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5 Ways to Slow Down Your Eating

In today’s fast paced society, it’s only natural that we rush around trying to get everything done before the day is over. You rush to work, school, and everywhere else you must go. You probably even rush through lunch to get back to your busy day at work.

 

While moving fast may be a necessity for you, eating fast can be detrimental to your health and body.

 

Eating your meals quickly can also lead to overeating and weight gain.

 

Think back to your last meal… did you inhale it or take the time to enjoy every bite?   How long do you think it took you to finish your meal? If it’s less than 20 minutes, then keep reading.

 

If you feel like you’re the only person who does this, you’re not! Most people devour their meals in about 5 -7 minutes flat. They put a forkful of food in their mouths and, before they even swallow, the next forkful is ready to go. Do you find yourself doing this too?

 

Inhaling Your Meals

 

When you eat fast, it becomes difficult to savor your meals.  You’re not able to truly listen to your body and engage in mindful eating. Slowing down as you eat will allow you to really taste every bite and get the most satisfaction out of the meal as possible.

 

Eating quickly also prevents you from eating until you are comfortably satisfied because you don’t pay attention to your inner fullness signals. Instead, you’ll eat until the food is gone.

 

It takes your brain 20 minutes to realize that your stomach is full, so if you clean your plate in record time, you likely miss that fullness cue, and reach for more food. By the time the fullness signals kicks in, you are now uncomfortably full, having eaten more than your body physically needed. You are likely also experiencing bloat, heartburn and other uncomfortable GI symptoms (in addition to the emotional side effects of guilt and shame).

 

5 Tips to Help You Slow Down Your Eating:

  1. Set an allotted amount of time to sit down and eat your meal – pick whatever time works for you! There is no “best” time to eat. Just be sure you plan it into your daily schedule, and that means breakfast and lunch too!
  2. Put your fork and knife down between bites – this means completely putting it down on your plate until you’re done chewing what’s in your mouth. Then, and only then, pick up the fork and take your next bite.
  3. Eat without distractions (meaning no T.V. or Phone) – we all know how difficult this one can be. I suggest making your kitchen/dining room a electronic-free zone! If your phone is in another room then you are not tempted to look at it when you hear that notification. Make sure the kids know too that meal time is not tech time.
  4. Use your non-dominant hand to hold the fork – this is a simple way to help you slow down. Since your non-dominant hand is usually weaker, you’ll have to pick up smaller forkfuls and really concentrate to keep food from spilling over.
  5. Eat with someone else – ask a family member or friend to help you reach your goal of slowing down at meals! You can engage in meaningful conversations between bites and, before you know it, you’ll realize you are engaging in many of the tips stated above.

 

Challenge yourself

Set the timer on your phone and see how long it normally takes you to finish a meal. It might be 5 minutes and you might think that stretching it out to 20 is impossible. It’s not! Continue to use the tips above every time you sit to eat to help lengthen your meal minute by minute. Before long, you will be eating slower and using your inner fullness signals to guide you when to stop. And, you’ll enjoy your meal a whole lot better.

 

If you’d like to explore how I can help you on your intuitive eating journey, just reach out to me at www.TalkWithBonnie.com .

 

 

How to Slow Down the Pace of Eating

timerIn today’s fast paced society it’s only natural that we rush around trying to get everything done before the day is over. You rush to work, school, and everywhere else you have to go. While moving fast may be a necessity for you, eating fast can be detrimental to your health and body.

 

Did you know that eating your meals quickly can actually lead to overeating and weight gain?

 

Think back to your last meal… did you inhale it or take the time to enjoy every bite?  How long do you think it took you to finish your meal? If it’s less than 20 minutes then keep reading.

 

Don’t worry you’re not alone, most people devour their meals in about 5 minutes. They put a forkful of food in their mouths and before they even swallow, the next forkful is ready to go. Do you do this too?

 

When you do this you’re not savoring your meal and you’re not being mindful as you eat. Slowing down as you eat will allow you to really taste every bite and get the most satisfaction out of the meal as possible.

 

Eating quickly also prevents you from eating until you are comfortably satisfied because you don’t pay attention to your inner fullness signals, instead you eat until the food is gone. It takes the brain 20 minutes to realize that your stomach is full. If you eat fast you can completely miss that fullness cue and you can overeat. It can even cause bloating, gas and heartburn.

 

In a Japanese study of over 3,000 people, both male and female, those who ate quickly until they were completely full were three times more likely to be overweight than those who ate slower.

 

Slow down your eating by:

  • Setting an allotted 30 minutes to sit down and have a good meal
  • Putting your fork and knife down between bites
  • Chewing slowly
  • Using your non-dominant hand to hold the fork
  • Eating with someone else
  • Eat without distractions (meaning no T.V. or Phone)

 

Challenge yourself

Set the timer on your phone and see how long it normally takes you to finish a meal. It might be 5 minutes and you might think that stretching it out to 20 is impossible. It’s not! Continue to use the tips above every time you sit to eat to help lengthen your meal minute by minute. Before long, you will be eating slower and using your inner fullness signals to guide you when to stop. And, you’ll enjoy your meal a whole lot better.

 

Comment below and let me know how this goes for you!

 

Shake the Excess

Summer Slim DownWe live in a world that unfortunately tends to judge us based on how much we have.  Whether it’s having the most money, the most property, the nicest car, or the most possessions, having a lot is usually a reflection of success in our culture.  Interestingly enough, excess in your life may have translated into excess on your plate as well.

 

When you choose a restaurant or a place to eat out, do you feel like you‘re getting “gipped” if your portions appear to be smaller than what you expect?  Do you prefer to buy items in bulk to save money, but then feel guilty at the thought that the food might go to waste so you eat more than you need to just to finish it?

 

These behaviors are a product of the excess you feel you need to have in your life.  You take on too much, you potentially spend too much to “keep up with the Joneses’,” and it is not too surprising to find yourself eating too much.

 

Sometimes it is important to remember that not just in eating, but in life, having all that you need, not necessarily what you want, is enough.  For example, let’s say you had a nice meal and you feel very satisfied from it, but there is a delicious dessert on the menu that you really want to have.  You decide to eat the piece of cake because you want it and you think, “When do I ever get to have a nice dessert?”  But the thing is you have options in this situation:

 

  • Chances are, this meal is not your last, and this item that you want to eat will still be around tomorrow when you wake up.  Sometimes you say yes because it seems like this food will never come around again, however there is always another time to try it, and there is no need to go overboard if you are really satisfied. This is easier if you have successfully given yourself unconditional permission to eat when you are hungry what you want (note: this is one of the core characteristics of being an intuitive eater)
  • Another option is to have a bite or two, and then take the item home.  This can work for a main course too.  You can always wrap food and have it tomorrow.  You can also do this with dinners you make at home.  You don’t have to eat everything tonight, in one excess quantity, there is always tomorrow.
  • There doesn’t have to be a lot on your plate to consider it a good meal or a good portion.  Listen to your inner signals and when you have had enough, even if it doesn’t seem like you ate a sufficient portion, then it is enough, for now.

So while excess may seem to find its way into your everyday life, try not to let that idea trickle onto your plate.  If you are getting what you need, giving into what you want may not be the answer to making you feel your best.

 

Your turn to take action: Respect your fullness this week by eating only what your body is telling you it needs.  You might be surprised how good it feels to shake the excess!  Please share your experience below.