Are you always hungry? Do you find it almost impossible to stop thinking about food? Do you often find that you are not really satisfied with your meals? I have met lots of clients who find it almost impossible to stick to healthy eating or weight loss diets simply because they are always hungry. After talking to a young lady a few weeks ago I came to the realisation that actually the principles in Ayurveda of taste can be the answer to this problem in most weight loss plans. The young lady was telling me that actually, when she eats a packet of crisps, what she is really wanting is the lovely strong salty flavours that come from the crisps. Why does she crave that salty taste? Why do I sometimes crave the sweetness of cake or chocolate? More often than not, unless you are actually genuinely hungry, it's the taste, not the substance, that you desire. But why? Here's the Ayurvedic view.
There are six tastes in Ayurveda and they all have different effects on our body and mind. These tastes are sweet, sour, salt, spice, bitter and astringent and they all play various roles in our health. Here is just a very brief outline although there are numerous effects from each taste on the body and mind, negative and positive.
Sweet is the flavour of strength and energy. It's the flavour of love and sharing and it gives us comfort. In excess it creates mucus, obesity and congestion. Sour is heating in the body and stimulates the digestion. Salt is grounding for the nervous system and creates stability, hence "salt of the earth". Spice warms and detoxifies. Bitter, the taste that is massively underused today, drains excess fluid and cleanses the system. Many medicinal herbs are very bitter to taste. Astringent holds tissues together and reduces congestion because it's drying. It stops leakage of body fluids and excess bleeding and it reduces inflammation. These tastes have effects on the body and the mind also and so to ensure good health it is important to take notice of these tastes.
So back to the young lady who said she just loved the strong salty taste of crisps even if she wasn't genuinely hungry; that's because her diet is probably not including enough variety of the six essential tastes. And a diet that is lacking in nutrients is generally lacking in these tastes. In my experience with my clients it is the bitter taste that is lacking and that leads to cravings for sweet and salt, and we all know that the foods that we should be trying to eat less of these days are loaded with the tastes sweet and salt. So it's a vicious circle.
So if you struggle to feel satisfied with what you are eating then take a look at the tastes you are including in your diet. If you keep wanting crisps or sweets, your body is probably crying out for something that it's not getting. If you feel constantly hungry then your body is crying out for nourishment, not calories.
In my nutrition work with my clients a lot of focus is on ensuring that their diet has the right balance of the six tastes. This way of eating improves health, ensures a person feels satisfied with the foods that they are eating and allows them to finally get to grips with their weight. Please don't hesitate to contact me to learn more. Feel free to give me a ring or send me an email. I offer a free 20 minutes no obligation consultation.
Tel: 07756 624264