Satisfaction Factor

#10 - Intuitive Eating Deep Dive: Discover the Satisfaction Factor

December 01, 2021 Naomi Katz & Sadie Simpson
Satisfaction Factor
#10 - Intuitive Eating Deep Dive: Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Show Notes Transcript

This week, Naomi & Sadie do a deep dive into Intuitive Eating Principle #5 - Discover the Satisfaction Factor. This principle is all about recognizing that food can actually be pleasurable! Our entry point into ditching diets is often the concept that food is fuel, and the earlier principles of Intuitive Eating help us to embrace that entry point and honor our biological needs for food. But this principle is where we start to move past that entry point to see food as so much more than fuel. It’s an emotional, social, cultural, and sensory experience that is deeply human and personal. In this episode we discuss: why this principle is considered to be the “hub” of Intuitive Eating; why distinguishing nutrition and nourishment is an important part of this work; how it can be challenging to tune into satisfaction with eating when we don’t really even know what kinds of foods we like and don’t like anymore due to dieting; how this principle helps us personalize our relationship to food by honoring our social, cultural, and personal preferences; the ways pleasure can be a form of body respect; the ways that oppressive systems benefit from disconnecting us from pleasure; and how we can cultivate autonomy by using pleasure as a guide to letting go of rules that don’t serve us. Plus, why we love the idea of viewing food as satisfying and pleasurable so much that we decided to name our podcast after this Intuitive Eating principle!

You can stay up to date on all things Satisfaction Factor by following us on IG @satisfactionfactorpod!

And enrollment is officially open for the 2022 cohort of Nourish & Bloom, Naomi's 40-week group Intuitive Eating workshop for free-thinking grown-ups who want to reject diet culture & cultivate resilience! You can get all the details, including pricing & the full curriculum, at  www.happyshapes.co/nourishandbloom!

Here's where to find us:
Sadie Simpson: www.sadiesimpson.com or IG @thesadiesimpson
Naomi Katz: www.happyshapes.co or IG @happyshapesnaomi

For this episode's transcript, visit: www.satisfactionfactorpod.com

This episode references:
adrienne maree brown
Pleasure Activism

Naomi Katz:

Welcome to Satisfaction Factor, the podcast where we explore how ditching diet culture makes our whole lives more satisfying. Hey, everyone. Welcome back to Satisfaction Factor. I'm Naomi Katz, an Intuitive Eating, body image, and self trust coach, providing anti diet support to free thinking grownups who want to reclaim their autonomy and consent from diet culture.

Sadie Simpson:

I'm Sadie Simpson, an anti diet group fitness instructor and Intuitive Eating counselor, and I help other fitness professionals disengage from diet culture so they can improve program enrollment, engagement, impact, and retention without shame and manipulation.

Naomi Katz:

So welcome back to our Intuitive Eating deep dive series. This is the fifth episode in this series. And before we dive into our topic for today, I want to just give a heads up that Nourish & Bloom enrollment is officially open now. So Nourish & Bloom is a 40 week workshop based on the Intuitive Eating framework. We use the framework to explore topics related to obviously Intuitive Eating, but also the system of diet culture, cultivating autonomy, and building body respect. We spend four weeks on each principle, so it's a pretty deep dive into the nuances of each one. You get 40 weekly emails, 10 group Q&A and coaching calls, and there's an option to add on the Voxer messaging app for some one on one support as we go through this work, if needed, as well. The workshop itself actually starts on January 3 of 2022 - so that's the first Monday in January. But like I said, enrollment is open now. This workshop is really for people who maybe are brand new to Intuitive Eating and want to learn in a supportive environment, but it's also for people who are maybe somewhat familiar with Intuitive Eating- you know, maybe they've read the book, or done the workbook, or, I don't know, listened to a podcast series- and, you know, they just want a container to dig deeper into how to apply these principles to their own lives. The 2021 cohort, which was the first group of this, was pretty small, and I really enjoyed that. So to keep it that way, I am capping enrollment for this 2022 cohort at 15 people. It is priced for accessibility, and there's also two scholarship spots for folks holding marginalized identities or in financial need. That's no questions asked, you just have to let me know you want to claim one of them. But you can get all the details about this, including the full curriculum, the full pricing. and the link to enroll at happyshapes.co/nourishandbloom.

Sadie Simpson:

I love that we're doing this podcast series about Intuitive Eating to create awareness around this framework, and you're giving people the opportunity to enroll in Nourish & Bloom to kind of do some more of this personal work. Because it's one thing to listen and to learn- and although that is super important, creating awareness around things like Intuitive Eating- to really have the chance to kind of dig deep, and to work with a coach, and to have involvement with a group is really, really helpful. And something I sure wish I would have had whenever I first learned about Intuitive Eating, so I'm just really excited about it.

Naomi Katz:

Oh my gosh, thank you. And I totally feel the same way. You know, I didn't work with a coach, or like have any support or structure going through this stuff when I did it myself. And it's totally fine. Like people can do it that way. But it certainly would have made things a whole lot easier for me. So this week, we are talking about Intuitive Eating principle number five, discover the satisfaction factor. Hint hint- there's a reason we chose this as the name for our podcast. So I love this principle because it is like outrageous in the context of diet culture. It's like- there is no real equivalent to it within diet culture. The idea that food could be enjoyable and that eating could be a pleasurable experience is just wild. I guess the closest thing that we actually see within the context of diet culture is when people talk about something being satisfying, or the idea of eating until satisfied. But they're literally only talking about whether something has physically sated your hunger cues. They're in no way talking about like sensory satisfaction, and they are most definitely not talking about pleasure.

