Studies show that after the first 3-5 bites of a food, the flavor fades. This means, if we tune in to our eating experiences, and become more present, we can be more satisfied. The opposite is also true. If we eat without paying attention—mindlessly—we are likely to be less satisfied from that meal. That in turn, may increase the likelihood of eating more than our body physiologically needs at that time. Also, it takes 15 minutes for the stomach to inform the brain that it is full, so eating too quickly can contribute to eating more than energetically needed for this reason as well.
Chewing one’s food thoroughly is another aspect that leads to greater satiety. Slowing down mealtime and being present can help with more healthy eating habits.
Engaging all five senses more fully, also leads to greater satiety. You can experience this from the mindful eating exercise with a raisin. Even before putting the raisin in one’s mouth, you look at it, smell it, even put it in near (not in!) your ear. Then you place the single raisin in your mouth. But don’t take a bite! First you experience the sensation of what it feels like to have the raisin in your mouth, your tongue exploring it’s texture. Only after these explorations do you then take your first bite!
The above mindful eating exercise is not recommended to be done too often, obviously life is busy! But the purpose is to gain an awareness of what it’s like to eat when fully present, using all five senses. We so often eat without fully tuning in to the eating experience—while doing other tasks, or letting our mind run wild with thoughts of past or future.
Another way that one can have a more sensual experience—meaning, better engage one’s senses—is by eating by candlelight, or by placing one’s food on one’s plate in a decorative way.
Engaging in sensual experiences that are non-food related, such as taking a walk in nature, watching a sunset, or enjoying live music, are great forms of nourishment as well.
There are lots of ways to feel nourished, and as humans, we are meant to utilize our five senses.
Cultivating mindfulness and sensuality helps us attain more nourishment and nurturance. And what people find is that by cultivating these experiences, they less often turn to food for emotional reasons or due to cravings, since they have other areas of life that provide nourishment and good vibes.
To inquire about incorporating more Mindfulness and Sensuality into your Nutrition and Wellness Journey, click here.