How Eating for Pleasure Increases Your Metabolism

On Our Minds


Public Service Announcement: A large review of fifteen different studies published in the Journal of Obesity showed that average holiday weight gain was between 0.88-1.98 lbs. If that’s the case, what is everyone panicking about?!

The holidays are diet-culture’s favorite time to spread toxic messages about our bodies, our diets, and our exercise routines. They make a big deal about holiday weight gain, convince you that you need to work out in the morning in order to enjoy a meal at Thanksgiving, and let you know you have nothing to worry about because there’s a new diet plan for you starting January 1st.

One to two pounds to enjoy the holidays? Is that really worth the craziness? The stress (which by the way, slows down your metabolism)?

Don’t let diet culture bring you down this holiday season. Instead of investing in the next diet, go a little deeper. Work with one of our RD’s to help you find your set-point weight by ditching the diets and making peace with food. It’s the gift that keeps giving.

We have gift certificates available for the holiday season! Call 212-759-6999 ext. 100.

In Good Health, 
Lisa Brown & Jennifer Medina

How Eating for Pleasure Increases Your Metabolism

You might be thinking, huh? Eat what I love and increase my metabolism? It’s entirely possible and we’ve got science to back it up. And the truth is, we haven’t met one person who’s been able to find their healthy set-point weight while completely avoiding their body’s signals to enjoy and savor the foods they love.

Let’s discuss the French Paradox for example. This phrase was first used in the 1980’s, which summarizes the observation that French people have a low incidence of heart disease and obesity while having a diet relatively rich in saturated fats and cholesterol. The French, like most people in Europe, see meal time much differently than we do in the U.S. For starters, they actually carve out time for their meals. They eat foods that are enjoyable to them, such as cheese, bread, vegetables, butter, wine and dark chocolate. They share meals with others rather than shoveling food in at their desk.

When we eat for pleasure—meaning foods that feel nourishing and satisfying to us—our nutrient absorption is enhanced and we have better control of our appetite. Eating pleasurable foods tells our brain, “We’re good, no need to search for more food.” On the other hand, when we don’t eat for pleasure (i.e. choose “diet” foods” or foods we don’t really like but feel like we “have” to eat them), we have decreased nutrient absorption and will likely be searching for more food later on. In a situation where we are rushing through a meal (especially one we aren’t enjoying), it triggers our body’s stress response which actually slows down our metabolism.

You might be thinking, “What if I want to just eat cake all day? That can’t be healthy!”

The goal is to eat foods that are pleasurable, but not in toxic amounts. If you were to listen to the same song on repeat for a week straight, you’d likely find it quite irritable at the end of the week. It’s the same with food. If you’ve been avoiding pleasure in your life, you’ll need to go through a period of time where you allow yourself to eat what you’re truly craving. Once your body and brain realize that they can have pleasure, these foods won’t seem as exciting anymore. In addition, foods that are nourishing and satisfying will naturally become more appealing as you start to reconnect with your body’s inner wisdom.

With the holiday season approaching, it’s a good time to start experimenting with pleasure. Can you carve out time for meals so you have more time to savor your food? Can you make pleasurable foods work into your day? Do you notice what foods are more satisfying for others? Keeping a journal throughout this process can be really helpful!

We hope you have a relaxing and pleasurable Thanksgiving!

On the Lighter Side


Recipe of the Month:
Thanksgiving Side: Miso-Glazed Turnips



  • 1 lb small turnips, scrubbed, cut into 1” wedges

  • 2 tablespoons white miso

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Combine turnips, miso, butter, and sugar in a medium skillet, then add water just to cover the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook turnips, turning occasionally, until they are golden and caramelized and the sauce thickens and glazes the vegetables, about 5 minutes longer.

  3. Add lemon juice and a splash of water to the pan and swirl to coat turnips. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe by Claire Saffitz and photo by Yossy Arefi. Via

Quote of the Month

"Self love starts and ends with the dialogue we have with ourselves."
  —Kathryn Eisman

lisa brown