous or full. Have you ever tried to eat small amounts during the day to save room for eating a restaurant alter? This is really common, but what often happens is people show up at a restaurant ravenous and eat their food very quickly, never noticing their fullness or the quality of the food.
At I Live Well Nutrition, we can help you feel free to pick the foods that honor both your health and taste buds. Schedule an appointment today! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for more nutrition tips!
By Zoe Halbert – Zoe is a registered dietitian, licensed in Austin Texas who is passionate about helping people create healthy relationships with food and body. She focuses on intuitive eating with a non-diet and practices from the health at every size (HAES) approach when working with clients.