Day 27 – Slow Down (your eating)

For day 27 of  31 Days of Healthy Ways to Enjoy the Holidays More the tip is to slow down your eating

Slow down your eating.  Since the season has been so busy, you may have gotten in to the habit of scarfing your food down in a rush, eating in front of the TV or computer to save time or even eating standing up.  When we eat and don’t pay attention to our food, we often finish the meal looking for more (even though we’re full!)!  How many times have you gotten up after dinner to get a snack or something sweet? If you ate enough, the real reason you’re looking for something else to eat is because you weren’t present with your food.  It’s almost like there’s a part of your brain that isn’t aware that you just ate – it doesn’t know because it doesn’t remember seeing your food.  You just threw it in your gullet and were done!

Eating slower gives your body a chance to send signals to your brain that tells you when you’re full.  It also makes digesting your food easier.  When we anticipate eating, we produce saliva, which has enzymes in it that help us to start to break down food.  We also produce stomach acid to continue breaking down our food.  If you blow through meals too quickly (and don’t chew them well), you’re jumping ahead before your body is ready.   This can lead to indigestion, gas and stomach pains. So what can you do about it?

At mealtime, sit down in a quiet place, turn off the tv, put down your phone, don’t read the newspaper. Relax. Sit with your food and take it all in with your senses.  See it with your eyes. Let the scent of it enter your nose, then taste it.  Take small bites and chew thoroughly before swallowing.  Notice how it feels on your tongue.  Focus only on the food on your plate when you’re eating.  Be present.  Stop when you feel you’ve had enough and most importantly enjoy your food.

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