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Slow down & savor for optimal health

When most people think about managing their weight, they think about what foods they should be eating instead of how they are eating them. Eating behaviors play a big role when it comes to weight management.

Think about your daily eating habits. When do you eat? Do you eat at a certain time every day or do you eat when you are hungry? Where do you normally eat your food? Do you sit at the table or do you eat while watching TV, working at the computer, or do you graze throughout the day. Do you ever find yourself standing in the kitchen mindlessly eating or picking from your kids’ plates? These behaviors over time can become habits which often lead to eating too fast as well as over eating. By slowing down and savoring your food, you may find that you eat less and stay fuller longer.

It takes about 20 minutes for our stomach to register we are full. When we eat too fast, we often eat too much. There are many reasons why we may we eat too quickly. Perhaps it’s something that you learned as a child. I grew up in a big family and if we didn’t eat quickly the food would be gone. If you feel guilt for eating certain foods, you may find that you eat too fast. Maybe you're surrounded by other fast eaters.

Eating while distracted for example front of the TV or working at the computer can cause us to over eat. If we are busy and running around grabbing food throughout the day, we can over eat. Maybe we have simply created a bad habit and have not stopped long enough to change the behavior. Overeating isn’t the only issue with eating too fast. It can also cause indigestion, upset stomach, or other digestive issues.

There was a study by the National Institutes of Health that examined two groups. Both groups both groups ate a 600 cal meal. One group was required to eat the meal in 6 minutes and the other group in 24 minutes. Three hours later, they offered both groups a snack. The group that ate their food slower ate 25% less calories when offered the snack. Eating slower kept them fuller longer which resulted in eating less overall calories.

If weight management is your goal, try these following tips to help you slow down and savor your food.

1. Choose a food that you really enjoy.

2. Sit down somewhere you can eat without any distractions.

3. Chew your food well. It is recommended to chew soft foods five times and chewier foods like steak up to 40 times. This helps aid in better digestion.

4. Set utensils down between bites.

5. Notice how delicious your food tastes when you eat slowly.

By slowing down and savoring our food we can manage our weight and enjoy our food in the process. That is definitely a win win situation!

Below are some additional tips to keep you slowed down and savoring your food.

Blue zones take time out of there day to slow down

• Sardinia

• Okinawa

• 7th day adventist

• Ikaria, Greece – Aegean Island

• Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

Understand why you might be eating too fast

• Upbringing

• Stress around mealtime

• Big family not enough if you didn’t eat fast

• Other fast eaters

• Guilt around eating

• Distracted

• Busy

• Chaotic environment

• Busyness of life - kids, etc.

• Bad habit

Problems with eating too fast

• Indigestion and upset stomach

• Weight gain

• Disconnected from hunger signals

Where you eat is important

• Eat something delicious

• Sit with no distractions

• Use small utensils

• Small bites

• Put fork down

• Experience foodThoroughly chew- 5-10 soft and 40 tougher foods steakHelps digestion

• Enjoy food

In health and wellness, Trainer Joy


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