Here’s something you may not know: you can lose weight if you eat more slowly. Not only is eating slowly and mindfully great for your digestion, but you will feel fuller much more quickly, which can also equate to eating less food if you’ve got your eye on the ball.
I’m a food inhaler from way back, so nobody finds it harder to eat mindfully than I do. When I think back to my childhood there are many factors that contributed to my embarrassing habit of being the first person at the table to finish my meals.
Firstly, there’s my parents (My whole family in fact); we all eat really quickly (with the exception of my sister, who eats like a snail).
I remember as a kid all I wanted to do was get to the next thing. Mealtimes were just a hassle, so as kids we wanted to finish our meals as quickly as possible so we could leave the table and go watch telly or play. I also remember having competitions with my siblings and friends to see who could finish their meal first.
What was your trigger? Whatever it is, it can be changed with a little perseverance. Eating more slowly starts with the decision to do so. After that you just have to remember to actually do it. This can be a bit hard if, like me, you’ve been gulping down your food for over four decades. Here are some useful tips that help me practise mindful eating every day.
Sit At The Table
If you’re used to sitting in front of the box at mealtimes, it’s time to move away. Watching television while you’re eating is almost guaranteed to make you eat quicker, especially if you’re already that way inclined.
The same goes for sitting in front of your computer, checking your phone or reading the paper. All these things take you away from the task at hand; savouring your meal.
So when you make a conscious choice to sit at the table for every meal, you’re waking up. You’re reminding your subconscious that you intend to pay attention to what you’re eating. The added bonus is that you’re much more likely to enjoy your meal if you have no other distractions.
Put It Down
Your fork, I mean; or whatever utensil you happen to be using. Each time you take a bite of food, place your utensils on the table so you’re not tempted to scoop up another mouthful before you have finished the previous one.
Whenever I’m tempted to gobble down my food in order to stampede towards the next moment, this step really helps me to collect my thoughts and focus on what I’m doing right here in the present moment.
If you feel as though there’s something more important to be doing than eating your meal, this is just a mind state that can be managed. The fact of the matter is, whatever email is waiting in your inbox can wait another ten minutes while you finish you meal.
This one sounds really obvious, but it’s important. Have you ever watched a dog eat? They can literally swallow a chunk of meat whole without even chewing. You don’t want to eat like a dog. Yet when you’re not being mindful, it can be easy to forget to chew your food thoroughly. This is bad for your digestion because digestion essentially starts in the mouth, with the saliva breaking down the food.
However many times you’re used to chewing your food, double it. Some experts recommend chewing your food until it’s liquefied but if that doesn’t work for you, do what is comfortable. Just make sure you savour the taste and texture of the food in your mouth before you swallow it.
You can definitely lose weight if you eat more slowly because it will take you longer to finish your meal and you will feel more satisfied. A good hypnotherapist can help to reprogram your mind to do this. If you would like help contact me here to see if I can help.