How often have you ate something you didn’t truly enjoy? How often have you ate something you “should” eat instead of what you really want?

Or perhaps you eventually “caved” and ate something you really love but it wasn’t on your list of “healthy” foods and then the guilt and frustration set it – stealing that joy?

True satisfaction from your food means you enjoyed it! This means being able to enjoy ALL foods – salad, chicken, cookies, and pasta in equal measure.

When you learn to honor what your body craves and enjoy those foods, without feelings of deprivation or guilt, you will find that over time you will eat less because you are satisfied with what you ate. You aren’t trying to compensate for the foods you are not allowing yourself.

With the upcoming Jewish Holidays, and all the delicious food that abounds, it is the perfect time to talk about how to truly enjoy and find pleasure in the food you eat.

Here are my tips:

1. Eat what you really want

Before you start to eat, survey the scene and ask yourself this: What do I really want? Then take a portion of whatever that is and eat it. Because let’s face it, we’ve all been in that situation where we deprive ourselves of something and then end up eating our way through the kitchen in a desperate attempt to suppress that craving… and then eat it anyway.

You are much more likely to stop eating when you are full when you have eaten foods that satisfied you.  So if you are craving some pie, don’t put yourself a double serving of salad instead because it is what you “should” be having. Just cut yourself a slice of pie, alongside the salad, and enjoy.

Otherwise you will just keep craving what you are depriving yourself of and won’t truly be satisfied from the food you are eating.

2. Savor the flavor

Take a moment to savor every bite. Eat slowly. Chew your food. Take the time to notice the taste, texture, and aroma. Be present.

Gobbling down your food will most definitely take away from its pleasure. It will be gone so fast you’ll end up asking yourself – what did I even just eat?

Make a conscious effort to eat in a calm environment and to take your time so you can truly be satisfied.

3. Eat when you are hungry, but not too hungry

We can all agree that food tastes better when we are hungry. But if you eat your meal when you are overly hungry your brain will not register what it is you are eating. All your brain knows  and focuses on is that the body needs energy – STAT.

Which is why we tend to overeat and make poor food decision when we get too hungry.

Food doesn’t taste as good because we are eating it so fast and we are left feeling unsatisfied, making us want to reach out for something that will fill that void – such as a second serving or some cake and cookies.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, food doesn’t taste as good either when you are not hungry at all. So aim to eat when you just begin to feel hunger. If you aren’t hungry, wait until you are, but not too long until you are ravenous.

If you feel full halfway through your meal – Stop. Know that you can save it for later and eat it when you are hungry again. You will enjoy it much more.

4. Don’t settle

If you selected something to eat because it looked delicious but then took a bite and discovered it isn’t as good as you imagined – leave it on the plate and choose something else.

You are not obligated to finish it just because it is on your plate (even though that’s what you may have been taught growing up). You most definitely won’t enjoy it or feel satisfied.

Food is meant to be pleasurable and you don’t need to eat something because you feel uncomfortable to leave it on the plate or throw it out. Your body is not a waste bin. Make sure it enjoys only the best.  Make the foods you eat worth it.

Bottom Line…

Years of dieting and restriction may have kept you from truly enjoying food. Which may have led to unhealthy eating habits.

Know that you are entitled to enjoy all foods. Food should be a source of pleasure just as much as it should nourish you. Maintaining a healthy weight, and living a healthy lifestyle that is permanent, will be come more naturally when you learn to find satisfaction in what you eat.

Wishing you a healthy & happy sweet new year! Xoxo, Rachel.

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