I’m a fast eater.
Maybe it’s because I’m originally from the GO GO GO New York metro area – or maybe I’m just wired that way (or as Lady Gaga would say – Born That Way).
I eat fast + talk fast + walk fast. The only person I know who eats faster than I do is my husband (also an east coaster). If I look away for a minute, whoosh – his food is GONE!
The single habit I’ve struggled most with on my own health journey has been eating slowly.
But why does eating slowly matter? Why should we care?
Did you know that our biological “satiety mechanism” kicks in about 20 minutes AFTER we start a meal? No matter how much we eat during the first 20 minutes of a meal, we won’t feel satisfied or full until we hit the magical satiety time.
If you tend to eat too much too quickly at meals, often followed by regret and the unbuttoning of pants, this is a habit worth practicing.
Slowing down allows our bodies’ natural satiety mechanisms to kick in and put on the brakes. If you’re someone who has tried intuitive eating and dismissed it as rubbish – it’s possible you were eating too quickly (or consuming too much processed food, which I’ll save for another post).
Remember: You can and will feel full if you just slow down. The body’s natural signals will do the work for you. You don’t have to overthink it.
Here’s why I love teaching the habit of slowing down. When you feel overwhelmed by all the healthier habits you need to work on, you can always come back to this one. It’s the perfect habit to focus on when things go sideways and you need to reboot. Like after a weekend of too much pizza + wings + beer + cake.
Where to Begin
Start by trying to add 5 minutes to one meal per day. Choose a meal where this habit is easiest to implement. For most of my clients, that’s dinner.
Here are a few of my favorite “slowing down” strategies. Choose one:
- Savor your food. Really taste what you’re eating.
- Put your utensils down between bites.
- Take a breath between each bite. All the way in. All the way out.
- Try to be the last person at the table to finish.
Remember, all you have to do is be just a little slower than normal. That’s how we improve.
Each week add a little more time – or try a different strategy.
Remember the statistics I shared in my last post?
- Adopting one new habit at a time results in an 85% chance of success
- Adopting two new habits at once: a 35% chance of success
- Adopting three or more new habits at once: less than 10% chance of success
Choose one habit. Practice it for a minimum of two weeks. And then add on.
By slowing down, you’ll sidestep the inevitable…
“OMG. I can’t believe I ate so much. How did that happen?”
Slowing down creates space. Space in which you can decide whether to stop eating – or keep going. Sometimes you’ll choose to stop – and others time you’ll keep going. That’s okay.
The point is, by slowing down, you’ll have the option to stop when you’re satisfied. You’ll have a sense of choice – and the ability to take responsibility for your actions.
I work with courageous + determined women who are ready to say goodbye to yo-yo dieting for good. We’ll use a sustainable, practice-based approach to build healthy habits into your life, one day at a time for an entire year.
The result? You’ll develop healthy habits that become second nature and last a lifetime. You’ll lose the weight (and inches) you haven’t been able to shed – for good.
If this resonates with you, CLICK HERE for details on how to work with me.