The Surprising Health Benefits of Savoring Your Food
I heard a great quote the other day, and it went something like this: “Food has a beginning, a middle, and an end. And we are always focused on the end.”
And I think it rings true and speaks to a lot of the issues we have—especially in North America— when it comes to our meals and why we over-consume our food.
We skip to the end.
We eat in a rushed, stressed, and thoughtless environment and we look at the joy of eating by the amount of food we consume rather than by slowing down and savoring the tastes and smells of what we’re taking in. We’re always just trying to get to the end of the meal so we rush and pack our mouths with food, and we usually don’t stop eating until our stomach just says, “I can’t take anymore. Please stop putting food in me.”
So, we miss the beginning and middle of the story, to get right to the end.
And not only does this lead to food abuse but it’s sad because food is meant to be enjoyed.
Did you know that if you increase your joy with food you’ll also improve your digestion and consume less calories?
It’s true. Here’s what I mean by increasing your food joy.
Food should have a beginning. Every time you have the first bite of any meal, it’s like you’re tasting it for the first time, because no two meals are ever exactly alike.
- You should be thinking about what you’re tasting in those first few bites.
- If you’re paying attention to the beginning part of the story of your meal, you should be taking in the smells, you should be savoring the food.
Then you have the middle of your food story, and this is when you need to slow down your eating. Because once we get a few bites going, we’re typically just getting into this motion of eating, and eating, and eating, and eating. And we barely even breathe between bites sometimes. I think we’re all guilty of that. We can have an elevated heart rate when we’re eating, just from over consuming so much so quickly.
- So, in the middle of your meal, you should be focusing on slowing down your bites and thinking about how food tastes.
And then, what should the end of your food story look like? We usually use the indicator of “I’m so full, I’m going to be sick if I have another bite.” Or if we have a certain amount of food in front of us, we usually eat it until it’s gone and that’s our indicator of when we should stop eating. Here’s what you should do instead.
- You should stop eating when the food stops tasting as good as it did in the first few bites. Obviously, this takes a little bit of noting as you’re going through your meal, but that’s what you should be doing.
When we create the habit of overeating and abusing our food at our meals and eating until we’re sick to our stomachs, that can be a difficult thing to correct. But it can be done.
If you want to rewrite your food story (and your health) so you’re not just mindlessly eating as much as possible and as quickly as possible to get to the end of each meal, here’s what you need to do. Try to taste and savor the food in the beginning, then slow down your bites and focus on asking yourself how the food tastes as you’re going through the middle of the meal. Once the taste starts to dwindle, it’s probably your body telling you it’s time to stop eating the food. When the joy stops, when the taste stops, when you don’t feel the satisfaction in your end bites as you do in the first few, stop eating.
So, next time you eat, take time to slow down and think about your food story and make sure you have a beginning, and a middle, and an end to your meal. If you can do this, you’ll experience a lot of positive outcomes, not just by increasing your joy and your food relationship, but by improving your digestion, and the amount of nutrient and mineral content you get from your food. In addition, you’ll be far less likely to overeat, which means you’ll be far less likely to gain weight.
So, give it a try and let us know what happens in the comments below. Also, be sure to like, share, get involved, and spread the information that can help change people’s lives.