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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!

 

How to Be an Intuitive Eater When You Are Sick

tea 3Learning how to be an intuitive eater after years and years of chronic dieting is certainly a journey with twists and turns. But it’s those twists and turns that lead to movement forward on your path towards food freedom.

 

Some of these twists and turns we can expect and plan for, such as an upcoming wedding, party or night out on the town. We think ahead, set intentions for the evening and stay aware during our night out.

 

But there are some twists and turns that we do not plan for. One such is getting sick. Now, there’s all kinds of sick. There’s the flu that keeps you in bed, the stomach virus that keeps you in the bathroom, and there’s migraine headaches which keeps you under the covers. And, then there’s laryngitis.

 

I am writing this blog as I sit at my desk with no voice. I open my mouth to speak and nothing comes out. Zero, zilch, nada! This happened last night after I finished a 90 minute webinar training on my 5 Step System to Break Free of Dieting (if you didn’t catch the webinar, you can listen to the replay here!)

 

I could tell my voice was starting to go earlier in the day, it felt a bit scratchy. I drank hot tea and sucked on throat lozenges all in hopes of preserving my voice so I can host the training that hundreds of people signed up for.

 

And, my voice held out! Until right after the webinar. It was so strange. Within a half hour of the training ending, I lost my voice. The universe really wanted me to share my 5 Step System with as many people as possible, as it is really a life changing process towards eating without guilt and achieving a body you love without dieting.

 

I was grateful. I took a cup of tea and headed to bed.

 

Then, this morning, when I awoke, I noticed something. I wasn’t experiencing my hunger signals for breakfast like I usually do. And, throughout the day, I noticed that I was having a hard time identifying hunger. I knew, however, that illness blunts or dulls the hunger signals and in these types of situations, it is important to eat and nourish my body with wholesome foods to aid in my healing.

 

So this is what I did. I chose soft foods that wouldn’t irritate my throat, and I took the time to sit at my table and eat in a mindful fashion. I found that I became satiated a bit earlier than usual, and I stopped eating at this point.

 

It takes a bit more effort to tune into your inner signals when you are not feeling well. But your body deserves to be nourished, especially when it needs to heal. And, food is thy best medicine.

 

Your turn to take action: If you missed my free webinar, request access to the replay here.

 

 

 

 

How Illness Affects Your Hunger Signals

Tissue boxI’m writing this blog today with a cup of tea to my left, a box of tissues to my right and a throat lozenge in my mouth.

 

Yes, I am sick. My throat hurts, I am coughing and overall I just don’t feel well.

 

I don’t usually get sick so this is really throwing me for a loop. But I realize that there is a lesson here that I am eager to share with you.

 

After I woke up this morning from a difficult night sleep, I went into the kitchen to prepare my breakfast. What I realized as I tuned into my hunger signals was that I wasn’t really hearing hunger. I stopped to think about this. The last time I ate was dinner last night, and I am usually hungry in the morning. Yet, I just wasn’t feeling it this morning.

 

What do you think I did?

 

Well, I could have left the kitchen and said I’m not going to eat because I don’t hear my hunger. But that’s not what I did. I changed up my breakfast a bit, and had a much smaller breakfast with a cup of tea.

 

A few hours later, I sensed a gentle hunger, but still not typical of my usual hunger mid-day. Yet, I realized that it’s been some time since I’ve eaten, and it’s very important to keep my energy levels up with proper fuel. And so again, I tweaked what my usual lunch would be, and had a smaller lunch with another cup of tea.

 

The lesson I am sharing with you here is this.

 

While I encourage you to tune into your inner hunger signals as your guide to eating, there are times when those hunger signals might be blunted. And, one of those times is during illness. Therefore, even if you don’t hear and feel the hunger signals like you normally do, it’s still so important to eat so you can properly nourish your body. Choose healthful “sick friendly” foods that are easy on the stomach (and in my case, easy on my throat), but do eat recognizing that this might be one situation where you just don’t hear those hunger signals as sharp as when you are feeling well.

 

Your turn to take action: How does illness affect your hunger signals and how do you respond?

 

 

 

 

Willpower is a Dieter’s Word

How many times have you used the word “willpower” when you’ve been on a diet? “I wish I had more willpower not to eat the cake”. “Why can’t I just have the willpower to say NO?” I am NOT going to eat the chocolate, no, no, no! I must have the willpower!”

 

How has this strategy of willpower worked for you?

 

I bet it’s worked for a short time, but inevitably when you try to “will” yourself to not eat something that you really would love to eat, you break down and eat it. The only problem now is that you just don’t have one piece of cake or chocolate, you have many.

 

There is no place in intuitive eating for the word “willpower”.

 

I explain more in the video below. Just click and watch. Then post your comments below the video and/or right back here.

 

Willpower

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.