Do you ever look down while eating and feel surprised to see your empty plate?
It’s amazing that we can eat so fast and so unconsciously that before we know it, the food is gone!
Are we satisfied? No.
Because we ate so quickly that it didn’t have time to register in our brains.
What a waste of a meal!
When you eat with friends or family, are you often the first one to be finished?
Or maybe you’re eating while you text, talk on the phone or watch television. These distractions can put you on autopilot, and your speed will increase without you even noticing it.
Sometimes we let ourselves get overly hungry.
And when we ignore our hunger until we’re starving, (figuratively, not literally) then it’s super hard to notice our speed.
It’s also hard to really notice our food and get enjoyment from it.
Sometimes we simply have a fast-eating habit.
Maybe when you were a child, there wasn’t enough food. So you rushed to get your share.
Or maybe you zoned out because your parents argued at the dinner table.
So you ate as fast as you could, to get away from the meal.
Whatever brought you to this point, you’re here now and it’s time to figure out how to slow down.
Why should you slow down?
Eating is for nourishment AND pleasure. And if we rush through our meals, we are also rushing through our pleasure.
If we eat too fast, we also tend to miss the signal that we’re satisfied… that we’ve had enough. This leads to weight gain or at best, maintaining your weight where you are today.
And as we continue to eat quickly, we get more and more distance between our awareness and our bodies. We stop hearing our signals of fullness and hunger. And that simply doesn’t feel good. Because by the time we stop eating, we are overly full.
So how do you slow down?
First, decide what you’ll be eating, with whom, and when.
Wait to be hungry. Nice and hungry. Not so hungry you will grab anything you see.
Make your food appealing. Taste, visual, texture, setting. Stop before you eat and admire your plate. Smell it. Appreciate it. Then dig in.
But commit to consciously eat slower. Put your fork down a few times to pause and check in with yourself. Are you still hungry? If so, keep going. But go on eating slow enough to hear the signal to stop. Allow yourself to relish it.
If you truly want to enjoy your food, then slow down.
Rushing through your meal will actually diminish your eating pleasure.
And if your goal is to lose some extra weight, slowing down will let you stay connected and continue to make good choices.