New pleasure. New pleasure. Eating!
April 9, 2014 7:18 PM   Subscribe

Recently I discovered a new sensation which is entirely pleasurable - the feeling of having eaten something good. Is this something most people experience?

A few days ago I found a deep and warming pleasure in the sensation of having eaten a sausage with some sauerkraut. The tastes were the same. The preparation was the same. Still, there was a deep-seated delight in my chest (not stomach - chest) for having eaten that and it was new.

What is this? And am I - 6'0", 175, 42 jacket / 32 waist - going to get fat because of this new pleasure?
posted by jet_silver to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I have felt something to what you've described. I identify it as a warm, happy satisfaction that I also feel in my chest, but if I eat too much it goes away (and is replaced with that vague distended feeling :) I often find it occurs when I'm hungry and I have eaten just enough of something good. Not too much, not too little but juuuuust right. I don't associate it with over-eating, because the act of over-eating makes it go away for me.

Wish I could give you a more scientific answer to your question, but, at least you're not alone?
posted by absquatulate at 7:21 PM on April 9, 2014

Once in a great while I get that feeling after a meal just big enough, usually with not much fat or salt, and more often when my stomach acids are buffered, especially with antacids or tea.

Most recently it was with a double serving of (instant) cream of wheat after a day of bad appetite.
posted by WasabiFlux at 7:26 PM on April 9, 2014

Best answer: I am a great lover of food. I sometimes experience this when I eat a fantastic meal at a restaurant, or cook something myself that I particularly enjoy. I don't always get this feeling when I eat. I most often experience it when I'm dining with someone else--I think it has something to do with taking the time to slow down, savor the food and enjoy the entire experience (sight, smell, taste, texture, etc.) of the meal.
posted by gumtree at 7:53 PM on April 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I get this often, and I agree about it being a chest feeling, not a stomach feeling! For me it is about eating when I am truly hungry, and stopping when I am not any more. I think it's MAYBE the pleasure of the hungry going away. Kind of like when you've had a headache and it stops your head doesn't just not feel bad, but for a little while it actually feels pleasurably good.
posted by lollusc at 7:57 PM on April 9, 2014

Best answer: Definitely normal and one of the greatest parts of being alive for me. It's all about balance and the right type of satisfaction for your particular circumstances. I've also had this after having my first sip of hot tea on a cold morning or a big bite of watermelon on a hot summer night - it's not so much about fullness as it is about perfectly satisfying my hunger cravings with the right temperatures and textures. As the people above point out, this always goes away if I eat too much.

I think it's a great thing to experience but incredibly hard to replicate. It's definitely tied to emotional states and not just physical, for me, but it's all relevant. I've had similar experiences of intense satisfaction (not at all like a sexual release, much more an addition of welcome weight than a removal of it) when experiencing wonderful live music, although for me this is more rare. Definitely agree about the chest part of it, although for me it also radiates around the shoulderblades sometimes.

I have no idea if you're going to get fat because of this, but I seriously doubt it. I do wonder what the scientific basis is for this, but I've come across passages in books where I identify this sort of thing being written about, so I think it's a pretty normal human experience.
posted by Mizu at 8:04 PM on April 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

In Fallen London, one of my favorite games, this sensation is described as "a haze of post-prandial satisfaction."
posted by spunweb at 8:16 PM on April 9, 2014 [4 favorites]

I remember experiencing this feeling in college, the first time I ever went to breakfast before class. I had a waffle, and I spent the entire hour of class marveling at the experience I'd just had. It's a very "ahh, I needed that" feeling.

Really good fruit does this for me pretty reliably, especially if I'm a little thirsty or tired. I admit I usually prefer junky sweets, but the pleasure of those only lasts as long as the food itself. Fruit satisfies me in a broader, longer-lasting way.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:18 PM on April 9, 2014

Oh yes. Doesn't happen often, but sometimes after a nice meal (especially of sushi) I get a comfy, 'happy otter' feeling, which results in a small smug dance.
posted by The otter lady at 8:22 PM on April 9, 2014 [8 favorites]

Yes. This is why food addiction is a thing.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:47 PM on April 9, 2014

Best answer: Well I have to admit that I found the question strange and amusing, in a "why are my eyes producing droplets of water?" kind of way, because this is a very, very common experience for me and I assumed it was for everyone else as well. It happens after any especially delicious meal--but only a full meal, now that I think of it. Often I heave a sigh and say to Mr HotToddy, "Now I feel that I have dined." It's a feeling of repletion, of having no wants, of perfect satisfaction of the senses.

No reason to think you'll get fat--I've always been a grand weight for my height. Actually I've always been a lot more particular about food quality than anyone else I know . . . I wonder if it's connected with this phenomenon. If there's only crap to eat, most of the time I prefer to go hungry and wait for something really good. Huh.
posted by HotToddy at 9:16 PM on April 9, 2014 [5 favorites]

I love that sensation! For me, it's usually attained after waiting until I am good and hungry, then eating juuuuust enough light, healthy, fresh food. Like... walking a few miles in the snow, then having a big bowl of pho.
posted by julthumbscrew at 9:36 PM on April 9, 2014

If you're a smoker, a cigarette on top of that feeling is very nice. The classic postprandial smoke.
posted by cabingirl at 2:20 AM on April 10, 2014

Have you been eating a generally uniform diet? I ask because I grew up with quite badly cooked soup and then as an adult, had a very nice french onion soup and remember being so warm and pleased at the taste of it, for being quite hungry and then satisfied with real pleasure at this very good thing that smelled, tasted and felt in my physical satiety to be enjoyable. I have had that most often with new good food, but occasionally with a familiar favourite cooked just right and eaten in the right mood.

If you want to replicate it, restaurants with the ambiance and a good friend to share the meal with are your best bet.
posted by viggorlijah at 3:08 AM on April 10, 2014

My husband and I call this a Happy Food Place (as in, "I'm in a Happy Food Place right now"). I'm not sure you can set out to replicate it, since it seems to depend on the food really hitting that sweet spot and not eating too much of it, but it's definitely a thing.
posted by Mchelly at 5:12 AM on April 10, 2014

Best answer: That's your heart chakra. It's happiness!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:13 AM on April 10, 2014

What Hot Toddy said.

Except, and this won't apply to you, at certain times, I will simply keep eating meals until one "hits the spot" because "Aunt Flo" makes me barbarically hungry. And I don't feel fed until I have the feeling.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 7:28 AM on April 10, 2014

Ate a tasty meal? You're not done tasting it yet!

"Taste" receptors line your digestive tract, evaluating the chemical composition of your meal to optomize digestion.

This is also why artificial sweeteners don't help calorie loss. Your tongue might not know the difference, but your guts do, and they keep sending out the "moar sugar!" signals.
posted by fontophilic at 2:34 PM on April 10, 2014

Late, but. This happens to me when i haven't been eating very much for a while and then I eat something awesome. I call it a "food buzz."
posted by Because at 12:27 AM on April 13, 2014

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