Sadie Simpson:

This principle can also be a really big turning point when you're practicing Intuitive Eating, partly because it's when we do get to find pleasure and enjoyment with food, and partly because it's when we can start moving past the idea of food as fuel. And in the last couple of principles that we talked about- especially in honoring your hunger, recognizing hunger cues, and learning to eat in response to those cues- is the most important first step in Intuitive Eating, is something that has to be done. But that's a very biological thing. And it's based around the idea that you have to eat to live, and you have to eat enough to support your life, and just your daily activities, and daily living. And after a lifetime of always being told to eat less, that's a big part of this process. But it misses pleasure, and it still doesn't recognize food as a sensory experience. It keeps food in this realm of obligation, rather than enjoyment. And in principle three, when we talked about making peace with food, we start exploring the practice of eating foods that we find enjoyable. But even then, it's mostly in the service of making foods feel safe after years of believing that certain foods might be unsafe, and it's less about seeking pleasure.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I- I'm also really excited that we're like having this conversation about pleasure, because it's like- like food- food can be fun.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

It doesn't have to just be- and you know, we talk about food as fuel, and we've mentioned that in one of our earlier episodes, too, about like an entry point to doing this work. And I think that that's, you know, certainly true here- like why we do honoring your hunger before we get to this point- like we all have to have an entry point. And it's so cool to move past that entry point. So it's actually really interesting, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch consider satisfaction to be the hub of Intuitive Eating. So what that means is that connecting with satisfaction will strengthen our work in the other principles, and that our work on the other principles will also deepen our experiences of satisfaction. So I mean, if you think about it, that kind of makes sense. You know, recognizing and valuing pleasure and satisfaction are going to help with feeling fullness, and with honoring hunger, and with making peace with food. And honestly, even with making sure that gentle nutrition doesn't become sort of another diet. And in the other way, rejecting the diet mentality, making peace with food, challenging the food police, all of those things are going to help us to be able to recognize and value pleasure. And I should point out that I definitely have a tendency to use satisfaction and pleasure like interchangeably when I talk about this principle. Sadie, I don't know about you. But it's just because I think that it's helpful to make those things synonymous when we have this conversation so that we don't fall into that diet culture concept of satisfaction as just like, oh, I'm not hungry.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, I've never really honestly even thought about it. But yeah, I think I probably do use satisfaction and pleasure interchangeably when I am talking about this. But it's important, I think, to recognize that both of these things can be ways we describe how we feel about what we eat.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, totally. So that whole thing about satisfaction being the hub of Intuitive Eating, and how it works to connect us with the other principles, and then it also, you know, other principles help deepen our experiences of satisfaction- that kind of reciprocity, and that, like central concept of satisfaction, is also very much the reason why we chose this for the title of our podcast. Because connecting to satisfaction and pleasure in our relationship to food can help us find those things in our lives outside of food, too. And we'll definitely talk more about how that works later.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, and I think it's interesting to note about this principle, it used to be principle number six in older versions of the Intuitive Eating book, and feel your fullness, which is something that we'll cover next week, used to be principle five. And in 2020, they re-released a newer version of Intuitive Eating, and they changed the order of things in the newer version. And again, we talk about Intuitive Eating being more of a dynamic process and not necessarily steps. There was a reason why they changed the order of these principles, and that was really to emphasize the importance of sensory satisfaction, and not just the physical sensation of fullness. That's just really important for us to point out and to recognize because it's an indication of how our ability to tune into our eating and- and how we experience satisfaction can also help us understand and recognize fullness when that time comes, too. So again, that goes back to that whole idea of satisfaction being the hub of all of these principles.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I love that they made this switch. Honestly, I think that the whole conversation around fullness is different when we have already had the conversation about satisfaction and pleasure. And you know, next week when we talk about fullness, I'm sure we'll see that play out.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes.

Naomi Katz:

So, for me, this is where we start making the distinction between nutrition and nourishment. Nutrition is basically just the math of food. It's the calories and the nutrients. You know, like we said, it's that concept of food as fuel. And it's literally the only part about food that diet culture cares about. Pleasure is not part of this equation. If anything, pleasure is seen as something that detracts from nutrition a lot of the time, or at least within the context of diet culture. Pleasure is something that you have to earn through deprivation, or punishment, or being good- whatever that means, or it's something that has to be reserved for special occasions, holidays, birthdays, cheat days, whatever. What it comes down to is that the things that give us pleasure, within the context of diet culture, are considered cheating on nutrition. They're like outside of the equation. Nourishment is a much bigger thing. It's the emotional, and social, and cultural, and sensory aspects of food. It's not just math. It's not just data. It's like a deeply human and personal thing. And it's very different for everyone, because of the fact that it's deeply human and personal. You know, we don't all feel nostalgia for the same foods. We don't all have cultural connections to the same foods. And this is, you know, one of those areas where it's super important to see how diet culture like whitewashes health food, and what that means to people. Again, that's like, basically cutting the nourishment aspect out of that conversation. And it's interesting, we don't even all have the same sensory experiences of the same foods. So like, a really common example of that is like, depending on- I think it's like a genetic thing- cilantro tastes like soap to some people.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes. Does it taste like soap to you?

Naomi Katz:

It doesn't. But it does taste like that to my mom.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, you didn't inherit that genetic trait?

Naomi Katz:

I did not, fortunately. I have- I have a husband who is from New Mexico, and we eat a lot of New Mexican and Mexican food as a result. And that involves a lot of cilantro. So it would really suck if I had that one.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

But you know, the point is that for- like all of these other levels of experience, like when we get beyond the math, are very individualized to us as people. Now nobody is saying that we want to ignore the nutrition aspect. Like that's not the point here. But contrary to what we learn in diet culture, we can't ignore the nourishment part either. When we're looking to build a healthy relationship with food, we have to look at both sides of this.

Sadie Simpson:

When we're talking about finding pleasure and satisfaction with food, one of the first things we can do is to start figuring out what we actually like, and what we don't like. And I know this seems really simple and really basic. But after a lifetime of eating in accordance with a diet plan, in accordance with diet culture rules, it's really common to not really even know what we like and what we don't like when it comes to food. And maybe we've been telling ourselves that we don't like certain things because we're not supposed to like them. And maybe we have been pretending to like things because we think that we are supposed to like them. So maybe you have been convinced that you can't eat certain things or keep certain foods in the house because you love them so much that you'll binge on those foods. But in reality, you might not really even like them all that much. And that's something we talked about last month in the making peace with food episode. Or maybe you have been assuming that you're emotionally eating things that you do really like, but it's really because you think that that's the only time you're allowed to seek comfort or nourishment in food. We tend to feel like we have to justify eating specific foods because we are eating them emotionally, and we use emotional eating as a justification for eating things like ice cream, and cake, and cookies. And we don't have to do that. And we can get into that a whole lot more whenever we talk about emotional eating, and the ins and outs of that, but just a little teaser for that episode. Regardless of which form it's taken, all of these are manifestations of a disconnection to what we actually like and what we don't like, when it comes to eating food.

