9 – New Habit: Slow Down
Slow Down for Satisfaction
So this week, in addition to making mindful choices, I want you to focus on slowing down the pace of your meals.
We’re all busy, I get it – so if this is a big ask, choose ONE main meal every day this week where you will consciously slow down, then when that becomes easy, do the same for the next meal and so on.
If you’re still finding that difficult, I want you to notice how long it takes for you to eat your meals in general – if it’s less than 10 minutes, this is a habit that you DO need to focus on and will take longer than a week to master, so keep that in mind down the line.
If you reckon you’re already a “slow eater”, pay attention to the food you’re eating. Chew properly, savour the flavour and notice how full it makes you feel. Check in with yourself and stop eating when your hunger has been satisfied.
Why Slow Down?
There are many health benefits to gain from slowing down your eating:
Less food consumption;
More quality time with loved ones;
Experiencing more enjoyment from your food.
Learning to eat more slowly is one of the simplest you can do to improve your overall health.
Digestion is all over the news, especially in the nutrition world. Everyone is looking for that perfect probiotic or fermented food to help improve their digestion.
It makes sense. You can eat all the healthy food you want, but if your body cannot properly break it down in order to supply you with the nutrients, you will miss out on the full benefit of these healthy foods.
While probiotics and fermented foods are great, and something we highly recommend, slowing down will also play a big roll in improving your digestion.
We live in a very fast-paced, hectic world. We are constantly racing from one place to the next. Slowing down sends a signal to your body that you are not in trouble. It gives the body the okay to put time and direct it’s energy towards digesting your food.
Consume Fewer Calories
To lose weight, what is one of the first things people try to do?
Answer: Restrict calories
What if this could happen naturally instead of forcing yourself to limit your intake?
That sounds like a win-win to me.
When you slow down your eating, your body has a chance to digest your food and send messages to your brain that you are full.
Athletes looking to gain weight will force themselves to eat as fast as possible in order to trick their brain into thinking their body is not yet full.
This might seem a little crazy to you, but many studies have shown that over time, faster eaters gain more weight.
So, to consume fewer calories and help yourself lose or maintain your weight, simply focus on slowing down!
Studies have shown that if you allow your body to regulate properly by eating slowly, you will feel more satisfied with your meal.
Let’s revisit to what the typical person will do to lose weight:
Right away, they start restricting calories. Not by eating slowly, but just by forcing themselves to eat less. This can work right until they start getting cravings. Typically, they feel hungry again shortly after eating their last meal. Unable to resist, they hit up the vending machine at work and add in an extra 500 calories of junk food.
Does this sound familiar??
Just by slowing down your mealtime, you can actually eat fewer calories and feel more satisfied after your meal. You’ll also feel less hungry throughout the day!
Remember, slow down and enjoy your food.
Record how long it takes for you to eat your main meals.
Add 10 minutes to all of your meal times from yesterday.
If it took you 5 minutes to eat breakfast, try to turn that into 15 minutes.
If it already took you over 20 minutes to eat your meals, that is great and keep doing it!
Record how you feel after your meal (note any bloating or feelings of satisfaction). Do you notice a difference with slow eating?