Eating with our Ears

4 Mar

Yup, you heard me right.

Eating with our ears. Hear me out on this one.

The scenario:

We’ve all been there.

You get home from work after an hour in traffic and you’re starving. Straight to the fridge you march and POOF!, two cheese sticks, a turkey leg, AND half a pint of ice cream magically disappear into the abyss of your grumbling stomach. All before you’ve even had a chance to sit down!

We all need to train ourselves to eat more mindfully and let ourselves completely enjoy what we’re putting into our bodies (and mouths!).  Actually tasting your food, taking small bites, drinking water in between, and giving your brain the time to process the “I’M FULL” signals are ways to do so.

However, a lot of eating mindfully and with enjoyment is all about setting up our environment for success! Did you know that you can use music to contribute to that success?

Anyone who has known me for more than 5 minutes knows what a pivotal role music plays in my life. It’s in my work, it’s in my play; it’s in every bone in my body. I am the first one to organize who’s bringing music to the dinner party or kickball game. I believe that it is essential to set the mood with music in any given situation. If you’ve ruled out meal times for a time to listen to your new Spotify or Itunes playlist, think again.

This article that I stumbled upon explains research in a fine dining atmosphere. What they found is that to the subjects, ” food tasted nicest when served with quiet classical music and a hint of background ‘chatter’.”  While this was just one experiment performed in a fine restaurant, it still gives us cues for how to create this situation at home. Take a look:

Next time you sit down to dinner, play some relaxing music to get you in the mood. Making a “dinner playlist” or using internet radio sites like Pandora are easy ways to simplify doing so. Whether it is Sinatra who gives you the warm-and-fuzzies or it’s Jay-Z that melts your butter, throw on those tunes and start eating with more enjoyment.

Do you eat with your ears? What are some musical selections that help you enjoy your meals and eat more mindfully?

Until next time,



12 Responses to “Eating with our Ears”

  1. obesyclist March 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    Very cool! I had no idea you blogged about mindfulness (it happens to be my dissertation topic). I had heard of “eating mindfully” before (e.g., the mindfulness exercise of eating a raisin) but usually fall into the category you mention at the start of the post (mindlessly raiding the fridge, haha).

    • Health Coach Meg March 5, 2012 at 3:20 am #

      Yup! Unfortunately, I think most of us fall into that category from time to time :/

  2. Tara Woodruff ~ The Challenge March 8, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    Making parts of our life more ‘ritualistic’ or Mindful, we have a much better experience! Classical Music is a fantastic way to set background for almost any activity. Thank you!

  3. thebestme4me March 8, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    Following along, Meg! I’m a big proponent of planning and prepping food! I don’t walk into my house hungry without a healthy option to fall back on! Saves me a ton of calories plus takes the “thinking” out of what to eat!

    • Health Coach Meg March 15, 2012 at 1:28 am #

      That is so fantastic! I think that is so important for us to make it easier on ourselves whenever possible. Planning is definitely a part of that to set ourselves up for success.

  4. primalbeergeek March 21, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    This is a cool topic. I had heard several times that you shouldn’t eat in front of the TV or computer to be more mindful of what you are eating, but hadn’t heard about having music on. Perhaps there should be a pandora channel that blends classical music with the other background noise from a restaurant.

    • Health Coach Meg March 22, 2012 at 1:59 am #

      I think you’re onto something with the Pandora idea 🙂

  5. eastbaymomma March 22, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    Super great post! I am going to take your advice. And reblog it!!

  6. eastbaymomma March 22, 2012 at 5:32 am #

    Reblogged this on Losing That Pregnancy Weight (and then some) and commented:
    What great advice this is! I remember the first time I lost 100lbs my husband and I would sit down at the dining room table, look out at the sunset and listen to music. Now with the baby we eat on the couch, usually with me breast-feeding at the same time LOL! But, this is inspiring to try for a dinner at the dinnertable with some great background music in the very near future…

    • Health Coach Meg March 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

      Thanks for the reblog! Good luck with your sit down dinner. Not only is it important to do this for our eating habits, but it’s also a great time to catch up with our families and enjoy each other’s company 🙂

  7. The Big Scout Project March 23, 2012 at 4:41 am #

    Great wisdom, Meg! I never thought of this. Like so many people, my husband and I usually eat in front of the TV (the news, no less — probably not good for the digestion!). And I often eat at my computer. It really is high time to return to food as a full sensory experience.

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