Naomi Katz:

It's so interesting how just living a life in diet culture can disconnect us from even like the simplest thing of do I like this or do I not like this. I actually think that the big question- like the big thing to take note of when we're going through this principle- is like when we're coming up against a preference, and when we're coming up against diet culture. And I can give a couple of examples of that, like from my own life, and like each of these examples sort of encapsulates a different reason- like a different diet culture narrative essentially. To start with- sweet potato fries versus regular fries. I think that's one that we have like all gone down the rabbit hole of at some point. I know I personally spent years convincing myself that I loved sweet potato fries, and that they were so much better than regular fries, because there's like a narrative about nutrition, and that sweet potatoes are more nutritious than regular potatoes. Which- side note- is not necessarily true. And- honestly, we probably won't go down that rabbit hole because it's just not super important in the scheme of things.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes.

Naomi Katz:

But the point is that there is a narrative about which one of these things has more nutrition, and that nutrition narrative was like fully overriding my actual sensory preference for regular fries. Because- PS- regular fries are totally the superior fries.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes they are.

Naomi Katz:

There's another way that this works. So for the longest time, I was completely convinced that I did not like sorbet.

Sadie Simpson:

Hmm.

Naomi Katz:

Right? And like, what a weird thing to like think you don't like. But I think what it was is that in my head sorbet was diet food. And it was like, if I was gonna eat like some kind of like cold dessert, why not just have ice cream. And so we can see diet culture showing up here as like rebellion against a like nutrition or health narrative. Once I've been able to sort of make peace with that, and step away from that like rebellion in that narrative, I've been able to realize like, hey, I actually really like sorbet, and like popsicles, and stuff like that. My stomach likes it better for one thing. And also like, it's not as heavy as ice cream, so sometimes it's just like a little bit more refreshing. Like, there's so many reasons why you might choose something that's not ice cream when you want like a frozen treat. But you have to get past the diet culture narrative- or in this case, the rebellion against it- to be able to figure that out. And the last one is, forever, I would like force myself to eat certain green vegetables that I hated- in this instance, I'm specifically thinking about mustard greens- because I had it in my head that- this was like an identity thing- I was a healthy person, and healthy people love all leafy green vegetables. And it was so interesting, because I do like spinach, I do like kale, I do like- it- like there are other- all kinds of leafy green vegetables that I do like, but I would force myself to eat even the ones that I didn't like, because I'm a healthy person, and this is what healthy people do. And it's like, no. I'm getting- it's not like I'm not getting nutrition from the other leafy greens. So yeah, really having to break out of that like identity of being of like, this is what healthy people do, and these like eating habits as an identity.

Sadie Simpson:

Well, I know on one of our first episodes, I mentioned that when I was a kid, I was super picky and only ate like five things, and one of those five things was spaghetti- regular spaghetti and like Prego spaghetti sauce from a jar. And that was like one of my go to meals. And as I got older, and started dieting, and started getting immersed in diet culture, there were many years where I would like not eat pasta, or it was only on special occasions- on holidays, when we went out to eat, you know- just only special times when I would allow myself to eat pasta. And when I started kind of bringing that back in to like the different foods that I ate, it started out as only being whole wheat pasta, or only being like fake pasta, like this edamame lentil vegetable pasta, or using spaghetti squash. Like I still couldn't get past that idea of eating like regular old enriched white pasta from a box at the grocery store. And really, it's probably only been in the past, I would say, two or three years, that I've really like embraced like regular pasta again. And I don't know. Now I find that that's something that I eat like every week, and I make a point to eat it because I love it so much. But I think that's another one that a lot of people have big hang ups with is things like white pasta and white bread, versus the quote unquote healthier things like whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread. And I even remember, gosh, not too long ago, we went to Subway, and I- like, I like whole wheat bread, I like rye bread, I like all different kinds of grainy breads- but if I'm going to get a sub at Subway, or somewhere like that, I want it on white bread. And they didn't have white bread. And I left. I was like, I don't want a sandwich if I can get it on white bread.

Naomi Katz:

Oh, I love that story for like, so many reasons. And like one of them is that when we start figuring out what we like and what we don't like, we also start prioritizing getting what we actually like- -and recognizing that that matters. Oh my god,

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. all of that stuff, I have- I've lived those same experiences, with like the pasta wars, and stuff like that. I, you know- I've posted on Instagram for a while now about my journey of reclaiming my love for bagels. Yes.

Naomi Katz:

And you know- and a big part of that was that, for a very long time, I was like, okay, I can get a bagel, but only if it's whole wheat, or multigrain, or something like that. Like that just was never what I actually wanted out of a bagel. And so- but I love bagels, and so, inevitably, I would get to a point where I would be like, I just don't care, I want a bagel, even if it's only whole wheat or multigrain. But now that I can eat bagels I actually like, oh my god, it's like my favorite thing.

Sadie Simpson:

So a good starting point to figuring all of this out is simply by giving some thought to specific sensory experiences that we enjoy, or we don't enjoy. And this is something that you can do from a general perspective, or something that you can do each time you make food selections. And again, this is kind of an assumptive thing, assuming that you do have the time, or the capacity, or the access, or whatever, to different foods, because sometimes that might not be an option. And when we think about sensory considerations, there's some obvious things to consider, like taste, smell, that type of thing. But some are a little bit less obvious. So thinking of things like texture, or temperature, or appearance, or even the volume of food. And sensory preferences- they might vary from day to day, or week to week, or season to season. Last week, you mentioned that soup was satisfying for you right now, and I think that's so relevant to this because it's starting to get cold, and we can find like pleasure and comfort in that warmth of this warm food sensory experience.

