Slow down to speed things up

If I got all the clients I have worked with over the past 10 years, put them in a room and asked for a show of hands of who eats fast, I can guarantee that nearly all hands will go up!

Eating fast is a behaviour that is very common amongst people who struggle with their weight.

When you start eating, it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to communicate with your brain regarding what you have eaten.  If you eat your meal in 5 minutes and still think you are ‘hungry’ for seconds, it will probably be because your brain has no idea that you have actually already eaten!  If you go ahead and eat seconds, you can consume an awful lot of calories in 20 minutes.

As well as being bad for controlling calorie intake, eating fast is not good for digestion.  Digestion begins in the mouth and the more you chew, the better your body will be able to absorb the nutrients contained in your food.

Here are two of the strategies I use with clients to help them be more aware of how fast they are eating and be able to slow down so they feel more satisfied after meals and have much better digestion.  

The 20-minute, no-seconds rule

When you start eating your meal, look at your watch and take note of the time.  Make sure that from the moment you start eating, you don’t eat any extra helpings until at least 20 minutes have passed.  If you still want to eat quickly, that’s fine.  Just make sure you don’t go near the kitchen or any second helpings until 20 minutes are up.

(Most likely, once 20 minutes have passed, you will feel full and won’t want the seconds!)

The gradual slow down

Start timing how long your meal is taking to eat and increase the time by 1 minute each day.

If, on day one, you eat your dinner in 5 minutes, aim to increase it to 6 minutes the next day.

Gradually increase at a rate that is comfortable to you, until you are taking 15-20 minutes to eat your meal.  You will feel far more satiated and your digestion will improve.

Weight loss is about so much more than just what you eat.

When you keep working on how you eat and you will be far more likely to keep weight off in the long term.