Too often, the
problem with eating right is that it
is not as satisfying as eating wrong.
Our food preferences often stem from our training from birth to enjoy overly
salty, sweet and fatty foods. For example, who doesn’t love a chocolate chip
cookie? But who can stop with just one? The combination of the three flavors
(salt, sugar and fat) is hyperpalatable, according to Dr. David Kessler, author
of The End of Overeating: Taking Control
of the Insatiable American App
When we change to a
more healthful diet with less salt, sugar and fat, we initially don’t enjoy our
food as much. Gratification is delayed until we see a slimmer self in the
mirror or start to feel more energ
preference for this unhealthy trio of tastes, another piece of the puzzle
involves how eating triggers specific mechanics that translate into feelings of
satisfaction, hunger and pleasure. Researchers
have concluded that satisfaction is initially registered in the brain rather
than the stomach. Although the process seems counterintuitive, the way to
trigger a sensation of satisfaction is through the nose.
In one research study of 1,436 subjects, noncaloric crystals were added to food to stimulate satisfaction. The results were astounding: the average weight loss was 30 pounds.
Olfactory nerves are directly linked to the emotional center in our brain, so an appetizing smell activates a specific part of our brain. Brain scans can measure and monitor the degree of activation. Messages sent to various parts of the body from the activation tell us whether we are satisfied or want to eat more.
The research has major implications for food manufacturers, who are keenly aware of the impact of aroma. The development of aromas and additives in foods is an $18.6 billion industry. Clearly, food manufacturers understand the link between smell and satisfaction.
Most importantly for
us, however, this scientific research suggests that aromas can be used to fight
Here are three tips in using aromas to trigger satisfaction and become more
F: Focus on adding aromatic spices to your dishes as you prepare them. A little basil in a soup or fresh mint on a piece of melon adds fabulous flavor. A couple of fresh herbs and spices growing on the window ledge of your kitchen can make the difference between a drab meal and a meal that your family will ask you to prepare again.
I: Ingest your food first through your nose.
Talented wine tasters perform their best work with their noses. If you sniff
your plate and don’t say wow, then chances are good that you won’t leave the
table satisfied. And remember to make the plate aesth
T: Take the time to really appreciate food. Food is culture; food is life. Too often in our day-to-day lives, we eat mechanically—for example, when distracted by television. Cultures that enjoy a healthy relationship with food emphasize the daily pleasure in and enjoyment of food. Find a middle ground.
In some non-Western cultures, food (especially spices and herbs) is considered medicine and may be the sole source of healthcare. If food is medicine and obesity is the illness, then we need to replace the unhealthy trio—sugar, salt and unhealthy fats—with herbs and spices.
Make the time to give your body the nutrition it needs and the satisfaction it craves. When you do, you’ll find that your pleasure in food—rather than your iron discipline—will eventually shrink your waistline.