SLOW DOWN WHILE EATING
Today’s challenge is to slow down while eating.
Eating quickly is one of the greatest precursors to overeating.
For one thing, it takes around 20 minutes to register your fullness, so if you are eating too fast then you won’t be able to gauge if you are truly full until it’s too late!
Speed is also a sign that your body is in a stressed state, and when you are stressed, your sympathetic nervous system is activated. This is your fight or flight mode. In this mode, you are primed to run away from a predator. All of your blood is rushing to your extremities so that you can make a fast escape, and moving away from your digestive tract.
That’s bad news for you absorbing nutrients and feeling full.
Many of us are living life in a state of chronic stress, where we are always going too fast. Slowing down can be scary if you’re used to going fast but it is so worth it to make a radical difference to how much you might be eating.
A useful tool is to use a scale of 0-10 to measure how fast you’re eating. 0 means no speed at all, and 10 is lightspeed. Simply ask yourself what speed on that scale you are eating at. If it is over a 5 then you might try and adjust.
A few tricks that you can use are to set an intention before you start eating, of what speed on the scale of 0-10 that you want to eat. That way you can have a goal to try to stick to.
You can also try taking a few calming breaths before you start. This can be especially useful if we are always living our day to day at a fast pace because then we are intentionally putting a line in the sand, and making a conscious effort to care for ourselves.
Other tactics we can use are to stop and take a few breaths in the middle of the meal or whenever you feel that you’ve deviated from your number on the 0-10 scale. You can even try putting your cutlery down for a few moments while you chew and re-calibrate your speed.
The aim by the way is not to eat so slowly that you bore yourself to death!
The method of chewing each bit 50 times is a popular idea and one that I personally dislike as it will more than likely make you never want to try this again.
The trick is to go at a pace that is right for you. If you eat a speed of 8/10 for example, then just slowing down to a level 6 or 7 is a fantastic start.
Try it today. Use the speed scale when you eat today, and see if you can feel the benefits of slowing down.