Week 3 of the Orca Nutrition Games is all about SLOWING IT DOWN!
The benefits of slow eating include better digestion, better hydration, easier weight loss or maintenance, and greater satisfaction with our meals. Meanwhile, eating quickly leads to poor digestion, increased weight gain, and lower satisfaction. The message is clear: Slow down your eating and enjoy improved health and well-being.
This week I will be bringing you tactics how to slow your meals (and snacks), and more positive health-promoting reasons too!
Reason #1 to Eat More Slowly
— Allow your body to Sense Satisfaction —
Eating slowly allows your body enough time to recognize when you’re full. It takes your body about twenty minutes after beginning the meal for your brain to send out the signal your appetite is satiated; do some of your meals even last that long?
If you are eating too quickly, it is easy to consume an excess of calories from the delay in communication. What if each meal/snack that you felt ‘stuffed’, rather than ‘satisfied’, could be a culprit for stalled body goals?
When you slow down, savor the meal, pay attention to how it really tastes, and be mindful of each bite, you will leave the table feeling better and making overall better choices.
Tip #1: If you feel this is a reoccurring theme for you, start with setting a timer for 20-30 minutes for meals and pace your plate clearing!
Reason #2 to Eat More Slowly
— Improved digestion —
- Slow eaters consumed 2 ounces of food per minute.
- Medium-speed eaters consumed 2.5 ounces of food per minute.
- Fast eaters consumed 3.1 ounces per minute. They also took larger bites and chewed less before swallowing.
Reason #3 to Enjoy Your Food
— Food is Fuel, but it should be enjoyable too! —
Tips for #2 & 3:
- Set a timer for 20-30 minutes, and take that time to eat your meal
- Place your utensils/food down between bites, and don’t pick it back up until you have completely swallowed
- Try eating with your non-dominant hand; if you’re a righty, hold your fork in your left hand when lifting food to your mouth, surely it will slow you down
- Use chopsticks instead of a fork… Especially if you’re having soup
- Try to take the perfect bite each time, rather than shoveling or speed eating your way through your plate
- Take small bites and chew well, almost too well
- Before opening the fridge or cabinet, take a breath and ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Try drinking some water, taking a quick walk, or some light/brief exercise
Reason #4 to Eat More Slowly
— Eating quickly promotes can make you feel out of control of your eating habits —
If you’ve ever experienced a binge episode, you’ll know the feeling — a powerful urge to get the food in there as fast as possible.
Even in inconsistent bursts, people who suffer from compulsive eating often feel out of control of their eating behavior. After a binge or episode of over-eating, they feel guilty, ashamed, and regretful of their decisions.
The good news? Focusing on slowing down can be a great way to nip it in the bud.
When you’re in the grip of a binge or an over-eating episode that feels overwhelming, just try to slow down as soon as you realize what’s happening.
You might not feel able to stop eating right away, and that’s OK. But most people can slow themselves down, even when the binge demons are howling and can pull the reigns in on curbing some destructive decisions.
Reason #5 to Eat More Slowly
— Your BRAIN and your GUT need time to COMMUNICATE —
It can take up to 20 minutes for the signals of “being full” to register in your brain… Look back to Tips #2 & 3 on ways to slow your meals down!
Food Goes in ⇒ Stomach begins to fill with food ⇒ Sends a message to the brain (dial-up speed) ⇒ Brain gets the message (like morse code decryption) ⇒ Secretes hormones for digestion & sends the message back to stomach & body (more dial-up speed) ⇒ Pleasure is felt from just the right amount of food… Ahh, it feels good to go slow!
“Stretch receptors in the stomach are activated as it fills with food or water; these signal the brain directly through the vagus nerve that connects gut and brainstem. Hormonal signals are released as partially digested food enters the small intestine. One example is cholecystokinin (CCK), released by the intestines in response to food consumed during a meal. Another hormone, leptin, produced by fat cells, is an adiposity signal that communicates with the brain about long-range needs and satiety, based on the body’s energy stores. Research suggests that leptin amplifies the CCK signals, to enhance the feeling of fullness. Other research suggests that leptin also interacts with the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain to produce a feeling of pleasure after eating. The theory is that, by eating too quickly, people may not give this intricate hormonal cross-talk system enough time to work.” – Ann MacDonald, Harvard Health
- How Much More Food You Need to Be ‘Just Right.
- When You Should Be Feeling Full (what do you need, not what do you want)
— Distracted or Stressed Eating is Directly Associated with Weight Gain —
We’ve all been there…
Tip #6: PUT DOWN THE PHONE, TURN OFF THE T.V., NO EATING BEHIND THE WHEEL … You can wait the few minutes extra until you are able to just focus on that one thing, I promise you won’t starve or whittle away!
If you are ready to commit to your health & fitness before the holidays, you can join Orca Empire Fitness for FREE. Click the link to book your free consultation.
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