Naomi Katz:

That aligns with your like grilled cheese, too.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh my gosh.

Naomi Katz:

Like it's kind of the same thing. And so noticing that shifting as the season shifts, like that's totally part of this.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes, yes. And, if anybody out there is listening, if you've ever been pregnant, or even if you haven't, like experiencing like hormonal fluctuations, sometimes our sensory experiences with food can change, like based on some of those fluctuations. I know when I was pregnant- and you know, you always hear stories of people having cravings, and food aversions, and stuff when they're pregnant- but I could not stand the thought, or the idea, or the texture, the mouthfeel of any kind of grilled or baked chicken. And it's weird, because that's something that's like stuck with me pretty much like since then. And I think that's important to consider. Again, not necessarily just with pregnancy, but just with how like our preferences may change depending on what season of life we're in.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, totally. I think the temperature one is one that really sticks with me because like I know like when we hit like the hottest part of summer I'm like, can I please just eat popsicles and salad and like nothing else forever.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

You know, and then we start to get colder and it's like, oh, grilled cheese, pot pies, soup. Like all these like warm, cozy things. The pregnancy thing I totally hadn't even thought about, you know, like, for obvious reasons. But it's so funny because I think about like the people I know as they've gone through pregnancies, and it's interesting how it'll go the other way too. Like I know somebody who just for all her life hated bananas. It was like a running joke with us because I love them. And like she- she hated bananas, got pregnant, could not get enough bananas. Like, just loves them. And what's interesting is that the texture, I think, was one of the things that she really hated the most about them beforehand and like, has been totally fine with them ever since. Like, I think she actually still eats them. That something about- like during her pregnancy, having this experience with them, like shifted it for her moving forward too.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, God, so weird. Well I even know- one thing on that end of the spectrum- I'd never really drink orange juice before I was pregnant. And that's something I really craved. Like, I would chug orange juice. And it could have been some kind of vitamin deficiency thing. But ever since, I still really, really, really like orange juice. And I noticed that I really- like I need that quench of that like sweet flavor during certain like times in my cycle. So I'm like, is that a hormonal thing? I don't know, I need to research this. But it's just that taste- that sweet, cold taste of orange juice- it just is very satisfying for me, like during certain times of the month and throughout my entire pregnancy, which is kind of weird, but never really thought about that a lot until right now either.

Naomi Katz:

That is so interesting. And I think really speaks to how, again, satisfaction can help deepen our understanding and practice of other things. Like I mentioned earlier about how being in touch with our sense of satisfaction can help make it so that we don't turn things like gentle nutrition into a diet- it's interesting how we can even look at like maybe tuning into our satisfaction can help guide our gentle nutrition- like not even just like, oh, it prevents you from turning it into a diet, but like it actually maybe helps us tune in to our nutritional needs too.

Sadie Simpson:

Mm hmm.

Naomi Katz:

We'll definitely explore that a little bit more. You know, the other part of this work is to practice really tuning in to our eating experiences. So that's partly so that we can recognize what we like and what we don't like, but it's also in large part because it's really hard to truly feel pleasure or satisfaction if we're disconnected from the experience. So we talked a little bit about- for instance, like in making peace with food- how sometimes, when we're eating something out of rebellion, we're like very disconnected from the experience of eating it, and we don't even really get to enjoy it. So tuning into satisfaction- again, a little bit of reciprocity with one of these other principle- when we make peace with food, it helps so that we don't feel like we have to disconnect from our eating experience. And connecting to our eating experience can help us make sure that we are not eating out of rebellion. So what that looks like is sort of just staying tuned in to those same sensory experiences that maybe you considered when you were thinking about what you liked and what you didn't like. So like while you're eating, you're noticing the taste, the smell, the texture, the temperature, the appearance, like all of those other those things that we just talked about. You're also paying attention to mouthfeel, which is literally the way food feels in your mouth. You know, Sadie mentioned the mouthfeel of like baked or grilled chicken was like not her thing during pregnancy and like-

Sadie Simpson:

Or now.

Naomi Katz:

Right. And like it's a little bit different from texture. Texture tends to be more like what we're thinking of in terms of like crunchy, or smooth, or soft, or whatever. Mouthfeel is much more of like a- an, in the moment, what does this feel like in your mouth kind of a thing. So you know, noticing all of that stuff, and noticing if any of it changes as you're eating. So sometimes our sensory experiences of the food that we're eating change as we're eating them. And we'll talk a little bit more about why that happens in a little bit. And also noticing if you're having a hard time tuning into those things, because that awareness can help us identify when there's something else that might need some attention. Sort of along those lines, I think a lot of people talk about how, in order to eat mindfully- and by that we're talking about staying tuned into the eating experience, like we just talked about- we have to make sure that we're eating slowly and without distractions. And that sounds great on paper, but it's not necessarily realistic for everyone. And it's also maybe not necessary for everyone. I know in our house, we always eat with the TV on, but we don't find that it interferes with our enjoyment of our eating experience. In fact, I definitely know some people where having some kind of distraction actually makes them more able to tune into their eating experience because like they're particularly sensitive to, or distracted by, the sounds of other people eating. You could see how maybe having something else going on while you're eating, especially with other people, might actually make it better for you, as opposed to distracting you. All this to say, if you're not eating slowly, or if you're eating around what some people would consider distractions, you're not doing anything wrong. The key is to notice whether those things are interfering with your ability to tune in. But if they're not, then there's really no reason not to do them. You know, ultimately, the whole thing about Intuitive Eating is letting go of outside rules, and just figuring out what does or doesn't work for each of us individually, and that's definitely true here as well. Having said that, if you are finding that you're having a hard time tuning in, it's sometimes worth looking at things like your physical eating environment and your emotional eating environment to just sort of see what's going on.

