It is sometimes to practice a good habit of eating. You are right. But I find it difficult to spend time to enjoy my food due to my hectic schedules. I always try to take my food in peaceful environment and enjoy taste of food. Somebody will come, I will start discussing with them during my eating. I will forget that I am eating. I loose my enjoyment with eating like this. Even I don't know when I finished my food.
It’s easy to get distracted when attempting to eat (or do anything else) mindfully. The key is as soon as you notice your mind wandering to gently and repeatedly bring the focus back to the aroma, appearance, texture, and taste of the food. Be patient and gentle with yourself. Putting your fork down between bites may slow yourself down long enough to refocus your attention before the food is gone. It is an extra challenge to be mindful of what another is saying, as you are also mindful of enjoying your food. Practicing eating mindfully on your own may increase this ability.
Lack of pleasure in food *causes* obesity? Really?
Or does it just *correlate* ? And what does mindfulness have to do with enjoying your food?
Your post smacks of pop psychology. Tastes good but leaves us empty.
Your body produces more leptin when you carry more fat, and it produces less when you carry less fat. Low levels of leptin cause intense hunger and deep satisfaction with eating.
The effect you initially bring up is likely to be largely biological in origin, not due to mindless behavior.
Read the excellent series of posts on leptin (and other hormones) on Lyle McDonald's blog, here:
(I'm reacting negatively to this statement of yours: "If a decrease in satisfaction from food increases risk of obesity, why not teach people to enjoy food?" It comes across as tremendously uninformed and paternalistic, a horrible combination.)
There are surely a variety of genetic and environmental factors involved in the etiology of obesity. I apologize if my post seemed to suggest otherwise. Decreasing unconscious eating is just one important strategy for dealing with obesity.
“Why not teach people to enjoy their food,” could be heard as “why not just (or only) teach people to enjoy their food.” That indeed would be very simplistic.
Dealing with obesity is a hard struggle for many, and it is important to not only understand mechanisms, but also to find solutions. You had mentioned leptin. Administering leptin has not lived up to its promise in helping with weight loss. Obese individuals usually already have high levels of leptin and for most overweight people further increasing the levels does not seem to promote weight loss. Eventually, hormonal manipulation may help with weight loss, but, for the most part, we aren’t there yet.
Medicines on the market aimed to cause weight loss include Xenical, Meridia, and phenterimine. Over years of treating patients, I have not been incredibly impressed with any of these medicines. Rimonabant shows some promise, but didn’t make it on the market yet because of the side effect of depression.
One bit of success in hormonal treatment to cause weight loss is with exenatide (Byetta). This compound mimics the effect GLP-1. However, exenatide is only indicated for diabetics and does not help all diabetics lose weight. Ironically one of the ways gastric bypass may help people lose weight is from a change in hormone (ghrelin) levels.
Of course, picking out which diet best suits someone is a long conversation on its own. Suffice it to say, for most people I recommend a diet low in refined carbohydrates and saturated fats, and a diet that includes lots of vegetables.
Since this is a Psychology Today blog, it would be appropriate to look at psychological ways to deal with obesity. Mindful eating is one of those techniques. And by eating mindfully, one does learn to fully enjoy his food -- appreciating aroma, taste, texture and appearance.
Admittedly, the research into mindful eating is not by any mean exhaustive. There are however some studies worth reviewing including: http://chp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/11/3/133
You’ll find some other interesting info at www.tcme.org
But it definitely is one. The book "Intuitive Eating" by Tribole and Resch really outlines the concept well. As I recall they tell a story of an obese woman who could never lose weight, and when she came in they asked her what foods she liked, and she couldn't answer them, she had never thought about it before. If you don't really get much out of food, you're not picky- you eat whatever people put in front of you. It also makes plenty of sense that it could cause you to overeat because you think you should be getting satisfaction but you're not so you eat more to try to find it.
is one thing, but sometimes you just have to be aware that you don't enjoy it at all. I believe that I don't really enjoy food, and I have tried the whole mindful eating practice. I enjoy ice cream, and I think that is the only food I truly enjoy. But I didn't know this until I was 29 years old! In our culture, we are taught to enjoy food. As a kid your parents make special meals for holidays or say "mmm chocolate." You see commercials, people talk about dieting and "temptations," people make a big deal about going to restaurants- it's a large part of our lives overall. But I think a lot of us don't feel this way about food. If you are one of these people and you can come to realize that hey, I really don't like cookies that much, it's going to be easier to eat an apple when you're hungry. Having always been a person of the chubbier variety, I used to assume that I must like food and eat more of it than "normal" people. But when you don't like food you'll tend to pretty much eat anything because you don't really care. I think this study is probably very significant, but I don't think that teaching people to enjoy food more is the answer, you have to teach people what they really like and what they just like because everyone around you has always said it's good.
Jay Winner, M.D. is the founder of the Stress Reduction Program at Sansum Clinic and the author of Take the Stress Out of Your Life.