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What Your Natural Biology Is Saying About Weight Loss

What Your Natural Biology Is Saying About Weight Loss

(Source: Creative Commons via user "t-bet")

Nicole Ohebshalom | Radiant Living Wellness

July 21, 2009

This shows us how pleasure, metabolism, and a naturally controlled appetite are interwoven to the core. The same chemical reaction that metabolizes the meal also tells us when to finish the meal and makes us feel good about the entire experience.

The key to pleasure’s powerful effect in balancing your appetite is that it promotes a physiologic relaxation response. We overeat most when we’re anxious, stressed, or unaware. A relaxed, pleasured eater has natural control. A stressed eater produces more circulating cortisol. Because cortisol desensitizes us to pleasure in our day-to-day stressors, we need to eat more food to feel the same amount of pleasure as when we’re relaxed.

Therefore, if you’re anxious about gaining weight or frightened to eat a dessert, you’ll generate more cortisol. This chemical will swim through your bloodstream, numb you to pleasure, and ironically create the very self-fulfilling prophecy you feared from the beginning: If you eat something fun, you wont be able to stop.

Take in All Your Senses During Your Next Meal

So how do you begin receiving pleasure with your next meal? Pay attention with your senses. Each time you take a bite, give yourself one mindful moment to check in. Use all your senses to really be in the experience. Eyes: Chefs go to great lengths to prepare food attractively because they know it can add excitement and satisfaction to the experience. Take in your food’s shape and examine the color. Food’s appearance has a lot to do with how much we enjoy it.

Smell: Your sense of smell is tied to your sense of taste. You get to begin your enjoyment of the food’s flavor without eating it. Breathe in slowly, searching through the scents for a preview of what you’re about to eat.

Sound: Take a moment to listen to the sounds around you to be more in the experience of your environment and food. Listen to the sound of your breathing to assist you in relaxation.

Touch: The sense of touch gives us information on the texture, shape, and temperature of food. Begin to really notice the different textures in one mouthful of food. Describe the texture of the food to yourself in detail and take in the full pleasure of the experience. There are so many fun ways you can describe food—mushy, crunchy, soft, solid, oily, succulent, dry, juicy, sticky. Have fun with it! Temperature is also an important piece of information to the brain. Foods taste different depending on their temperature, and their textures change as well.

Taste: Flavor is perhaps the most powerfully sensual information we get from eating. The variations are endless and intriguing. Our taste buds (actually working with the sense of smell) can bring us great pleasure. When you have taken a bite of food, check in and see what flavors are there.

More Stress and Health Advice :
The Science of Taking Care of Yourself
How to Stay Healthy Even When You’re Busy
The 20 Healthiest Foods for Under $1

Quiz: What’s Your Nutrition IQ?


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