Mindful Eating – 6 Great Reasons To Eat Slower

As I was walking into town yesterday I saw several people eating while walking down the street and checking their phone. They were neither eating mindfully, walking mindfully or checking their phone mindfully. Multi-tasking actually is unproductive, lowers the IQ and damages the brain, more details in this Stanford Research Paper.

I also see this regularly when out at restaurants, with couples or groups, someone constantly on their phone, to me, is basically saying, "This is more important and interesting than you right now" - I find it both amusing and quite sad that so many people just can't simply be present with friends and loved ones at meal times. It got me thinking about Mindful Eating and during my 1-Year Mindfulness training when it was a meditative practice.

Many of us are rushed, and meal times are no different. We rush around all day and then eat quickly so we can get back to our seemingly endless list of tasks but neuroscientists have found that you are literally draining the energy reserves of your brain. ​

Eating slower is powerful in several ways. It’s an easy way to begin to reverse a harried lifestyle. It’s not difficult. You simply take smaller bites, chew slower and more thoroughly, and enjoy your meal for a greater length of time.

Two decades ago, the Slow Food Movement was started in Italy as a way to counteract everything that fast food stands for.

There are several reasons you might want to consider eating slower:

1. You’ll sleep better. Eating too much in the evening is sure way to disrupt your sleep. By eating slower, which leads to improved digestion, your sleep is sure to be more restful. Disturbed sleep is one of the top complaints doctors receive.

2. Your mind will be less stressed. The simple act of eating slower can begin to counter a hectic, stressful lifestyle. Sit down and enjoy your meal, your friends and family, and your life.

3. You will enjoy your food more. You’ll be surprised at just how much flavour some foods have if you’ll eat them slower. This is especially true of many foods that you might consider to be bland. Slowing down will give you the same amount of pleasure with far fewer calories.

You are also likely to find that many of the unhealthy foods you currently enjoy don’t taste nearly as good if you eat them slowly. Give it a try. Take a food you love, but know you shouldn’t eat. Eat it very slowly and see if you still love it.

4. Your digestion will improve. Digestion begins in your mouth. Having food spend a little more time in your mouth makes a big difference. Even more importantly, by chewing your food more completely, you increase the amount of surface area for the enzymes and chemicals in your body to act.

5. Improved body composition: Numerous studies have shown that we eat less when we eat slower. How much can you lose from eating slower? According to the studies, about 20 lbs!

It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to let you know that you’re full. If you eat too quickly, you can eat a lot more than your body needs.

6. Your body will be less stressed. Digestion requires a tremendous amount of energy. Some scientists believe that it’s the most energy-intensive process in the body.

Further studies have shown that people whom consume the least (without starving) tend to live the longest. All digestion results in harmful metabolic products that must be eliminated from the body.

There are so many benefits to be gained by slowing down at mealtime. It’s an enjoyable way to lose weight and strengthen your physical health. You’ll also sleep better, be more relaxed, and can reconnect with your loved ones.

Start, and be really present today with one meal. Make a real effort to chew more slowly and completely. Focus only on your meal and other people at the table. What could be easier or more enjoyable?

If you feel you struggle with emotional eating, overeating or any other issues around food, please book in a FREE 30-minute Health & Lifestyle Consultation or Hypnotherapy Appointment.