I used to hate when people would tell me to eat slowly. Ugh.
1. My food could get cold 2. What if someone else tries to eat my food? 3. LAY OFF ME I’M STARVING! (RIP Chis Farley).
I used to hate it… until I actually read the study reviews. Turns out one of the simplest yet most effective behaviours for helping to reach your weight loss goal is eating slowly. It can also help with digestion, hydration and meal satisfaction.
In this busy world many people feel they can’t slow down to eat. We take “working” lunches and much of our focus is turned to email and electronics.
Numerous studies have proven that eating slowly helps the body digest food more effectively. Slowing down, smelling food and savouring it, gives the body more time to secrete digestive enzymes and prepare for what is coming. Think of it like warming up your car in the winter… your engine needs a little bit of time to warm up so that everything will run smoothly.
Slowing down can help us better recognize our physical feelings of hunger and/or fullness and result in eating fewer calories.
Here are some tips to help you slow down and enjoy your meals:
Schedule your meals. Build time into your day just like you would for an appointment or meeting. Start by aiming for at least 15 minutes and eventually see if you can increase this time to 20 or 30 minutes.
Limit distractions. Put your phones out of reach. Do not eat while driving or standing up and doing other things.
Think of your food like a fine wine. Smell it. Savour it. Try to focus on the flavours and textures you are eating.
Eat with friends and family. Enjoy conversation around the table. Slow down to talk and enjoy time with your loved ones.
Put your fork and knife down. Take a break. Breath. Maybe you were really hungry when you started your meal and you began to scarf it down. It happens. Take a minute to reset.
Practice. Set a timer and see how long you are taking to eat. Once you have an idea of how much time you typically spend eating, see if you can increase that time during one meal a day. Once you consistently accomplish that goal - consider trying to take more time at two meals a day and so on.
Trust me - I know this might not be easy. To be honest, I’m still working on it myself. But it is a simple and powerful strategy. Give it a try. I’d love to hear what you think!