Sadie Simpson:

And our physical eating environment covers pretty much everything from where you eat, to who you eat with, and even to what dishes you eat off of. So starting to take things into consideration. Like is it cluttered or is it neat? Where you are eating your meals or snacks? Is it noisy or is it calm? Are you alone or are you with other people? Are you sitting at a table or are you standing? Are you on the couch or are you in a dining type of area? Are you at home? Are you in a restaurant? Like you mentioned earlier, is the TV on or is the TV off? These are all just things to kind of assess and just to see what the norm is and what's going on. So you can take into consideration like, do you need to make a change? Maybe you do, maybe you don't. But it's- it makes it a little bit easier to recognize where there might be opportunities to practice a little bit more mindfulness by asking yourself some of these questions about what your eating environment is like. And again, it's worth noting that we don't always have control over all of these aspects of our eating environment. And that's okay. Like, there's never going to be this perfect world where for every single meal, and every single snack, were sitting down at a quiet candlelit dinner- which may be some people's worst nightmare. Some people like to have the noise and the stuff going on. Some people like to have the quietness. But it's never going to be perfect in every situation, and that's okay. None of this is prescriptive. And we're always constantly just looking for opportunities that we have within our control to meet our individual needs. And what might meet my needs could be completely different from what might meet Naomi's need. And I think that's really important that we remember that our needs are unique to us.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah. And I love what you mentioned about like, looking at what is within our control? Because like, yes, not everything is. And some things are. And like we get to sort of suss out what's what.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, like we get to decide. And that's pretty cool. Another thing to consider is what an emotional eating environment might look like. So maybe thinking about how stressed, or rushed, or chaotic you are when you're eating, or how tense the environment might be, especially in relation to if there's other people there. Or if you maybe just had an argument right before you sat down to eat a meal, or if there's arguing happening during the meal, or whether people are commenting on your food choices, or people are commenting on anybody else's body. Maybe the stress of wondering or being concerned about whether or not there's enough food to eat for- for you or for everybody who's there. And again, these things aren't always in our control, and that's okay. It's an opportunity to explore what things we can change if we want to, or that we have the ability to change, and what things might not necessarily be changeable. So some examples that might be things within our control, within our ability to change- turn your ringer off on your phone at mealtimes. And this is something I can remember growing up, whenever we would sit down and eat supper- this is before cell phones, probably even before caller ID- like we would all sit down as a family and eat, and seriously like every single night the phone would ring, and I can remember my dad getting so mad. He would be like, every time we sit down the phone rings. And then, you know, somebody would get up and answer it, and it would just be a whole thing. But even now- like last week, I found myself kind of getting mad at the exact same thing. Like we sat down to eat supper, and literally two seconds later my phone rang, and I'm like, why does this always happen? But there is a solution to that. Like I could turn the ringer off on my phone, and I'm trying to like get myself in the habit of doing that, but sometimes I forget. But I think there's- there are ways that we can kind of set some boundaries, and we can create a little bit of control, if things feel out of control or just feel not good. And yeah, turning off the phone ringer is a perfect example.

Naomi Katz:

Oh my God, I love that story. Because it's totally my experience as a kid, too. Like, and you know, what it was was like, especially at that time, that's when the telemarketers would call.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, yeah.

Naomi Katz:

Because they knew you were sitting down to dinner.

Sadie Simpson:

Yep.

Naomi Katz:

They knew you were home. Yeah, we can turn the ringer off. Like I- you know, I mentioned that- and this comes down to choices a little bit- I mentioned, you know, we eat with the TV on, and that's fine, but my phone stays in another room. So all of that kind of leads us to an especially important aspect of that discussion, which is that satisfaction doesn't have to be perfect. And the ability to prioritize satisfaction and pleasure is a privilege. And like we hinted at that a little bit when we talked about people don't always have control over their physical and emotional eating environments. But I feel like it's worth digging into a bit more deeply here. So there is a phrase that pops up in- I actually think it even shows up in the Intuitive Eating workbook, or maybe in like one of the older versions of the book- "If you love it, savor it. And if you don't love it, don't eat it." And I honestly have such issues with this, because to me that reads as the satisfaction diet.

Sadie Simpson:

Mm.

Naomi Katz:

It really, I think, frames satisfaction in black and white, for one thing- which, I think everybody knows at this point how we feel about black and white, binary thinking. But, you know, it's kind of like another phrase that I'm super not into, "if it's not a hell yes, it's a hell no," or like "love it or leave it," like those types of phrases. Like when- when we let go of diet culture, we also have the ability to let go of that binary, black and white thinking. And the reality is that there's going to be plenty of times when we eat things that we don't love. Maybe it's because we have concerns about food waste, and so we don't want to throw things out that we haven't eaten, even if they're not our favorite thing. Maybe we're dealing with food insecurity, in which case, it doesn't matter if it's satisfying, or if we love it, it's the food we have access to, and therefore it's what we're going to eat. Maybe, you know, there's things that we have to take into consideration for mental or physical health, or related to stress. And you know- and then there's just a- for instance, like, often if we're dealing with stress, or like maybe mental health issues, or things like that, we maybe don't love anything that we're eating. Like, that's just not- that's not the thing we're connected to, or like really able to access in our bodies at that point. We obviously still need to eat those things. Convenience is another great example of that. Like, you know, you're on a road trip or something. Like, do I absolutely- like, do I love stopping at McDonald's on a road trip? Like no, it doesn't always make me feel- Sometimes I do. I'm not gonna lie. Sometimes I'm like, ooh, McDonald's, yay. And sometimes I'm like this is- especially when you're like two days into the road trip, and like-

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, yeah.

Naomi Katz:

-all you've eaten is fast food. Like, you hit this point where you're like, I mean, I have to eat, so this is what we're doing.

Sadie Simpson:

Yep.

Naomi Katz:

Because convenience is important. You know, we talked earlier that food is fuel is not the whole picture, and it's really important to move past that entry point. And sometimes food does just have to be fuel, and that's important too. So like, sometimes we just have to eat so that we're not hungry, and we can move on with our lives. I think that statement also has a pretty heavy dose of satisfaction as portion control, which is kind of one of the reasons why I think of it as like the satisfaction diet. I think this is very similar to how you might see the concept of like, quote, unquote, mindful eating being used in social media, or like other more weight centric, like mainstream places. When we covered making peace with food, we talked about how the goal of that habituation process is not to burn out on your fear foods so that you never want to eat them again because that's just more restriction. Well the goal of prioritizing pleasure and satisfaction is also not to ultimately eat less. I mean, for a couple of reasons. One, if your goal is to eat less, you're going to end up with all the same problems you had when you were restricting in the first place. You know, if pleasure becomes a rule, you're going to end up rebelling against it the same- like in much the same way that we saw in making peace with food. And then the other I think maybe bigger problem is that it's rooted in a fear of weight gain and a desire for weight loss, which ultimately is always fatphobic. Portion control is actually really body control, just like food rules are really body rules. And that's just- you know, and food fears are really body fears. Just, plain and simple, portion control is body control.

