The simplest way to eat better
March 2, 2023
Mindful eating, eating slowly, eating better, strategies
When it comes to eating better, most folks worry about the little details:
“Are potatoes fattening?”
“If I don’t drink a protein shake after my workout, is it even worth exercising?”
“Is keto really the best way to lose weight? Or should I be doing Paleo? Or what about the alkaline diet?!”
Yet they eat over the kitchen sink. Or in their car. Or in a daze while in front of the TV.
And who can blame them? We’ve been taught to think about what we eat, not how we eat.
That’s too bad since…
Eating slowly and mindfully can actually be an incredibly powerful habit for driving major transformation.
Instead of having to figure out which foods to eat, in what frequency, and in what portions—all important factors, of course—eating slowly is the simplest way anyone can start eating and feeling better, immediately.
1. It takes about 20 minutes for your body’s satiety signals to kick in. Slow eating gives the system time to work, allowing you to better sense when you’ve had enough.
2. When you slow down, and really try to savor your meal, you tend to feel satisfied with less, and feel less “deprived.”
People struggle with this habit.
(Oh, do they struggle.)
What to do?
Practice at slow eating and know you won’t be perfect. That’s okay.
It’s also why it’s a good idea to spend a whole month on just this one habit.
To help you, try one of these tips. You can experiment with them for just one meal, or take on a full “30-day slow-eating challenge,” if you feel up to it.
Take a breath.
Before you eat, pause. Take one breath. Take one bite. Then take another breath. Go one bite and one breath at a time. That’s it.
Add one minute per meal.
At the beginning of a meal, start a clock and see if you can make each meal one minute longer than the meal before.
Do something between bites.
Besides taking a breath (or three), try:
setting down your utensils
taking a sip of water
asking someone at the table a question
Savor your food.
When you eat… eat. Enjoy it. Really taste it. Is it salty? Sweet? Does it coat the roof of your mouth? What’s the texture like? Think about these questions with each bite.
Notice what affects eating speed.
Even something as subtle as silence or background music can trigger you to speed up or slow down, which is why some folks have found success with listening to a 20-minute “slow eating” playlist.
Try to remember: Don’t put food on your fork... if there’s food in your mouth!
How fast or slow do you eat? What meal or meals do you plan to eat more slowly at? How's that going for you? Leave a comment below! I'd love to hear how you go.