Ditch carbs, drink green tea, only eat at 3 minutes past any hour, only eat things that begin with the letter ‘C’….
OK, so there are some wierd and wonderful things out there, but have you ever thought about the fact that HOW you eat trumps WHAT you eat in many ways?
This is not to say I advocate eating a load of junk, not at all, I am a definite proponent of eating fresh, unprocessed, natural foods – basing your diet on loads of veggies, meat, fish, eggs, nuts & seeds…
BUT, if you are eating the perfect diet but ramming it down your throat at hyper speed, especially when hyper stresssed, you will not be digesting and absorbing all the nutrients in the food anyway. Cortisol, the stress hormone, and digestion don’t mix, so there is an argument to support the fact that a less perfect food eaten calmly is better for you than a manically eaten food that is otherwise ‘perfect’ (ever noticed that you can eat bread on holiday but it makes you bloated in ‘normal’ life? That would be the stress factor in action…).
So, the simple magic step to take, is to SLOW IT DOWN!!!! This is a brilliant thing to use ESPECIALLY at hectic times, or times when food is too plentiful – hence me writing this in the run up to Christmas! If you can make sure that what you do eat you savour, enjoying every mouthful, you will enjoy more and naturally eat less. You will notice when you are full before you have over-stuffed yourself, so you will truly be able to enjoy the food and not have the awful consequences that invariably lead to guilt and a cycle of denial.
Which is the other part of the equation – feeling guilty about your eating then promising to be super strict, or punish yourself on Monday, in the New Year, when you get back from holiday or whatever, is another counter productive mindset. There are situations where you will eat more and times you will naturally eat less. Those who stay slim seeminly effortlessly usually have a more natural and less ‘willpower’ based approach to this. They don’t beat themselves up about the times when they eat more, they just naturally cut back a bit afterwards. And mostly they eat much more slowly than those of us who struggle…
I say those of us, as I have always been a fast eater! I have focussed on it at times, but default back to eating too fast very easily. So it is my personal challenge too.
The added benefit is, that when you eat slower and savour foods, you can begin to actually taste that junk is often not very tasty! The chemicals and the fat / salt / sugar drug-like effect keep us eating, and wanting more, but the actual taste becomes more noticeable when you slow it down.
Ever noticed that overweight people claim to ‘love food’ but then barely even let it hit the taste buds before wolfing it down and wanting more (as you don’t feel satisfied if you eat it so fast your body can’t register it has taken energy on board).
It seems hard at the start, but use the next few weeks to focus on this, and this alone. Eat, chew, placing fork (or food if finger food) down, finish mouthful then start on the next one, taking a small sip of water if need be to help with the feeling that your hands need something to be doing!
If you don’t have time to eat then eat less! And work on carving time to savour food. Avoiding distractions is good too (although I do find eating slow easier when I am reading at the same time, and it helps if you really are busy as you can justify the time spent eating better.)
Time how long meals take you and work on gradually extending that – you may end up exactly the same if you are currently eating fast, then having seconds, anyway…
The best thing is you can start right now, no special tools or foods or anything needed – just the intention! So whatever you are eating next, whatever you deem it on the scale of ‘good’ to ‘bad’ it doesn’t matter – slow down, savour and enjoy (and if you’re not enjoying it, get rid!).
Comments appreciated below!
XCarolineThis entry was posted in Lifestyle. Bookmark the permalink.