Ever sit down to eat lunch or dinner and before you know it you are finished eating and everyone else is still eating and enjoying their food? I am guilty as one of those fast eaters and I have found that over the past 10 years I cannot seem to break the cycle. Maybe it was the after effects of working in a very fast paced accounting office where you only had minutes to eat lunch and then you had to get right back on your deadline and time billing requirement. Recently over a lunch outing a co-worker looked over and said, “Tammy, slow down.” Ahhhh, if only it were that easy for me. We must make a conscience effort to implement this and there are so many positive reasons to recognize and attempt to alter your way of eating. Let’s look at a few.
- Lose Weight – Eating slower has been found to make you feel full when your body is actually full. Studies show that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to register the gut hormones that tell you that you are full and eating fast, usually, pushes you past the point of begin full into “OH MY, I’m miserable” and overeating.
- Better Digestion – Eating slower and chewing your food completely helps the body digest what we are consuming. It also assists to reduce the amount of digestive problems that can develop.
- Reduce Stress – Slowing down the rate at which we consume our meals also helps us slow down and take a break out of our day. Step away from your desk, don’t get a fast food fix in the car and take time to enjoy your break and meal. Though often we cannot break away due to obligations, but making an effort to get some down time in to consume meals is a good practice to start implementing.
Another good way to slow down is consumption of water. A study in recent years also showed that consuming two 8 oz. glasses of water right before a meal also reduces your chances of overconsumption of food. Practicing this before meals allowed a 13% reduction in calories consumed. Can’t push through two glasses, then start with just one. You should already be consuming at least 8-10 glasses of water per day to hydrate your body. Why not throw this little exercise into your habit arsenal? Don’t like just plain old water, try throwing in a few lemon or lime slices to naturally flavor it up!
Here’s your Tuesday Takeover Mantra – Today when you sit down to lunch or dinner or both for that matter, slow down and taste the goodness of your food and start today by making a more conscious effort to be good to yourself starting with your eating habits.