How many of us finish our meals in a matter of minutes? As if the food will disappear if we don’t gobble it up? Or eat standing up because we don’t have to “time” to sit down, relax and enjoy our food? If you are having your lunch or dinner while binge-watching your favourite TV series, is the plate empty before you even realize it?
In today’s world, we are always running. Always rushing to get things done, to be as fast as we can. But this way of life shouldn’t be our way of eating! We live in a rushed, distracted society. We rarely take the time to really savour our food, sometimes not even to chew it properly!
Mindful eating is something that not only affects the way we digest our food, but also how our body reacts to the food! In simple terms, when you eat slowly, you digest better, your body uses the food more efficiently.
There are loads of reasons why eating slowly is a lot more beneficial than mindless, distracted and hurried eating.
One of the most important benefits of slow, mindful eating is that it gives your body time to recognize that you are full. When eating, it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to signal that the stomach is full. But we, being the freakishly fast-paced people that we are, manage to shovel so much food in those 20 minutes, that we end up overeating and feeling “too full”.
Eating slowly also helps us feel more satisfied – which is very different that just being “full”. When you slow down, you savour a meal, you pay attention to the flavours and the textures, and appreciate each mouthful.
Eating slowly also helps improve digestion.
Digestion starts from the mouth, so large bites that are hurriedly eaten and not chewed properly are more difficult for the stomach to break down, thus leading to indigestion and other GI problems. And who wants that?
Fast eaters generally gain more weight over time than slow eaters. Just by eating slower, you eat less food (you don’t over-eat), and end up consuming lesser calories than you would if you rush through your meals! So if weight loss is on your agenda, eating slow should be a part of you lifestyle.
Eating slowly while paying attention to your food is a great form of mindfulness exercise. Be in the moment, concentrate on what you are doing, rather than just doing it to get it over with. This kind of mindfulness will help you calm your mind and lead to lesser stress. Give it a try!
Research has shown that people who eat slow, and are thus more satisfied with their meal, have lesser mid-meal cravings. It keeps you from binge eating on unhealthy snacks during the day!
So how can you eat slow and eat right?
Try some of these tips!!
– Try to eat with minimal distractions. Avoid eating while watching TV, driving, texting, etc.
– Choose high fibre foods that require you to chew just a little more, like fresh fruits and vegetables.
– Put down your utensils after a few bites. Take a moment, breathe and enjoy your food.
– Use smaller utensils and silverware (plates/bowls/spoons).
– Set aside time to eat, and try to take at least 20-30 minutes from the start of your meal till the end. Don’t just eat when “convenient”.
– Eat with other people around. With family or friends, the conversation flows freely, so the meals usually last longer than they would if you eat alone.
You are fuelling your body whenever you eat something. That’s important. Give it the time and attention it deserves!
What do you do to make sure that you are eating the right way? Any more tips that we can add in our blog?
Do let us know in the comments below!!