“Slow down”, “Put your phone down”, “Do one thing at the time” are some of the things I’ve heard for years from my mum while eating. My Nutritionist told me the same and Steve has also forwarded me many times articles on the health benefits of eating slower but did I listen!?
Not really but last week, Stéphanie (who I didn’t know) sent me a nice message & a breakfast recipe after this post and that’s all it took to make me stop, think and give it a go (timing is always everything!)
To be fair, I read all the articles Steve sent me and I have known about the health benefits of eating slower for years but I never really took the time to apply them because I always do several things at once. Does it sound familiar?
I’m sure I’m not the only one to be the Queen of multi-tasking but somehow I don’t think it’s a good thing.
It is certainly not for our health and mind and after a Summer of celebrating Life to the full (and I have no regret because it was my first Summer without my dad and I wanted to make it extra joyful), now it’s time to look after myself again to finish the year on a high and not like a total wreck (for a change!).
One of the problems of our daily lives regardless of where we live is that many of us rush through the day and we feel like we have no time for anything but we do have time.
We all know that stress leads to weight gain and unhealthy living. We get stressed, we don’t take the time to think and quickly we make the wrong decision (I’m talking food choices there) and frankly a part of me is tired of living like this, aren’t you?
So let me ask you…What are the things you most enjoy during your Summer holidays or even at weekends?
Besides soaking up the sun and hanging out in pretty dresses or denim shorts, drinking the odd Mojito & having a laugh with my friends, for me it’s simply having the time to hang out…To do my own things in my own time rather than going from one place to another in a rush.
Talking of bad habit….
Since then, I’ve improved my time and this morning, it took me 12 minutes to eat my breakfast.
To achieve that time, I had to chew slowly, put my spoon down, make a nice cup of tea, sit calmly at the breakfast table without checking my phone, emails, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Just be present to what I was doing and nothing else.
Day 2 felt like torture. I was fidgeting on my chair but Day 3 (today) felt ok, actually quite nice and I intent to get better at it because they are some real health benefits to it and frankly, it’s not rocket science and doesn’t cost anything.
If you’re not convinced yet, here are 4 health benefits why we should aim to eat slower:
#health benefit 1: LOSE WEIGHT: I’m sure you’ve heard like me that if you eat too quickly, your brains hasn’t got time to register you’ve eaten and therefore you always feel hungry. There is a number of studies (1. | 2. | 3. | 4.) that confirm that just by eating slower, you’ll consume fewer calories. This is because it takes about 20 minutes for our brains to register that we are full. If we eat too quickly, we basically keep eating way beyond what we actually need to feel full. Needless to say that weight loss will occur if you eat healthily too.
#health benefit 2: STOP FEELING BLOATED: I know we often blame gluten, dairy but both my Naturopathic Doctor and Nutritionist advise to eat slower for a better digestion. So we need to chew and the more we chew, the less goes through our stomach. How many of us have cut food from their diet rather than trying to eat slower?
#health benefit 3: ENJOY YOUR FOOD: I’m a foodie at heart. I love food, not so much cooking but I thoroughly enjoy the different tastes, spices and emotions of happiness food brings. I’ve never been good at restricting myself which is why I much prefer a balance approach and eating healthily rather than going on a crash diet.
However, I came to realise that regardless of the healthy breakfast I prepare for myself or the fresh ingredients I use, if I eat in 5 minutes, I’m missing the point!
#health benefit 4: REDUCE STRESS: Slowing down while eating is a great way to be present, to be mindful to what we do. When we eat, we eat. we don’t respond to an email, answer the phone and read a magazine at the same time. That kind of mindfulness helps to reduce stress. I’m not there yet as I need to apply this exercice to all my meals and not just breakfast but I can see how beneficial it would be to our well-being, don’t you!?
I hope you enjoyed this article and read it while you were not eating! :-)
//Photography by me, taken with my Canon 5D MK III