Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Quality vs. quantity

One of the things I love about Intuitive Eating is the idea that satisfaction and pleasure are important tenants of the philosophy, arguably even more important than actual nutrition.  That may sound counter-intuitive...how can you place pleasure above nutrition and expect to be healthy and fit?  Here's how: When you experience satisfaction in your eating, you tend to need less.  Satisfaction means eating what you truly want, and allowing yourself to enjoy the experience of eating it.  When you eat what you think you should eat, you might get the same amount of calories, but you won't feel satisfied, leading you to look for satisfaction elsewhere, which could result in overeating.

This article talks about how foods we would traditionally think of as "off-limits" in a healthy diet can actually be enjoyed regularly (and, I don't know about you, but the way they describe the foods in the article totally made me drool!).  By using quality ingredients, preparing the food with care, and truly paying attention to the food you're eating (also known as mindful eating), you can absolutely include these foods as part of a balanced diet.  It reminds me of the experience I wrote about of eating chocolate beignets in San Francisco.  Had I been eating a pre-packaged donut, I very likely would have finished it, while the freshly-made beignets, which were likely made with high-quality ingredients, satisfied me in just a few bites.  

So, instead of worrying about calories and fat in the foods you eat, try to focus more on flavor, and the quality of the ingredients used in making the food.  You may find that, when you allow yourself to actually taste and savor these rich foods, you end up eating less of them, as opposed to filler foods made with lower-quality ingredients, which are easier to fill up on without feeling true satisfaction.  Including some decadent foods in your diet may actually be the best thing you do for your health.  

What are some deliciously rich foods you include in your diet?  Do you notice the difference in satisfaction when you eat them?  I'd love to hear from you!  Feel free to leave a comment below.


  1. Hi Lisa! I would rather take small nibbles on a small piece of a good dark chocolate(like Grandpa Eric's & Uncle Ralph's)than eat a bag of M&Ms. My co-workers don't understand. I enjoy every morsel this way. :=) Great blog. I'll be checking back. Diane

  2. Thanks, Diane! I absolutely agree. Savoring a quality piece of chocolate is a whole different experience vs. something like M&Ms! Like you said, a small piece might suffice, rather than needing a whole bag. Great example!