Still hungry after lunch?
It's fall time, the time of year that has my senses renewing. Fall, like no other time of year, helps to get me in tune with my senses with way more awareness, especially around meal time. Have you noticed the "Pumpkin Spice" everything presented to you everywhere you go? I thought you'd relate. So why am I talking about the time of year and senses?
Well, because when it comes to eating, your senses play a huge roll in getting you to optimum health. Ever notice how having a meal at a coffee shop playing mellow tunes, with a calming environment, and savory aromas, leave you feeling satisfied even though you just ate a small sandwich? I certainly have.
Researchers have estimated that as much as 30-40% of our digestive response to a meal is due to the Cephalic Phase Digestive Response or CPDR.
So what exactly is CPDR and why is it important?
CPDR simply put means that the thought, sight, and smell of food stimulates gastric secretions to prepare for the digestion of food even before you have taken your first bite and that much of the pleasure of eating derives from this anticipation.
The way your brain works is that it must experience this pleasure and satisfaction from the thought of food before eating to signal to your body to stimulate digestive juices. The key here is before you've ever tasted one bite, your body is already processing the food on your plate.
However, if you eat too fast or absentmindedly, ignoring the food in front of you, your brain will interpret the unsatisfying experience within you as hunger. So even though you've just wolfed down a huge meal, you may still feel hungry.
No more shoving fork-loads of unidentifiable mounds of food into your mouth while watching mind-numbing TV or eating yesterday’s lousy leftovers while on Facebook. The point is to give your undivided attention to the food on your plate, and you will be amazed at the results.
So if you eat consciously, how will that help you?
The more awareness and presence you bring to each meal, the less you’ll need to eat. And the less awareness and presence you bring to each meal, the more you’ll need to eat.
If you’re so busy gobbling down chips that by the time you get to the crumbs at the bottom of the bag, you can’t even remember what flavor they were, then you’re giving up 30-40% of your digestive power, decreasing nutrient absorption and slowing down your metabolism.
Plus because of CPDR your brain still wants to eat because it craves the full sensual experience of eating. So if you aren’t engaging CDPR, the brain registers hunger, saying “Wait! I didn’t eat! I want more!”, even though you've eaten an entire bag of chips.
All right Dejan, I've heard enough. So how do I eat consciously?
Sight: Savor the colors of your food, the beauty of what’s come from the earth, the rain, and the sun.
Smell: Bring the food up to your nose as if you’ve never smelled it before and inhale. Savor the aromas of the food being cooked in your home.
Touch: What’s the texture of your food? Of your utensils? Of the napkin on your lap? Of the table surface?
Environment: What environment are you creating for yourself when you eat? Candles or fluorescent light? Special china or paper plates? A crystal goblet or plastic cup? A visually appealing plate full of food or to go box filled with a mixture of identifiable substances?
Texture: Chew your food about 30 times per bite and notice the texture of the food. Let yourself breathe while chewing.
Pamper Yourself: You may be wondering who are you to pamper yourself? And I ask you, who are you not to pamper yourself? So buy that special ingredient to make your meal extra tasty like truffle oil to spruce up your salad or high-quality dark chocolate for dessert.
What do I do now?
In my health coaching practice, I help my clients identify their favorite ways to implement sensual eating daily.
If you think you may be one of those people who has been shoving down food just to feel full and wanted to get more pleasure out of eating, click here now to schedule a time to talk to me.
To your health,
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