sated tastebuds

[This week's theme is eating habits.]

Just like our other senses, our tastebuds get bored.

The first bite of anything is the best.  The second bite isn’t as good.  Third bite even less.

Try this: get a piece of hard candy or a lollipop and suck on it.  Notice how it tastes when you first put it in your mouth.  Just keep it there.  Long before it is dissolved, it has much less flavor.  The candy itself doesn’t have less flavor, you have just adapted to how it tastes.

Apply this to normal eating.

There is a bag of chips.  You have a few.  They are tasty.  You have a few more.  If you are eating mindfully, you will notice that they are less tasty.  You might realize that they are no longer fulfilling their role of tasty snack and put them away.  Good for you.

If you are eating the bag of chips while watching TV, you are not likely to notice that they’re not tasty any more, so you keep eating.  Do you see how easily this leads to overeating?

Apply this to cravings.

You want chocolate.  Instead of eating a King Size Hershey’s, eat a Hershey’s mini.  Smell it before you eat it.  Even though you can eat the whole thing in one bite, take a bite out of it, maybe a third of the piece.  Feel it in your mouth.  Really taste it.  Take another bite.  Enjoy it.  Before eating the last piece, tell your brain that this is the last piece and, “Yum, this really hit the spot.”  Finish the piece.  Savor it.

At this point, your brain might be telling you that that was not enough to be satisfying.  Listen to your mouth.  It is wise.  Another bite will not taste as good.  You don’t really want another piece.  Further, it is completely OK not to want another piece.  (This was difficult for me.)  Disregard pressure — both internal and external.  You have been sated.

If you are reading this and talking to your computer trying to convince me that you really do want another piece, you are currently unwilling to change this part of your habits.  Skip it and come back later when you are ready.

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