Do Foods Taste Better When They are Forbidden?

love2eatinpa, 01 February 2010, 14 comments
Categories: Day to Day Stuff
Tags: , , ,

Is it my imagination or do foods taste better when they are “forbidden” and you are sort of sneaking them, as opposed to outright planning and giving yourself permission to eat a treat?

For the past few days, in an effort to put on some of the weight that I lost while sick, I had carte blanche to indulge in some sweet treats that I typically would never get. Treats from back in the old binging days. I was stoked to have this rare opportunity to eat my old favs.

For some reason, none of the items tasted as good as I remembered, so it was kind of disappointing.

Have my taste buds changed in the past two years? Has my memory of how good these treats were somehow changed? Did I build their deliciousness factor up too much in my mind? Or is it just the fact that when you allow yourself to eat a beloved food from your past that it’s not nearly as good when you had to plot/scheme/sneak the food?

Has that ever happened to you? You finally got your hands on some food you haven’t allowed yourself to eat in a while and then it turned out not to be as good as your remembered?

One Day at a Time... Nurture myself... Awareness... Letting Go... Listen to my Body

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Comments

14 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Michelle@Eatingjourney
    01 February 2010, 6:34 pm

    Hotdogs, chips, a lot of processed crap that I used to love isn’t as exciting to me anymore.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    isn’t that weird how that happened?

    [Reply]

  2. Stephanie
    02 February 2010, 11:55 am

    I think it’s the emotional charge that gives food its power. When we’re not using it to medicate we realize it’s just…food…and not as exciting as we thought.

    BODA weight loss

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    yes! the excitement of doing something “naughty” gives it more power. great point, stephanie, thanks!

    [Reply]

  3. Lara
    02 February 2010, 12:28 pm

    Yes, very true. It really is all so mental. When something is forbidden it makes you want it even more and then on top of that I think something must be going on in the brain that makes it taste 10x better or has you convinced it is better than it is. Cravings have a strong neurological component i.e. in research experiments they have found that overeaters actually have more brain activity in the area associated with pleasure/reward when they even think about their favorite foods.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    great points, lara, thanks! glad to know that it’s not just me and that in fact there is some scientific data to back it up! and yes, that makes perfect sense with the Intuitive Eating concept.

    [Reply]

  4. Lara
    02 February 2010, 12:28 pm

    Oh and I guess this is a big part behind Intuitive Eating and “legalizing” all foods.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    it all makes so much sense now!

    [Reply]

  5. Mary Kate
    02 February 2010, 3:59 pm

    yes! when it isn’t forbidden it loses its appeal. Cake used to be my ‘weakness’ but it wasn’t after everything was legal. It is like we put labels on different foods and they become that….if that makes sense. when we take off the labels they are just food. Even my ‘trigger’ foods just became ‘food’ during my recovery.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    it makes total sense, mary kate. i’m beginning to see that this is the case and it’s such an odd feeling for me. my therapist says it’s all in how you frame things so it seems right that forbidden foods loose their appeal once you stop looking at them as being forbidden.

    [Reply]

  6. Holly
    03 February 2010, 12:50 pm

    Definitely! You know it’s funny, because for a couple of years I “gave up” peanut butter. I just didn’t allow myself to eat it, and it’s one of my favorite foods! Now I eat it EVERY morning with my oats. And I tell you what, every single bite of it I take….it’s like the best stuff on earth! I think I still have it in the back of my head that it’s “forbidden” somehow, even though it’s not….

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    pb has good protein in it!
    i think that’s why i eat chocolate every day. it is the best stuff on earth and if i deprived myself of it, it would be binge-city for me.
    but those special go-to treats i used to eat before i became binge-free, i still think of them as forbidden (too fattening, too many calories) and i need to get out of that mode. it’s so bizarre that they let me down once i allowed myself to have them.

    [Reply]

  7. Jess
    07 February 2010, 3:07 pm

    Oooh, this is a good one because I had the exact opposite reaction.

    Last November, I got my hands on a real 100% maple candy Santa. It was within my food plan (I was abstinent about a month by then), and I had decades of good memories about maple sugar candy. I even had a positive memory of the maple sugar candy I binged on when I went to Montreal in 2008. So, it had been a year since I had the stuff.

    I took that first bite, and it was too sweet. Instead of gobbling it down and wishing for more (as I usually did), I ate about half and put it away. A few hours later, I finished it and made myself queasy and my mouth ache from the sweet. When I was offered another one for Christmas by my husband (when he saw a local store had them), I asked him not to get me one. The thought of it makes me queasy, still, and I don’t think that’s going away soon.

    Just about everything I fantasized about never tasted as good as I had fantasized. Now that I have a “not worth the calories” attitude, things I once gravitated to almost magnetically don’t have that draw. And if they do, I know I’ve probably let myself get too hungry or am feeling overwrought or tense about something.

    Though . . . I do have to say that one thing nearly hits the mark every time–brand-name chocolate sandwich cookies (generics are inedible to me because there’s not enough of the dark chocolate/espresso coffee flavor in the cookie). So, I don’t have them often and am considering taking them out of the equation like roasted-in-the-shell peanuts and halvah.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    first of all, i just read your comment on yum yucky. you moved me with your kind words, thanks, jess.
    i think it took for me to eat those cherished-in-my-head items to get to that place you are, that i am not so interested in the foods that are kinda forbidden because it never seems to taste as good as in the head fantasy.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply:

Name *

Mail (hidden) *

Website

CommentLuv badge