I have a confession to make. I tend to eat fast, no matter how hungry I am. I have not really focused on changing this behavior, because I have learned to adapt to it by putting less on my plate (so I do not end up overeating). I know the importance of eating slowing: so our mind can catch up with our body sensation of fullness (satiety). I have heard from many nutritionists it takes 20 minutes for our brain to register we are full.
I did not notice I ate fast, until my family pointed out that I often finish eating earlier than they do. Along with putting less on my plate, to ensure I do not overeat, I have learned to not put any more on my plate until the 20 minutes has passed. I can then make the decision to eat more due to my physical hunger. I would like to eat slower, since I do know that I can then feel my fullness and not overeat. This is a process, a journey for me, just like it can be for you too.
I know (in my head) all of the benefits of eating more slowly:
- You can tend to eat less.
- You know when you are full more easily.
- You have time to consider what you are eating and how it is making your body feel.
- You can then have more interesting conversations with people at your table.
So, I am on a mission, for myself, to slow down my eating. I thought you might have a similar desire. This is my plan to help me accomplish my goal.
- I will still put less than what I think I want to eat plate (as I have always done), knowing that I can still have more, if I am still hungry.
- I will continue to not eat in the car or in front of the tv. I gave that up a long time ago, since that the places where lots of mindless eating can happen.
- I will take a bite put my fork down, chew and then pick up my fork again. This can help me to slow down.
- I will take sips of water during my meal to slow me down.
- I will start my meals affirming I eat at a slow pace.
Eating slower is part of mindfulness during eating. Mindfulness is one of the six components to an Emotional Eating Solution. The other components: food, emotions, thoughts, lifestyle, body image/self-worth create the six components you need to have in alignment to have peace with food. I find it interesting that food is only one of the six components and the other five are the areas that can lead us to overeat.
I want you to see that this is a journey to be more accountable with food behavior, mine included. I will check back in with you to tell you how it is going. I find stating what I am doing to others helps me to hold myself accountable and reminds me to be more mindful.
Kim McLaughlin, MA is a Counselor and Motivational Coach who specializes in working with people who suffer from binge eating and emotional eating. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.
Kim McLaughlin has been identified as writing one of the Top 50 Blogs about Emotional Eating by the Institute on Emotional Eating. Sign up for her free Special Report: Top Strategies to End Binge Eating here or visit her website at www.FeedYourSoulUnlimited.com.