I remember reading an article a while back about how a diet made up of a small variety of food can lead to faster weight loss (think Jared Fogle from Subway). People who varied their diet more tended to take the weight off slower. I am definitely in the camp of very varied diet (very healthy, but varied). I love to explore new flavors everyday…you could say that is what I live for. So, on January 1, I set out to lose weight. Yikes! I can attest to the findings of this study. The days I didn’t vary my diet I lost more weight, and the days where my palate was tantalized, I didn’t lose anything.
This led me to think how powerful our taste buds are, especially for someone like me who lives for flavor. Even though I had more success losing weight when I ate the same type of food, I felt like a dull person. It amazes me that my taste buds could be the driving force behind my moods and how I felt about myself. I could feel my palate start to atrophy and whither away on the no variety diet plan. This created a situation that when I did eat something new, my mood spiked to a new high and it was springtime in my mouth—a refreshing and exhilarating experience for my taste buds.
I’m not here with an easy plan to “lose 50 pounds in 10 days.” I’m here to preach the holistic benefits of pleasing your taste buds. So, if you are trying to lose weight, stick to the diet with less variety. But, if you’re in maintenance mode, I would recommend exercising your palate. Don’t get into a funk where you only drink “light, innocuous Pinot Grigios.” Of course, it’s okay to have a favorite, but I would implore you to build new flavor experiences, it will feed your overall happiness…. I promise!
Checklist for exercising your taste buds:
Angela Camacho, a certified sommelier and author of a best selling wine tool, The Wine Wheel®, shares her obsession with wine and food.