I would probably lose, but I feel like I could put up a fight.
The Tasmanian devil style whirlwind of activity, children, paperwork, and people all day long keep me moving quick. From 5:00AM to 5:00PM my day is broken down into 30 minute blocks. This leaves me exactly 30 minutes to eat lunch. Do you know how long it takes me?
I know terrible. I scarf down a sandwich, Greek yogurt, side of vegetables, and a glass of water in no more than 3 minutes. I excuse it because of the breakneck pace at which my day typically moves. I tell myself it's a "necessity".
There are 2 problems with this scenario.
1. My stomach's satiety sensor hasn't caught up with the shovel I used to engulf my food so I'm still hungry. If I didn't have snacks packed I would probably demolition that Snickers that sneers at me every day.
2. This full tilt food frenzy doesn't stop when I leave work. It has become a habit. Dinner is usually downed in about 5 minutes. Then, of course, I'm ready for a snack.
It's time I stop and savor the flavor. [Tweet this]
Studies show that fast-eaters are 3x's more likely to be obese than slow eaters. Eating too fast also hinders the digestive system. The more we chew, the slower we eat, the more the food is broken down by saliva before entering the stomach. This allows food to pass through much easier.
Even knowing this, slowing down is HARD. Whatever you do please DON'T turn to the Dental Diet System. Dumb!
Here are some tricks I've been trying to eat slower. They have been working really well so far. (23 minutes to eat lunch yesterday!)
1. Conscious water consumption. I have been focusing on drinking at least one glass of water before every meal. Water helps fill you up. It's calorie free. Also, a necessity for life. No real downside.
2. Fork food. I've swapped my sandwich for food I must eat with a fork. This week I've eaten quinoa style dishes with spinach, meat, tomato, and avocado. It's been delicious, nutritious, and is sufficient in slowing me down. I've also been attempting to put my fork down in between every 2 or 3 bites.
3. Communication between calories. Whether it be at school or with my wife, Meghan, talking (preferably without my mouth full) has really worked. It's a relationship win-win. Better relationship with those around me and a better relationship with food.
4. Start with a snack. Meg and I have been sitting and snacking when we get home. We talk about the day as we eat away. On what? Veggies and hummus. We portion it out, it's never much, but it's enough to slow us down during dinner. A little appeteaser, if you will.
5. Bring less to the table. Instead of serving family style at the table we've been preparing our plates away for the table. It has proven true. I'm far less likely to get back up and go for seconds. We did this at home growing up, now I know why.
6. Prayer and Devotion. Praying before the meal helps slow down the pace of life, turn the focus to what truly matters, and provides connection with God. Meg and I have also been reading our devotion after dinner before leaving the table. The brain doesn't register fullness for 20 minutes. Devoting those 20 minutes to something else helps the mind catch up with the body.
Eating slower is linked to a healthier weight, less money spent on food, and reduced stress. It seems that there are very few drawbacks to eating slow.
So, slow down and savor. Savor the slow down. Savor the flavor. Savor all the is gained by going slow.
Do you have any more tips or tricks for eating slow? If these tips helped you or you have more to share please leave a comment.
This is a special week for Finding Fit because there will be a post everyday! Slow is the theme all week. So check back each day or sign-up if you're ready to join us in living healthier and Finding Fit in your life.
I want to thank Jeff Goins for the 'Slow Down Challenge". He has reminded me of the beauty of slowing down, smelling the roses, and that great things come to those that work and wait. He also helped me overcome my feelings of not being a writer. Check out his website for more great things from Jeff- goinswriter.com.