Eating Slowly and Mindfully

Exericse and Recipe Guru

Eating Slowly and Mindfully

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We’re all doing our best at the moment to find our new normal. The team thought it would be a good idea to use this time to try introducing some new positive habits.

Let’s kick it off with something I have personally adopted and found incredibly beneficial. When I did my Precision Nutrition certification I discovered through my coursework an idea that works beautifully as a 30 day challenge. You may well find, as I did, that it becomes something you adopt permanently.

It’s this simple. Eat slowly and mindfully and stop eating when you’re 80% full. That’s it! Even though the principle is simple, you may find it takes some practice and conscious thought.

Here are some interesting points Precision Nutrition’s director of curriculum, Krista Scott-Dixon,PhD, shared around the physiology and psychology of slowing down our eating.

1 : Your body’s satiety signals don’t kick in straight away - it takes about 20 minutes for you to register if you have had enough. Therefore if you have already finished your meal within that time, you won’t have had the chance to sense your body’s response to being full or not.

2 : Taking your time and enjoying each mouthful tends to create a feeling of being more satisfied.

3 : Eating quickly often means taking larger mouthfuls and chewing less. Our stomach needs to break down those large pieces of food into chyme - a mix of food, hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes and water that will pass into the small intestine. GI and indigestion problems can result from food not being broken down properly. This can potentially lead to a decreased absorption of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

4 : Your mindset can even be impacted by these eating habits. Bad digestion can cause you to burp more, feel bloated or sluggish - all these things can have a discouraging effect.

5 : You may not have ever really given yourself the opportunity to recognise your own body’s signals for feeling full. With practice you can have a real sense of listening to your body.

So your challenge is to adopt this change over the next 30 days.

Here are some tips that may help

1. When you begin the challenge, look at the clock when you start your meal. This will give you a clear picture of how quickly you eat. From there you can begin to increase the time - even small increments, like an extra minute or two per meal.

2. Take smaller mouthfuls.

3. Between bites, put your utensils down. You can take a sip of water before picking them up again, or if you’re eating with someone else, ask a question.

4. Consider where and when you eat. Could you change anything up to make this new idea easier?

5. Take notice of the texture, taste and details of the food.

6. Don’t worry if this takes a little getting used to. Awareness is a huge part of making this change. If you realise half way through the meal that you were rushing - no drama! Take a minute and a deep breath before the next mouthful.

We could all do with a little more calm in our lives at the moment, so hopefully this ‘slow down’ will have the desired effect.

Melinda x