Sadie Simpson:

I'm so glad you pointed that out. Because with everything with Intuitive Eating, with all of the principles of Intuitive Eating- even with satisfaction- we have this tendency to want to turn it into some sort of restriction, some sort of diet. Even something like pleasure and satisfaction, our minds just want to turn them into a way to control.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, we're just so conditioned to do it.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

Like, this is what happens when you live your entire life immersed in diet culture. Which we all do. The extent to which we've been impacted by it, obviously, is different, but there's not a single one of us that hasn't lived our lives within the context of diet culture.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. And having said all of that, there's this thing called sensory specific satiety. And this is also a concept that's worth mentioning, too. So basically, sensory specific satiety is a gradual decrease in pleasure, or kind of like a desensitization to a stimulus, that starts to happen when you are eating mindfully. So if you're savoring your food, and staying tuned into this experience, you'll notice that it stops tasting as good as it did in that very first bite, and it becomes less satisfying. So studies have shown us that this occurs usually within about two minutes after consumption of a single food, though it usually takes longer if we're eating a group of foods together- so if you have a meal with multiple components to it, multiple foods in it. And this is a real scientific thing. And you'll likely notice it if you're able to practice staying tuned into your eating experiences. And when you notice it, you may decide that you don't want to keep eating whatever you're eating, because you're not enjoying it as much.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I think it's really important to know that this is a thing- like that sensory specific, satiety exists. It's sort of what we were talking about, like, if you're staying tuned into the experience of eating, maybe you'll notice like that your experience changes over the course of what you're eating, and stuff like that. And I don't think there's anything wrong with knowing that this is a thing, and even noticing how it shows up in your eating experiences. But the concept becomes a little bit problematic when it's paired with what I would say is something of an outdated concept called the, quote unquote, last bite threshold. So the last bite threshold is something that I believe has been removed from the 2020 edition of the Intuitive Eating book, but I do want to address it here because it does still show up in the workbook and the earlier versions of the text. And so if you, dear listener, happen to be reading an earlier version of the book, or have in the past read an earlier version of the book, or if you are working through the exercises in the workbook by yourself, I think it's really important to talk about maybe why this isn't a particularly helpful concept. The idea of the last bite threshold is that by eating mindfully, we can pinpoint the exact right point at which to stop eating. And again, that's- that's fatphobic and very diety, because it frames satisfaction as a method of preventing, quote unquote, overeating. It's essentially portion control. Again, like overeating and portion control- these are diet culture concepts that are really only relevant if we're trying to avoid fatness. The reality is there is no perfect level of satisfaction at which we have to stop eating. This is something that comes up in- when we're doing like the more nuanced work around hunger, too, because sometimes we work with like a hunger scale or something, and we always tell people like there's no perfect point at which you're supposed to start eating, like when you're hungry. Ditto for satisfaction- there's no perfect point of satisfaction at which you're supposed to stop eating. The reality is that eating mindfully, and noticing when our pleasure and satisfaction starts to diminish, can be a great tool as far as like making sure our eating experiences are as enjoyable as possible, and also as far as like learning what makes our bodies physically feel the best. But eating past a certain point of satisfaction is not overeating. And if we pursue satisfaction with this goal of eating less, again, it's the satisfaction diet. It's just another kind of diet.

Sadie Simpson:

That last bite threshold reminds me of something I remember hearing when I was in high school. It was just another, you know, diet trick that you hear. And it was, you're always supposed to leave two bites of whatever you're eating on your plate. And of course, you know, I tried that whenever I was going through my big time dieting phase, and it lasted for like one meal. But I'd forgotten about that diety gimmicky thing until right now, that's just something I haven't thought about in a really long time.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I think that's the kind of weirdly arbitrary advice that like you hear all the time. And yeah- and like, we'll talk a little bit more like next week when we talk about feeling fullness about like arbitrary recommendations for like when to stop eating, and stuff like that. But there's so many of them. And- and they're everywhere. Like I actually- I was sitting in the waiting room at a doctor's office a while back, and like they had TV screens that were like showing health tips and stuff like that- which, unfortunately, a lot of them were weight loss tips. And this is even more unfortunate because it was the waiting room in a bariatric surgery practice, because I was like seeing- seeing somebody about having- dealing with my acid reflux, and it was like the same type of a surgeon. Some of the recommendations out there were just like, randomly, like, just cut out X number of calories every day. And it's like, you don't know how many calories I'm eating right now, or how many calories I need, or what my activity levels are. Like how does this- this is 100% arbitrary.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh my gosh, yes. These blanket assumptions that have nothing to do with like individual means- not good, they're not good. Anyway. It's important to point out that there is this overwhelming privilege in telling people to always savor their food and to only eat foods they love. Because nobody can eat whatever their heart desires on a whim all the time. That would require a lot of things that we do not have access to, like a personal chef, or unlimited access to take out, or, you know, meal service plans every meal for every day. It's not realistic. And it's not accessible for anybody except maybe like a-list celebrities

Naomi Katz:

Jeff Bezos can do it.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. If anybody is listening to this that can access that, if you would like to sponsor Satisfaction Factor podcast, like let us know.

