Ipek Williamson

Insight Coach

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Eating slower makes sense

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Just like everyone, I have some habits that I do not like much, and one of them is eating extremely fast. When, most of the times you are the one to clear your plate, first to finish your coffee, at times it feels embarrassing a little. In general, the ones that like their food and beverages at their best temperature status be it hot or cold, are the fastest consumers. As according to the fast eaters, when the food or beverage gets to the level of lukewarm, they lose all their attraction. But obviously, it is not good for the digestive system to eat and drink too fast. It is not a good practice in terms of keeping a healthy weight either. So, it might make sense to try harder to eat and drink slower, even if it means less pleasure.

Eating mindfully is just as important as the right selection of foods in the diet. When you eat fast, you miss the point where you feel comfortably full. And you keep eating unnecessarily until everything disappears from the plate; whether you need the last few bites or not. If it is on the plate, it needs to get to your stomach. I wonder if it is related to some kind of subconscious fear that is making people act like someone will take away their plate before they have the opportunity to finish the food in it.

To be able to tell that you are at the point of being “comfortably” full, you need to eat slowly, chew each bite as many times as possible. Only then, you can appreciate the taste and also recognize that you are close to being full and that it is time to stop eating, while it is not giving you heartburn or stomach pain yet and you do not have to deal with indigestion afterwards.

I have a couple of suggestions on how to tackle this problem though. For instance, you can set your alarm to 20 minutes and devote this time to eating the meal without any distractions (TV, phone, etc.), taking small bites and chewing well. This way you would be able to appreciate the taste, smell and texture of the food that is usually missed in the haste. Sharing a meal with a friend or a colleague or your family, and chatting with them while enjoying what you eat would also slow you down.

Another strategy might be to use your non-dominant hand to eat. Or use chopsticks to control the size of the bites of food, and to help you eat more mindfully. The East Asian population has known this all along, which is why it is rare to see obesity issues in that part of the world.

There might be other helpful tips but these are what I have at the moment. If you have any you would like to share with me on eating slower and enjoying every bite, I would love to hear it.

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