Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Savor Your Meal

I'm the skinny girl that everyone hates, but I wanted to share something that my husband's doctor told him that struck a cord with us.

She said that it is important to take 20 minutes to enjoy your food because filling your stomach is only one of many clues that tell your body that you have taken in nourishment. Even if you have to hog the rest of your meal down to finish in the allotted time, you should be focused on the flavor, texture, temperature and all aspects of each bite of food (putting other matters out of your mind, thinking of nothing but the food). This also requires that you chew slowly and pass food over your tongue repeatedly. Interestingly, you can't "savor" fast food, because it tastes very bad if it is in your mouth for very long. Fast food only seems to taste good when you're shoveling it down because you just get the salt and fat flavors. This will signal your brain that you've eaten and you are full. Delaying this signal will cause you to over-eat since you still feel hungry even when your stomach is full. This concept also applies to the flavor content of the foods. The brain needs to receive a LOT of signals regarding the food, so complex flavors are a must.

This was an ah-ha moment for us because my husband eats rather quickly and likes bland food. I eat slowly and like things spicy and very flavorful. He has to have larger portions to be satisfied, but is less picky about what he eats. I only eat food that is delicious, otherwise it holds no interest for me, and I tend to eat small portions.

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