The Happiness Diet

How would you like to enjoy your food much more while consuming far fewer calories?

How would you like to enjoy your food much more while consuming far fewer calories?

Now, before I go any further I must say that I am not a dietician. I don’t even play a dietician on TV. But I do know a thing or two about Happiness. I can tell you that most people eat their food mindlessly, not truly tasting their food. I can also tell you that studies have shown that your enjoyment between your first and second bite of food plummets significantly (Martin Seligman, Authentic Happiness). By the time you get to bites three and four, your mind is probably drifting to the day ahead or the day behind. So you are consuming a lot of food (and calories) with minimal pleasure. Why not try the Happiness Diet? I suppose we could also call it the Mindfulness Diet. Before you partake, look at your food. Notice the details, the contours, the difference from one side of the food to the other. If you won’t be breaking any major laws of protocol, touch your food. Close your eyes. “Listen” with your fingers. Once you have thoroughly examined your cuisine, take a bite of food and savor it. What is its texture on your tongue? Is your tongue having different experiences on the tip vs. the top vs. the sides? Though I am not a doctor either, it is widely known that different parts of the tongue experience food in different ways (see this article on Thinkquest on taste). Is there a smell that wafts from your food? Be sure to savor the aroma as well. You get the idea. There are five senses – use them. Experience the food. Simply by being mindful, you could experience more flavor in one bite than you could otherwise enjoy in an entire meal.

Savoring life experiences is just one of twelve Happiness Habits dished up by Sonja Lyubomirsky in her book, The How of Happiness. Buy it here and/or read my review here. Join us for Happiness 101 to learn how to enjoy life more with a fraction of the effort.

Frank Clayton
Licensed Professional Counselor

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