Naomi Katz:

Unless- I mean- unless you're like busy building a spaceship and leaving the planet. Whatever.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. So if we followed this whole rule of if you don't love it, don't eat it, a lot of us would be hungry a lot of the time. Because I eat stuff I don't love all the time, just because it's convenient, like you said, or it's accessible, or it's easy, or it's something that my kid didn't eat so I'm eating the leftovers off of his plate. There's all- you know, all kinds of reasons why we eat what we eat, and we don't have to justify any of them. But the second thing to recognize is that our ability to savor our food isn't something that is always available to us all the time either. So sometimes we have to eat really fast in the 15 minute chunk of time we have in between meetings or appointments, or we're sitting at the table with multiple screaming loud kids that do not give you the ability to even think about what you're eating, let alone taste what you're eating most of the time. And that's just the reality of living in this capitalist, productivity-driven culture that we have- that it's always go go go, eat, rush, move on to the next thing. And really, the goal here is always just to do the best that we can with what we have available to us in the moment. So maybe the question is more like, of my current choices, what would be the most satisfying thing for me right now, based on what I have available to me. And this is a practice that really allows us to make the most pleasing and satisfying choices that we have available to us in the moment.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I think that's so important. Like, really, you want me to savor every bite of my food.

Sadie Simpson:

Sometimes, we're sitting down and trying to eat a meal as a family, and I'm eating so fast to try to be done with it so I don't have to like, deal with the talking and the noise of a kid anymore. And that's just the reality.

Naomi Katz:

Totally. And I- like, I can't tell you how often I'm like trying to just eat something really quickly in between calls, or meetings, or something like that. Where I'm just like, okay, I know if I don't get something in my stomach before I get on this call, I'm going to be a mess by the time I'm done. Side note, I totally did that before getting on this podcast recording today. And all I could find that I could eat in the space of five minutes was Halloween candy, so that's what I had before we got on this call today.

Sadie Simpson:

Nice.

Naomi Katz:

And not because the Halloween candy was super satisfying in the moment, but because- and I did not savor it, I'm pretty over the Halloween candy right now- but like, I just needed to do something to get me through like our recording session. And that's the reality of life.

Sadie Simpson:

Yep. And the reality is, you can't really eat while you record a podcast because it will be a lot of crunching, which might be a less than satisfying sensory experience for some of our listeners out there.

Naomi Katz:

Or like maybe all of our listeners- like I don't- I don't think anybody would be super psyched about that. So let's sort of broaden our lens on pleasure as a concept at this point and talk about why it's so important both in food and in all of the other aspects of our lives. For one thing, pleasure really goes hand in hand with body respect, which- there's a whole principle on that we will totally get to. But what I mean by that is that pleasure is a basic human right. Just like food, or love, or shelter, or safety. And loving our bodies does not need to be a prerequisite for deserving pleasure, or for any of those other basic human rights. Like, can you think of anyone other than yourself that you believe is not deserving of any of those basic things? Like would you deny pleasure to anyone you cared even a little bit about? Like, I can't even- like I can't even fathom how I would like deny pleasure to somebody, even people I didn't care about.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

So seeing ourselves as deserving of pleasure, and allowing ourselves to experience pleasure, is one of the ways that we can start treating ourselves with the same basic respect that we would treat anyone else with. And if pleasure doesn't seem like it fits in with those other basic human rights we're talking about, then this might be a good opportunity to consider why that is. I think a lot of that is that, you know, the diet culture and the fitness narratives and- and language that we're exposed to so often frames pleasure as a luxury. And it sort of tells us that our bodies- and some bodies more than others, which we'll talk about in a second- need to be punished, or tamed, or whatever. You know, some of it is, like we mentioned before, about how capitalism plays into this. A capitalist society sees pleasure as a luxury, like there's nothing productive in it. So the question to really ask ourselves, does the idea of pleasure as a luxury align with our other values and our other beliefs about bodies, and capitalism, and productivity, and stuff like that? If it doesn't, then that's a really helpful way to start reframing this to allow ourselves to experience pleasure, and to even seek pleasure.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, yeah. And that really leads into the other important idea and the other important thing to discuss about pleasure, which is that allowing pleasure, and finding pleasure, and experiencing pleasure can be a form of resistance. Because we live in a society that tells us only certain bodies are worthy of pleasure. So claiming pleasure as a right is in direct opposition to that, especially for people in marginalized bodies.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, that is such an important part of this conversation. And I know it's an aspect that I am still actively learning about, I would highly recommend checking out the work of adrienne Maree brown. Her book Pleasure Activism is amazing and is definitely one of the places that I've been really learning about this concept of pleasure as resistance. adrienne maree brown actually includes in that book an essay by Audre

Lorde called Uses of the Erotic:

The Erotic as Power. Because it's super relevant to this conversation, I'd love to share a quote from that essay that I think really addresses why getting in touch with pleasure is so important on a societal level. So it's not the shortest quote, so bear with me. "For as we begin to recognize our deepest feelings, we begin to give up, of necessity, being satisfied with suffering and self negation, and with the numbness which so often seems like their only alternative in our society. Our acts against oppression become integral with self, motivated and empowered from within. In touch with the erotic, I become less willing to accept powerlessness, or those other supplied states of being which are not native to me, such as resignation, despair, self-effacement, depression, self denial." The point being- you know, and obviously, I'm not here to like summarize Audre Lord's words- like, that's just not- we have to be able to- like when we- when we start to allow ourselves to feel pleasure, we're also able to recognize the contrast of these other things that are oppressing us, and like are basically the opposite of pleasure. And being able to recognize that pleasure is our right, and those other things are like robbing us of that right. So powerful. Just sort of another thing from adrienne maree brown's book, and very related to that- pleasure can be our gateway to autonomy and our guidebook to sort of freedom from outside rules. One of adrienne maree brown's "Pleasure Principles" is "Yes is the way." And the idea is that when you learn to recognize pleasure, and believe that you deserve pleasure, you don't need rules to tell you what's best for you.

Sadie Simpson:

Ooh. I love that.

Naomi Katz:

Right? Like you can feel what serves you and what doesn't. If something feels pleasing, you can learn to trust that as a sign that you're on the right track. On like a very like micro level, I feel like that's kind of like your thing about orange juice, and like how that might be reflective of gentle nutrition. Like, what if we let pleasure actually be our guide in these things?

