I copied this from Linda Spangle's website promoting her book 100 Days of Weight Loss.
These ideas or ways of thinking really impacted me.
Picture your favorite dessert on the table in front of you.
Maybe itís a piece of your momís homemade apple pie, a
slice of turtle cheesecake or a bowl of rocky road ice cream.
As you take the first bite, you swoon with pleasure. Wow, is
this ever good! Excited to have more, you reach for another
bite, marveling at how great it tastes.
More bites, then still more, and soon itís gone. But did you
really notice the rest of the food? Initially, you appreciated
its flavor and texture, but then you stopped paying attention
and simply ate until you finished it off.
Power of the first two bites
You may not realize it, but the first two bites of any food will
always have the most flavor. If you keep eating after that,
youíre just ďfeeding.Ē Of course, if youíre physically hungry,
eating more of the food serves a purpose.
But if youíre wanting to appreciate the flavor, no matter how
much you eat, the taste wonít get any more wonderful than
those first two bites. Instead of always taking in lots of extra
calories, why not take advantage of the way your taste buds
With any food that you love, eat the first two bites very slowly,
noticing details such as the cinnamon in the apple pie or the
soft caramel swirl in the cheesecake. Close your eyes and
delight in the taste. Allow yourself to completely absorb the
texture and flavor of the food.
Is it worth eating more?
After you finish those two bites, decide if you truly need more.
In most cases, you donít. Once in a while, a food will taste so
phenomenal that itís worth the mountain of calories and fat
grams it contains. But in reality, very few types of candy,
cookies or even cheesecake fit into that category.
Suppose youíre eating one of your favorite desserts such as
a chocolate brownie. When you really pay close attention to
the taste, you may decide this one isnít as special as youíd
anticipated. If thatís the case, stop eating. Tell yourself youíve
gotten what you needed from it. Then either toss or give
away the rest so you arenít tempted to eat something that
just isnít all that great.
ē Choose one of your favorite foods such carrot cake,
then focus on all the details and tastes of the first
two bites. Let yourself appreciate the flavors.
ē After the first two bites, stop eating and get rid of
the rest of the food. In your notebook, write down
the details about this experience.
ē With each food you eat today, pay close attention
to the first two bites. Notice how they taste in
comparison to the rest of the food.
When youíre feeling stressed or sad or lonely, food does
seem to make you feel better. At least initially, it calms
your anger or anxiety and lifts your spirits. But how long
does food keep working?
As you know, the first two bites of any food have the most
impact on your taste buds. But theyíre also the only ones
that have any emotional power! Once you finish those first
bites, youíll have received whatever benefits the food can do
for you. Eating more of it simply wonít bring you additional
satisfaction or make you feel any better.
After a long, stressful day, Kathy grabbed a pint of chocolate
cherry ice cream from the freezer, then sank into her couch.
As she ate the ice cream straight from the carton, she kept
thinking, ďMaybe this is the bite that will do it.Ē Of course, it
never worked. She just felt worse.
If youíre eating as a way to feel nurtured or calmed, youíll
usually experience some level of those feelings right away.
But continuing to eat wonít bring any more satisfaction or
make you feel better and better. In fact, at some point, youíll
probably start to feel frustrated and disappointed with your
behavior instead of being healed by the food.
Once you understand that eating more wonít continue to
improve your emotional state, you can actually use this in
your favor. With a little effort, you can train yourself to feel
better after eating only a small amount of nurturing food.
Do you tend to always clean your plate? As a child, were
you told you should never waste food? Unfortunately,
old rules about eating all of your food can ruin your diet plan.
Think about where you first heard those clean-your-plate
messages. When you were growing up, did people around
you cringe if food was wasted? Were you praised for eating it
all? Maybe you were taught that leaving food behind wasnít
fair to the starving children in the world.
Of course, not wasting food makes total sense. In some cases,
you can prevent having too much food in the first place by
cooking smaller amounts or sharing meals at restaurants.
But even with careful planning, sometimes youíll be stuck
with extra food you donít need. Eventually, you have to learn
to manage leftovers without eating all of them.
Itís wasted anyway
The eat-it-all rule is one of the hardest ones for most people
to break. But when you fill your car with gas, you donít keep
pumping after the tank is full, spilling the fuel on the ground.
So why would you do this with your body?
Hereís a new way to look at those old rules around cleaning
Every time you eat food your body doesnít need,
you are wasting it!
So now you have a choice. You can get rid of leftover food by
throwing it away or by eating it. Either way, itís wasted.