Our modern time doesn’t give anyone slack. Every task we do, every action we take – everything in our lives is supposed to be as quick and efficient as possible. The lifestyle of a hamster trapped inside the running wheel of existence – a perpetual pursuit of accomplished goals and successful results – is only good for a few areas of our life, whereas others should stay away from the race.
One of those areas that ideally require more time and patience is, surprisingly, food. Of course, sometimes we all eat on the run, and everyone knows how hard it is to find a spare 10 minutes for a lunch, let alone having a slow and relaxed dinner at the table.
However, if you want to improve your health, stay fit, and take a more conscious approach to your nutrition, the first thing you need to do is to learn how to eat slowly. There are a few reasons for that.
Some say you should eat slowly to avoid overeating.
Is this really true and how does this work?
It is not enough to merely put food in your stomach. This won’t make your brain satisfied, nor help you feel full. Satiety is a result of your mind staying concentrated on the meal – your brain analyzes the taste, the time you spent chewing, biting, and swallowing, the image of your plate with less and less food left on it. If few of those signals were absent, you will end up having eaten way more than you needed to.
The truth is, your organism needs at least 20 minutes to be able to tell whether you are full or not. Research says that fast-eating is tightly connected to adult weight gain.
So, if you want to give yourself the right amount of nutrition without excessive thoughtless overeating, check out our tips to eat slower – they will help you concentrate on satiety signals for your brain rather than perform speed eating to feel bad later.
So, let’s take a few minutes and learn how to slow down!
Our schedules are tight, so it’s hard to spontaneously find enough time for lunch if you haven’t put it up in your plan beforehand. Look at your daily routine and try to snatch an hour or two in your day to devote it to a couple of slow, relaxed meals. But try not to hurry when you do!
Quick eating is a habit, and every habit isn’t easy to break. When you finally found the time for a slow meal, try to stay in your ‘here and now’ moment. Give yourself permission to relax, forget about your phone for 10 minutes, and concentrate on the taste and texture of food.
3. Serve smaller portions
Kids are often made to leave their plates perfectly clean. However, the later forming inability to finish the meal when you want to and leave some food on the plate usually results in systematical overeating. If you like seeing your plate clean but don’t want to eat excessively, serve yourself smaller portions on smaller plates. It will help you concentrate on your food and enjoy every bite.
4. Forget multitasking
There are so many things we like to do during the meal – watching TV, answering e-mails from work, reading… How about having a meal? Forget about the multitasking for 20 minutes and eat your food like you mean it, more focused and slowly. This one isn’t easy to accomplish at once, so you can start by limiting your time online when you’re having dinner.
Even though we all keep up with this task more or less successfully, there is a huge chance you’re not taking chewing serious enough. Pay attention to how you chew – do you swallow your food in huge bites without even tasting it? The digestion process starts in your mouth, so you can help your stomach by simply chewing better. Take smaller bites and notice the taste of your food to will prolong the satisfaction from the meal.
6. Put down your fork
Don’t treat your fork as a shovel and your mouth as a pit to fill. Take tiny breaks between bites, put down your fork for a second, don’t rush for another piece of food right after swallowing the first one. This method helps you relax, focus on your food, and eat mindfully.
7. Join together
Do your friends or relatives know how to slow down eating? If someone close to you is patient with their food, try having lunch together sometime. People tend to unconsciously imitate others near them, so if you’re having dinner with a slow eater, chances are, you’re going to adapt to their pace.