Dietitian Michelle Poppen - Slow EatingPublished by on
This next week, Barry will be talking with Michelle Poppen, Registered Dietitian with Sanford Worthington to discuss slow eating and tips on how to slow down with meals.
Let’s face it. We’re busy people and society tells us that if we multitask we will be more efficient and get more done. But, when it comes to eating, fast is not better. Quick eating almost always results in overeating. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain that we are full. And if we are trying to lose weight, by the time that happens, it’s usually too late –we’ve overeaten.
Learning to eat slowly will help us feel more satisfied, eat less and help with weight loss. Here are some tips that might help.
1. Practice. Eating quickly is a habit that needs to be broken. Set a time(r)
and practice mindful eating. Don’t get discouraged. New habits can take
3-4 weeks to develop.
2. Sit at a table while eating. Sitting at the table tells your brain you are
having a meal. You can quickly lose track of how much you’ve eaten if you
do it while running errands or standing over the counter. Plus, you might
think you’ve only had a snack and still want a meal later.
3. Serve small portions. Use a small plate, only dish up only what you will eat.
4. Remove the distractions. Again, resist the urge to multi-task. Only eat!
If you are reading, watching TV, looking at messages, you won’t be paying
attention to what and how much you are putting in your mouth.
5. Chew your food well. Take small bites; enjoy the smell, taste and texture
of what you are eating.
6. Put your fork down between bites. Yes, this might sound silly, but it
works! Putting your fork down forces you to stop shoveling in food. You
can relax and focus on the eating experience.
7. Enjoy some company and have a conversation. If you are talking, you
shouldn’t be eating. Eating with friends and family enhances the meal
experience. The focus will be more on the relationship and not the food.
8. Don’t wait until you are starving to eat. If you are famished you will tend
to eat more quickly and eat more. Carry a small nutritious snack such as
nuts to ward off hunger and help regain control of your eating speed.
9. Set the tone (and maybe the table). Environment can have a big impact
on our mental state and how we perceive our eating experience. Setting
the table, dimming the lights and playing mellow music can all add to
slowing down the dining experience and making it satisfactory to eat
10. Try foods that are a little spicy. Bland foods will usually make us want to
eat more, but spicy foods tend to satisfy the appetite quicker.
11. Cook the food yourself. Spending time in the kitchen preparing and
cooking food usually decreases appetite.
12. Last, but not least, try a new food or recipe. Eating the same menu over
and over again can be convenient but gets boring and can lead to
overeating just to alleviate monotony. Find a new recipe and try it. Share
the new recipe with family and friends. The focus will be on the research,
preparation and exploration of new flavors and foods and you can eat less.
Good reasons to eat slow:
- It can’t hurt you. There are no negative side effects to slow eating
- Appetite reduction. Eating slowly reduces the appetite.
- Portion Control. Taking time to eat allows time to assess correct portion sizes.
- Weight Control. Studies show that there is a relationship between rate of eating and BMI.
- Digestion. Digestion begins in the mouth. Chewing thoroughly promotes complete digestion allowing maximum absorption of important vitamins, minerals and amino acids
- Taste and enjoyment. Eating slowly lets you fully experience the smells, textures and flavors of what you eat.
- Quality trumps quantity. Fast eaters are more prone to eating junk food and slow eaters tend to be more selective.
- Heartburn and Gastroesophageal. Eating slow may reduce acid reflux.