Mindful eating and slowing down with food is essential for happiness and weight loss. You can’t experience your food or your life if you’re speeding through it. You’re rushing through your days and what do you have to show for it? Are you really happier? Getting more done?
You’re more likely to feel exhausted, overwhelmed, anxious, and disconnected when you’re moving through your life too fast. Would your world collapse around you if you just slowed down a little?
Why is it important to slow down with food and life?
One word. Stress!
Eating and living too fast causes stress which actually negates all those healthy practices you’ve incorporated in your life. Eating healthy meals in a hurry isn’t helping you.
Because moving too fast, living too fast, eating too fast – is a recipe for stress. And stress is a recipe for health issues, overeating, binge eating, and missing out on the beautiful details that nourish your life.
Not only that, but there’s actually a physiological reason that slow eating can help you lose weight. Eating slower helps you digest your food better, assimilate nutrients from your food, and reduces cortisol and insulin so you can burn calories more efficiently.
If you have digestive issues such as heartburn, bloating, or constipation, eating slowly can make a huge difference. Don’t believe me? Try it.
This is one experiment where you get to see immediate results. Eat your next meal in a relaxed state and take your time with it. No stress, no rushing, no multi-tasking. Just eating and savoring your food. Listen to your gut. Did it feel better when you relaxed?
This doesn’t mean chewing each bite of food 50 times. It just means being present for each meal. Pay attention to your food – notice the aroma, the texture, and taste of it. Savor it. Really enjoy it. Stop multitasking while you eat. When you eat fast and unconsciously, your body doesn’t register when it’s full and that’s when you overeat and develop digestive problems.
How to practice mindful eating to lose weight and reduce stress:
- Chunk it! – Life is supposed to be lived in bite-sized chunks. Imagine if everything you ever wanted was given to you all at once. You couldn’t handle a lifetime of events, people, and things happening all at the same time. You certainly wouldn’t want to eat a life’s worth of Ben and Jerry’s all in one sitting.
- Don’t multitask while you’re eating. When you eat, just eat. No television, computers, phones, meetings, or driving.
- Sit down at a table when you eat instead of eating at your desk, while you’re on the phone, in the car, in front of the TV, or at the kitchen sink.
- Take deep breaths before you start your meal.
- Pay attention. Mindful eating means noticing the taste, aroma, and texture of your food.
- Savor your meal. Really enjoy each bite.
What would slowing down look like in your life?
- Slow eating – You’d actually enjoy your food, metabolize it better, and maintain a healthier weight.
- Slow cooking – Meals would be cooked with real, delicious, healthy ingredients instead of eating fast foods that don’t have any nutrition and leave you dissatisfied and craving more food.
- Slow sex – Well, who doesn’t like slow sex? Imagine what it would be like if you took the time to really connect with your partner more often.
- Slow driving – It’s actually less stressful when you slow down and don’t constantly try to pass everyone and “get there first”. I learned this the hard way after 3 speeding tickets forced me to slow down. I was shocked at how much more relaxed I was when I stopped speeding.
- Slow relationships -Slow down and be with the people in your life. Talk to your loved ones once in a while; don’t just text them an emoji. There is no substitute for real human connection!
So, if you want to be happy and lose weight – SLOW DOWN.
Slow down and enjoy the details of your life. You miss all the amazingly beautiful nuances of life when you speed through it.
Practice the mindful eating tips above. Notice the difference eating consciously makes. Pay attention. Make your digestion and metabolism work for you by putting yourself in a relaxation response. This simple exercise can be difficult because changing a habit is hard. But eating slower and more consciously is more effective than going on another restrictive diet. Try it!
Read The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss by Marc David. It’s my favorite book on this subject and will walk you through creating a mindful, more conscious lifestyle in 8 weeks. Life-changing!!
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