23 Nov

If you don't like eating healthy most probably is because of your palate. 

If that's the case, I have great news for you! You can actually retrain your palate to enjoy foods you currently don't like or enjoy.

I know you have the best intentions when it comes to changing your eating habits. You're really trying your best at choosing better options, adjusting your portion sizes and making smarter choices. However, you might notice that it's really hard to swap certain foods, and even though you try it, you can't avoid them.

If you are used to eating hyper-palatable foods, you're likely not finding enough palate stimulation or joy in nutrient rich foods because you might perceive them as more "blend", even though they can be very rich in flavour as well.

It's well known that hyper-palatable foods promote excessive energy intake and it might be one of the reasons why you struggle building healthier eating habits.

Your mind and body like comfort. What is known is easier, our mind and body are already adapted to it. Taste preferences can be changed by repeated exposure and practice.

Like in training, when you start doing an exercise it might feel hard, but after a while it turns out to get easier and you feel the need to make it more challenging to meet your new expectations. This adaptation is achieved through repetition. In the same way it can be applied to your eating habits.

But Maria, what are some of the most common hyper-palatable foods?

Hyper-palatable foods are the foods that have a high content and combination of salt, fats, carbohydrates and sugar to make them more attractive for the palate and enhance consumption. Often, (not always) they are what we commonly known as processed foods and fast foods. 

Some of these foods are: 

  • Potatoe chips 
  • Corn chips
  • Fries 
  • Candy 
  • Pizza 
  • Burgers
  • Cupcakes
  • Ice cream
  • Cakes
  • Donuts
  • Many different fried items
  • Many different sweet items

A few steps to start to retrain your palate:

1. Play around with seasoning: Cook your meals with different spices that don't come with extra salt or sugar to help make your meals more attractive to your palate. 

2. Maintain a low variety: The analysis of a number of studies that examined the effect of increasing the variety of foods on intake, led to the conclusion that "repeated presentation of the same foods over several meals or days results in sharply declining palatability ratings and reduced food intake." 

3. Flavour your water with pieces of fruit.

4. Cut portions in half: Eat the half bag of chips instead of the full thing. 

5. Reduce the consumption of charcuterie and cheese.

6. Cook more at home





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