Katherine’s Changing Tastes

A dieter, Katherine, was recently talking to me about a subject matter I hear over and over again from dieters. She told me that one of the biggest changes she has undergone since starting the program is that now she is much happier and satisfied with less food. In the past, Katherine said she always liked to eat very large portions of food, and didn’t feel satisfied until she had eaten an enormous amount. But once she started making plans and really working on eating slowly, while sitting down, and enjoying every bite, she found that she didn’t need nearly as much food. Katherine said that the simple act alone of really tasting each bite gave her so much more satisfaction than when she used to eat so many more bites – but without really tasting any of them. 

Katherine was also surprised by the fact that her tastes have really changed.  She said she used to eat a lot of fast food and fried foods, but ever since she started eating less but enjoying her healthy food more, she can’t really stomach her old way of eating. She says that really fatty or fried foods have completely lost their appeal, and when she does eat them, she often feels unwell after.  While this isn’t necessarily true of everyone, I do hear, again and again, exactly what Katherine was telling me.  People’s tastes truly do change, even if they are convinced in the beginning that they never will.

Peanuts and Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum

Carly was really proud of herself—and deservedly so. She, her husband, and kids went for a short road trip for a few days and she was able to stick to her plan, almost completely. On previous trips, she and her kids would have “perpetual snacks” in the car. On this trip, Carly ate only at her regularly scheduled snack and meal times. She occasionally reminded herself, “It’s not time to eat now. I’ll eat when I’m supposed to.”

One of their stops was at Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum near Harrisburg, PA. The family bought roasted peanuts for a snack, setting the stage for Carly to learn something really important. On the first afternoon, she ate peanuts from the sack. She didn’t decide beforehand how many to have. She felt a little out of control and had difficulty stopping after consuming about 20 or 25—but she did stop. She found she didn’t enjoy the peanuts as much as she could have. Eating without having an end point in mind made her feel guilty and bad.

Carly realized that she needed to make a change. So the next morning, she put 15 peanuts in a Ziploc bag for her snack. She didn’t think she would be satisfied with that amount, but she knew it wouldn’t be reasonable to eat more. When she ate the peanuts later that afternoon, she was surprised. She did enjoy the snack. She ate the peanuts slowly—and guilt-free. She didn’t want more.

Carly now wants to make sure that she always has a food limit in mind. It reduces her anxiety about eating and she never feels guilty, so she is able to enjoy eating her food much more. Occasionally she’d like, for a few moments at least, to take extra, but now she knows the impulse always goes away and that she’s always glad when she sticks to her plan.