Woman enjoying coffee aroma in a restaurant
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Can we both enjoy our meals more, and become healthier?

Along the lines of a previous post, I’ve always subscribed to the idea that a balanced life leads to a balanced body and mind, i.e. one with fewer diseases and problems. On that note, I was just having my lunch when I realised I wasn’t really paying attention to it. I was too busy reading the magazine on my desk. So even though I had lovingly prepared it, I was just wolfing it down without any real interest.

My wife’s shown me how to appreciate food and take my time with it. In doing so, I’ve found that I don’t need to eat as much food as I used to. It’s as though my mind and my belly need to be satiated. By learning to appreciate my food I’m finding that the real intense hunger I used to have for simple density and amount has been replaced with a desire for quality.

Seriously, to give a quick example, something as simple as cake. By using basic boring concepts such as surface area to volume ratio, sorry if you’re now feeling sleepy, I realised that rather than having one chunk of cake, I could cut the same amount into say 3 slices. this way I take a little longer to eat the cake and it forces me to savour each mouthful. Then, by the end, I actually have had enough cake. I could still eat more, don’t get me wrong but I’m not desperate for more like I used to be.

I was also put onto this idea when I heard a report that the French don’t have the same high cancer and coronary heart disease risk that the Brits do, yet they, given their type of cuisine, eat plenty of saturated fats and dairy products just like us. How do we explain that? Well, one reason given is their way of life, and one specific aspect is their attitude towards food. They absolutely detest rushing their food! They also don’t like to eat bland, tasteless food and would rather have a smaller plate of something that tantalises them than eat a large plate of something dull.

I’m generalising quite a lot here, but that’s the main point that came across. Obviously, not all the French population will subscribe to this view, but I do believe other cultures value taste and the experience, particularly not rushing it, much more than we do. I also believe that many of these cultures are healthier.

Anyway, it’s food for thought, do you like the pun :-), as a way to adjust your lifestyle towards maintaining or losing weight rather than gaining it yet in a way where you gain something (taste and an experience) and add to your life rather than just taking away from it which is generally how weight loss is promoted.

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