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, my gosh, we need to just do a whole episode on pleasure, which I guess we're kind of doing that right now, since we've discussed that pleasure and satisfaction can be synonymous, but anyway.

Naomi Katz:

It's true. But also, yes, we should totally do that.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. Well, if we think about this in terms of letting go of the shoulds, and shouldn'ts, and all the rules that we have about other stuff, it's so relevant to so so many areas of our lives, and things that we've experienced. So even thinking about rules, that we say that we should do an hour of cardio every day, but that does not feel good, or it doesn't feel pleasurable. So instead, maybe you do feel pleasure when you do yoga, or swim, or lift weights, or ride bikes, or whatever. Maybe the rules say that we shouldn't eat carbs. But carbs give you pleasure, and they make you feel good. And I mean, even thinking on things outside of food and outside of exercise, maybe some of our societal rules say that we have to- or we should- take a nine to five job in an office that pays the most. But what actually gives us pleasure is more of a creative position, or something with non traditional hours that you can do from home but pays less money. So in all of these examples, you can kind of use pleasure as a guide to truly making autonomous decisions for yourself, as opposed to just doing what we have all been conditioned to do. And you know, this can be true too even if we ultimately decide to do the thing that gives us less pleasure, because at least that pleasure guide gave us an awareness of where we were making a conscious decision. Like maybe we're in a situation where we do have to, or need to, take the higher paying job, even if it's not the thing that pleases you the most. And I think there's just a lot that can be said in there, too, in cultivating this awareness around pleasure, and kind of adjusting our expectations around pleasure to to meet the needs of where we are in different seasons of life.

Naomi Katz:

You know, we've talked about, like, what does autonomy really mean, right? And I think so much of it is like just not being on autopilot. Like, it doesn't even really matter what choice you make. Sometimes- like we live in the world we live in- sometimes we have to make the choice that isn't the most pleasurable thing, but at least it's a choice. Like at least knowing that it's not giving us pleasure, like being tuned into what would be the pleasurable option and that this isn't it, means that we have consciously made the decision to do this, even if we don't want to, even if we're making the decision because of factors that are outside of our control. And then we can also sort of take that the next step further of like, okay, what are the factors that are outside of my control? And is there anything I can do on a higher level so that next time I don't have to make this choice, or somebody else doesn't have to make this choice, you know?

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, yeah.

Naomi Katz:

So clearly, our relationship to satisfaction and pleasure is important far outside of food, but we can start healing that relationship by doing this work with food. You know, if you think about how diet culture has contributed to disconnecting us from this, then we can also think about how divesting from diet culture can help us to reconnect with it. It's much like how I think self trust tends to work- like if diet culture helps us to disconnect from it, divesting from diet culture, and participating in a practice of divesting from diet culture helps us to rebuild it.

Sadie Simpson:

And next week we'll be diving into Intuitive Eating principle number six, feel your fullness- which- surprise- is not all about portion control, or eating less,

Naomi Katz:

Surprise. Okay, so, Sadie, what's satisfying for you right now, on this very satisfying podcast episode?

Sadie Simpson:

It's funny earlier that you mentioned bagels, and we talked about things like pasta, and eating white bread, and refined carbs, and that type of thing. For the last, probably like the last month, last six weeks, maybe longer, we as a family have been going to Dunkin Donuts every Saturday morning to get breakfast. Because there's one like right across the road. We don't have a lot of breakfast places like right here where we are, and there's a Dunkin Donuts right across the road almost. And I cannot stray away from eating the exact same thing every time we go to Dunkin Donuts. So I'll get everything bagel with cream cheese, because one time like I got something different- I got just a breakfast sandwich, I think it was like, you know, like one of the egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches- and it was just not satisfying for me. So I'm finding a lot of satisfaction in the consistency of my weekly Dunkin Donuts Saturday morning trip.

Naomi Katz:

I love that. And I mean, I can super relate. I literally eat a bagel every morning because it's like the most satisfying.

Sadie Simpson:

So good.

Naomi Katz:

And it's interesting how like, it could be satisfying both- like both the food is satisfying, but also the routine of it is kind of satisfying.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh my god, I find so much satisfaction in a routine. It's not even- I should have just said that, because even like this routine and ritual of going to Dunkin Donuts, just like the act of going, knowing that this is coming up on a Saturday, just feel so nice.

Naomi Katz:

That's very, very awesome.

Sadie Simpson:

So what's satisfying you right now?

Naomi Katz:

Okay, so this is going to be a really unpopular opinion. But as we're recording this, it is the- like, we just set our clocks back for daylight savings time. I know people hate daylight savings time, but it is like my favorite thing. I am a person who truly truly loves sleep. Like sleep is one of my favorite things in the world. And I also don't like that it gets dark so early, but I do love that like extra hour of sleep. And what's really interesting is I- and maybe this is a function of learning how to tune into my body over the years- but I notice, within like the weeks leading up to when we set the clocks back, like that I'm starting to feel like I need that sleep. Like I feel tired. Like I feel the difference in my body leading up to when we set the clocks back. And then there's this like sense of like, oh, all is right with the world, when it happens.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh my gosh, I am really jealous of that actually, because it takes me so long to get adjusted to this. Even last night- usually I'm ready to fall asleep by about 9, 9:30, but it took me forever to fall asleep. And then I was awake by like five and could not get back to sleep, and that has happened the last couple of days. It's just it takes me a long time to get readjusted to the time change.

Naomi Katz:

I- like I said, unpopular opinion. I know a lot of people really don't like this, and I think especially people with young children are not a big fan, and I get that. Like, I don't have children, but I do have a dog that's very confused. So like I do get it, but it just- it just works for me.

Sadie Simpson:

Awesome. So if you enjoyed this podcast, we would love to connect with you over on our Instagram page @satisfactionfactorpod, so be sure to comment, let us know what you think about this episode, and let us know what's satisfying you right now. And another simple thing you can do to support us if you're listening in Apple podcasts, be sure to leave us a rating and a review. And wherever you're listening from, be sure to subscribe so that way, you know when new episodes come out. And doing all of these things helps us reach more people.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, we always appreciate it. So that's it for us this week, and we will talk to you next week.