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> Back to Healthy Eating Excerpts List

Healthy Eating Excerpt from Don't Weight

"Savor" - why such a profound effect?

Why does the concept of "savor your food" have such a profound effect on the way people eat? I'm sure there are many reasons. I will comment on the two significant reasons that stand out in my mind. First, let's look at the need to rebel against external controls.

Most people who work on changing their eating habits for weight loss or for medical reasons end up following some external plan, program, or recommendation from some expert. In the beginning, that seems to work for some people. In the beginning of a new eating program, some people seem to be able to drum up enough rational motivation to get started. However, if the person has started many, many eating programs in the past, they may not even be able to drum up enough rational motivation to last through the first day. Whenever it is, whether at the end of the first year or the first day, many people just can't take it anymore. Many people rebel against programs that they have to follow. It is like a two-year-old inside screams NO! Often this rebellion results in a binge. Sometimes the need to rebel against that program or authority is a whisper and a loss of motivation. In either case, there is a real need to rebel against an authority or program that dictates what should or should not be eaten.

The concept of "savoring your food" does NOT impose any external control on what you eat. There is nothing to rebel against. When you savor your food and notice the pleasure of eating and the pleasure of finding comfortable fullness, you are in charge of your eating. There is no need to rebel because there is no program or expert controlling your choices. You are making all your own choices. The two-year-old inside of you AND the intellectual side of you can both be happy.

The second reason that "savor your food" works so well has to do with the reasons people use food. If you are using food as fuel because you are hungry, it is very comfortable to savor your food and decide when you are full. What about those who use food for other reasons? Many people use food for emotional reasons. Actually, many people use food to tune out and disconnect from their emotions. Here is where the concept of "savor your food" has real power. Using this concept, you will be using the experience of eating TO TUNE IN to your emotional needs, instead of tuning out. When the next bite is not as delicious as the last, ask yourself, "Why eat it?" If you are eating for emotional reasons, you will get an emotional answer to this question. You may hear yourself saying, "I deserve it because I had a long day" or "because I can't stand feeling this way". If you hear yourself answer in a yelling tone of voice, it is a good guess that you are angry. You can use the experience of eating as a tool to tune in. Tuning-in is the key to meeting your emotional needs without using food as much.

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