by Judy Weitzman, Diet Coach
In today’s world everything seems to be fast. With the Internet now such a big part of our lives, it seems like everything needs to be faster, and we seldom take the time to ‘smell the roses’ during our insanely busy days.
One thing we should seriously consider slowing down is how fast we eat our food. Many folks blame eating too fast on their demanding schedules or rushing from here to there.
While none of us is exempt from the craziness of today’s world, there is still no good excuse for eating too fast.
This is a very common problem that leads to overeating and discomfort after a meal. It is also one of the biggest reasons why many people are overweight today.
Did you know it takes about twenty minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full? Most of us are done eating in less time than that.
There are lots of tips and tricks for eating more slowly. First and foremost, you need to be aware of your eating behaviors.
One time I asked my cousin if he ate fast and he said he ate “like a vacuum cleaner.” He obviously was very aware of how fast he ate.
Eating is not a race to the finish line. Luckily, we do not live in a third world country where we have to worry about where our next meal will come from. Yet some of us eat that way.
Have you ever observed someone eating a sandwich? Many men and women will pick up their sandwich with both hands and take a bite. No problem.
But what blows me away is that they keep holding the sandwich while they chew. Think about it. It happens all the time.
It is not as if someone is going to swing by and steal the sandwich off their plate. Yet they have the sandwich perched and ready for that next bite.
By simply putting down the sandwich between bites, it will slow down the eating process.
The same goes for a slice of pizza: putting it down between bites slows down the eating process. Improved weight loss is the result.
Unlike sandwiches, where it is appropriate to eat with your hands, most food is eaten with utensils.
One way to slow down is to eat your food with chopsticks. Learning to eat with chopsticks is an art form, requiring patience.
Most of the time we eat with regular silverware, which is fine. Once again, it is about putting down the utensil between bites. This allows you to digest your food and feel fuller so that you end up eating less.
You can even take it up a notch by putting down your fork, then take a sip of water between bites to ensure you have thoroughly chewed and swallowed your food.
The size of your bites can also help slow you down. By cutting your food into tiny pieces (like you would for a small child) you will eat more slowly.
Take the time you need to eat slowly. Try not to eat standing up at a counter or over the sink in the kitchen. (Yep, we have all done it.)
Put your food on a plate and sit down at a table to enjoy your meal. Focus on what you are eating and enjoy the different flavors.
Speaking of flavors, they are enhanced by the smell. When you take more time to chew your food, you will taste it more and it will register with your brain that you are being satisfied.
The upside of eating more slowly is that you will enjoy your food more and have better digestion. You will also eat less and enjoy the experience more without the stress of rushing through your meal.
When you are not careful about eating more slowly, you risk having heartburn and acid reflux, neither of which is fun. Most importantly, eating slowly lessens the chance of overeating and becoming overweight.
“The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age.”
– Lucille Ball
The good news is that it doesn’t cost a dime more to slow down. This is a serious lifestyle change that will make you healthier and happier. So the next time you have a sandwich, please put it down between bites!
(published August 13, 2013)
Judy Weitzman, known as “Diet Coach Judy,” has experience in the weight loss industry that spans more than 30 years. She is the author of How to Eat When Life Gets in the Way. Besides her professional experience, she lost 50 pounds nearly 30 years ago and has maintained her lower weight. Judy has successfully helped her clients lose weight and keep it off by helping them change their behaviors. Each program is individualized and the daily support she offers helps ensure her clients’ success. To learn more about Judy, visit her website at www.dietcoachjudy.com.