Many benefits come from slowing down the speed at which we eat our meals. A slower pace can improve our digestion, allow us to be satisfied with the taste, smell and texture of food, and provide our body's with the opportunity to feel full before consuming more calories than we need. Here are some tips to taking more time to finish your meal:
𝐄𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐱𝐞𝐝 𝐞𝐧𝐯𝐢𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬. Eating while driving, watching TV, on the computer or texting takes your focus away from the food.
𝐎𝐩𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐡𝐢𝐠𝐡-𝐟𝐢𝐛𝐫𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐫𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐭𝐫𝐚 𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠. Fresh fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains boost the fibre and could help you slow down.
𝐏𝐮𝐭 𝐝𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐤𝐧𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐛𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐬. Take this time to chew, swallow and breathe before your next mouthful. If you’re eating with other people, enjoy the conversation.
𝐓𝐫𝐲 𝐬𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐦𝐮𝐦 𝐧𝐮𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐰𝐬 𝐩𝐞𝐫 𝐛𝐢𝐭𝐞. Treat this as an experiment to see how many chews you normally take compared to the most you could do
𝐔𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐫 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐮𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐥𝐬. The smaller surface area will make the food take up more room and can help with controlling portions. Using small utensils or chopsticks can limit the amount you consume at each bite, making your meal go further.
𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐚𝐭. Try to set aside at least 20-30 minutes for each meal so that you don’t have to rush through it to meet other commitments. Fueling your body and spending time with friends or family is important and should be set as a priority in your day.
This is a new habit/goal so take your time and practice. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find it difficult to slow down. It is a work in progress!