Helping Baby Boomers get fit … get well … and live longer!

Mindful Monday

  • 5th April 2010 |
  • Author: Iris

Stop and smell the rosemary.    Take time for a “Mindful Monday” — eat slowly to enjoy the flavors of your meal. You’ll also be more aware of when you’re full.

Many of us rush through our day, leaving little time to savor the flavor of our food.  Instead, we gobble down our meals then rush off to the next task on our list.  Are we harming ourselves by eating your meals fast?  Does it matter if we don’t take the time to taste the rosemary?  The answer is “Yes”!

Eating slowly can’t hurt you and doesn’t have any negative effects on your health.  However, it has a number of positive benefits you can experience without extra cost.

Here are 7 POWERFUL reasons why we should eat more slowly:

1.    Taste and enjoy your food – if you eat more slowly, you will taste your food more and savor more of the flavors, textures and aromatic smells.  When you take the time to enjoy every bite of your meals, you will be able to identify different herbs and spices used to flavor the food.  Every bite becomes more enjoyable and stimulating.

2.    Lose weight – Did you know that if you eat slower you will lose more weight?  Studies have shown that by eating slower, you will consume fewer calories.  You can literally lose about 20 pounds of weight a year just by eating slower . . . you don’t need to do anything different or eat anything different from your normal food.  By eating slowly, you allow your stomach time to send a signal to your brain that you’re full.  Thus, as a result, you consume less food.  That’s the power of eating slowly!

3.    Be more social and engaging – taking more time to eat your meals can improve your social life.  You can improve communication and relationships with your family and friends when you slow down and spend more time talking and eating with them.  In some countries and cultures, a meal can last for hours – it’s like a ritual!

4.   Better digestion – Eating fast may cause acid reflux.  When you take longer to chew your food, you will have better digestion.   Some sources recommend you take 60 seconds to chew each mouthful.  Since digestion starts in the mouth where saliva is mixed with the food and begins to break it down into smaller parts, you make it a lot easier for the stomach to digest the food.  Gobbling food down in chunks will make it hard for the stomach to digest its contents which will lead to digestive problems like acid reflux, heartburn and Gastroesophageal reflux.

5.    Prevent insulin resistance – In a 2008 study, a group of Japanese researchers found that there is a correlation between speed of eating and insulin resistance.  Their results suggested that eating fast is independently associated with insulin resistance.  Of course, we know that insulin resistance can lead to diabetes.  That’s a powerful reason to eat slowly and consume healthy foods.

6.    Reduce stress – A sense of calmness and concentration are benefits of eating slowly.  It’s a great way to reduce your stress level if you find yourself having a hectic day.  Have a long, relaxing meal with a friend or with a good book.  You will find your stress melting away with each bite.  Usually when you eat fast, you’re thinking about what you have to do next – that raises your stress level.  Be in the moment when you eat.  Be mindful, enjoy your meal and reduce your stress!

7.    Increase desire for quality foods – When you eat slowly, you really begin to taste your food . . . the texture, flavor, smell, and color.  The more in tune you are with what you ingest, the more you will desire healthier, more natural and less processed foods.  Slow eaters enjoy the pleasure of tasting good food.  Fast eaters tend to consume poor quality foods like “junk food” and “fast food”.   Despite the recent efforts to offer healthier foods, fast-food restaurants menus still tend to include foods high in fat, sugar and calories and low in fiber and nutrients.

I hope these simple and powerful reasons to eat slowly will help you begin to reverse negative lifestyle habits and put you on the road to getting fit and well.  Now, I would still recommend that you eat healthier foods, but if you’re looking to lose weight, eating slowly should be a part of your new lifestyle.  Natural and organic foods stay interesting as you chew them.  For example, a strawberry starts out with a burst of juice, but then stays interesting as you chew.  Oranges, nuts and vegetables are the same.   Incorporate more of these foods into your meals and savor all the benefits of eating slowly and healthier!

So, are YOU a fast eater or mindful of how you eat?  Did you find this information helpful?  If so, please share your thoughts with us.  Please post your comments below.  We would love to know if the benefits listed above were enough to make you want to eat slower!

Happy eating!.

1 Comment

  1. Great info, thanks for useful post. I am waiting for more

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