TRY THIS …
The following is a sample section from 21-Day Challenge Programme (...soon to be back for another round!)
Sounds simple doesn’t it? No matter what you eat, when you eat, where you eat... eat slowly.
A simple difference between eating faster or slower can determine whether you put weight on or start losing it. Research studies have shown that people who eat faster are heavier than those who eat slowly. Similarly, those who learned and trained themselves to eat slower, ate less and lost weight.
It takes a minimum of 20 minutes for your hormones associated with hunger to be received by the brain from the stomach. So give yourself this time before deciding whether or not you’re still hungry... you’d be surprised!
Watch those who are overweight, how do they eat? Are they slow with their food, do they chew with every mouthful, do they actually seem consciously engaged with their food?
Interestingly, this same strategy is used for the opposing reason for people who struggle eating enough and putting on weight. They know they have a 20-minute window to eat as much calorie dense foods as they can before their satiety hormones kick in.
So for us, let’s use this to our advantage and elongate our eating window.
Benefits From Paying Attention And Eating Slowly
1. Improves your digestion – no more gas, bloating, acid re-flux, heartburn, or upset stomach.
2. Can create a momentary of calmness in our busy schedules.
3. You’ll feel more satisfied and start to appreciate the taste and textures of food again! - It’s kind of like switching from an American eating style (lots of food very fast) to a French style (less food, very slow).
4. When we truly enjoy our food, we enjoy our lives.
How To Eat “Slower”:
1. Try sitting at a table with just your food (friends and family are optional!).
2. Time yourself using your stopwatch on your phone, and see if you can work your way up to 20-25 mins per meal.
3. After putting food in your mouth, put your knife and fork down... chew, relax, then after you swallow, slowly pick up your cutlery and make your next mouthful.
4. Make it a scheduled appointment with yourself (in advance) lasting half an hour... not an irrelevant part of your day but instead time for your body to actually receive the attention it needs to absorb and digest your food properly, and fuel your mental and physical activities.
5. Take a deep breath through your nose in-between mouthfuls.
6. Take small sips of water whilst eating.
7. Be curious about your foods...what are you REALLY tasting?
8. Take smaller mouthfuls and accentuate the taste of those mouthfuls.
9. Chew a few more times than what you think is necessary.
10. Take more bites per meal.
11. Savour each bite, take pleasure from the smells, textures and tastes – enjoy good food.
12. Notice if you start rushing, be conscious, pause, and tell yourself "I’m rushing, let’s slowdown”.
13. Try using chopsticks! ;)
14. Take 5 deep breaths before eating (5 seconds in, hold for 5, exhale for 5) – a simple exercise like this can reduce stress (cortisol levels) and move you from a sympathetic to parasympathetic state which will massively aid your digestion.
o This is particularly important if you find yourself constantly eating in a stressed state, on the move, multitasking.
o For the next 21 days, commit to making time for your meals (schedule it in advance when possible)
o You’d be surprised how much this can aid towards your fat loss goals and overall health.
There's lots different ways you could try to implement this habit, these are just suggestions. Test a few and find one you feel 9/10 confident you could do for a minimum of 14 days.
If you’re struggling to pick one, try NO.3… this tends to be the most popular among my clients, or maybe buy yourself some chopsticks!
Then align it to the main principles (outlined in the previous post):
ONE TASK: Eat slowly. For each meal, I will put down my cutlery after each mouthful, and only pick them back up again AFTER I have swallowed the previous mouthful.
ACHIEVABLE AND MEASURABLE: Every meal in the day will count as a success (a small win) as long as I follow the task as above. I have 4 meals in a day, and plan on committing to this task for at least 14 days before reviewing - so I have 56 meals and aiming for achieving 45 or more during that time to be successful (80%+) with the habit.
STAY POSITIVE: I know that this is a challenge for me and a lifestyle change from how I normally rush my food. If I slip up… it’s ok, practice makes perfect and I’ll make sure the following two meals I stay extra conscious of my habit by placing my scrap piece of paper down on the table with “EAT SLOWLY!” on it.
BE ACCOUNTABLE: I’m going to mention to my family about this challenge and see if anyone wants to join me. I’ve also created a ‘check-box’ sheet with each meal for each day, so I can check the boxes if I complete the habit at each meal.
TRIGGER: Before each meal, I’m going to take 3 deep breaths in to slow me down and ready myself for my habit.
Again this is an example of how I would do it for myself. The whole idea behind a habit-based approach to health is to make it personal to YOU and your lifestyle – so adjust this framework as you like, and give it a go!
Would love to hear what you think of it, feel free to email me at email@example.com, and let me know how you get on!
Stay Healthy and Happy