July 7, 2017 was International Chocolate Day! Just reading these last three words and my mouth starts to water.
There are certain foods that are simply irresistible. The challenge is to eat enough…not too much. We each find certain foods so delicious that we overindulge. This may be chocolate, sweets, pizza, or, in my case, homemade bread warm from the oven. Oh my! The trick is to recognize the difference between hunger and desire.
For example, the other night I served spaghetti topped with my homemade meat sauce. I’d really done a great job of it this time and it was scrumptious! I dished out reasonable portions for my husband and myself. Once my husband had finished, he complimented me on the dish and said how he’d love to have more but shouldn’t as he knew he’d had enough to satisfy his hunger. He’d been listening to me talk about food and how we justify our choices long enough to recognize that eating more would satisfy his taste buds but not his waistline. He didn’t have more. The upside? He could enjoy another meal of the delicious spaghetti because there would be some leftover. BONUS!
So often, people don’t realize the “why” of their eating habits. This makes it harder to control how much and what is eaten. When it comes to taste, we’re far more likely to remember that initial burst of wonder and pleasure and live off of that memory rather than what is actually taking place.
A way to control the quantity that you eat is to take a bite, let it sit on your tongue for a second or two, chew and swallow. Eat the next few bites normally. Then, savour the next bite for a second or two. Your brain registered the initial flavour, but the intensity diminishes. You may be savouring the idea of the food rather than the flavour. The advantages to this method are twofold. First, you get to re-experience that initial food taste euphoria. Second, it gives your stomach time to send its signal to the brain that it’s full.
International Chocolate Day has come and gone. However, I’ve convinced myself – based on all of the studies – that dark chocolate is good for me. I’ll have some as my dessert indulgence…in moderation, of course. Ummmmm, chocolate!
Do you have a food that you can’t resist? Let me know what it is. What techniques do you use to control your desires?