How to enjoy your food more

Posted on March 24, 2015

Photo: flickr

These days, food has become a fetish, and some social psychologists have joined the fun. Instead of concentrating solely on how to limit intake, they've come up with a range of strategies intended to help people get more enjoyment out of their food. I was interested in learning more about how to make a weekday dinner a more pleasurable experience, so I called Carey Morewedge, a social psychologist at Boston University who studies the hedonics, or pleasure dimensions, of experiences like eating, watching television, and going on vacation.

Morewedge said that when it comes to enjoying food more, there are two impulses we need to figure out how to short-circuit. The first is "habituation," which has to do with the way we get tired of even our favorite foods if we eat them too often, and the second is "satiation," which leads us to enjoy a given food less and less over the course of a serving. "If I track my average enjoyment of each chip, if it eat five my average is going to be much higher than if I eat fifteen," Morewedge says. With that in mind, Morewedge offers these "tips" for enjoying food more.

One of the ways is to eat multiple kinds of food in a single sitting. The small plates craze is not so crazy: There's less overall pleasure in a single 1000-calorie burrito than there is in cycling between a number of different dishes. Similarly, there are hedonic gains to be had in ordering different meals and swapping plates with a companion halfway through.

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Source material from Boston Globe