Friday, May 13, 2011

"slow down! nobody's gonna take that from ya!"

It’s what my nana tells me every time I sit down at the table to eat:  Slow down!  But what can I say?  I’m a fast eater.  Maybe it just fits with my go get ‘em, pedal to the medal mindset.  It’s the one that says, “Hurry up and get this task done so you can move on to the next one.”

So what’s the problem?  Well, the faster you eat, the more likely you are to overeat

Sarah Lorge Butler wrote an article for this week entitled "The Golden Rules of Weightloss."  Rule #7?  Slow down.

Scientists say it takes 15 to 20 minutes for the stomach to signal to the brain that it’s full.  Therefore, chowing down on a meal faster than that can lead to weight gain.  A 2008 study published by the British Medical Journal said people who eat quickly until they feel full are three times more likely to be overweight than people who take their time while eating.

So, eat slower.  But I know as well as anyone that it is easier said than done.  After all, my nana has been on my case for years about my high mpms (mouthfuls per minute).  So, here are some tips from the article, as well as some of my own.  Enjoy!

1.   Savor your food.  We love food.  That’s why we are trying to lose weight in the first place, right?  So, enjoy it.  When you eat slower you have time to really focus on just how great it tastes.

2.   Sit down. The kitchen chair is calling your name.  Not only is it more comfortable, but it will be harder to wander back for seconds or thirds.
3.   Avoid family style dining.  Keep that delicious bowl of mashed potatoes, platter of steaks, and especially that basket of rolls in the kitchen.  It will be way less tempting to overeat when they are not an arm’s reach away.
4.   Don’t eat alone.  My favorite tip.  Who wants to eat by themselves anyway?  When you have someone to chat with, you'll add minutes between bites.  Unless, of course, you impolitely talk with your mouth full.
5.   Be wary of the TV.  Ah, the mortal enemy:  the TV.  Just don’t eat in front of it.  Or, if you must, measure out a serving of food then put the rest away.  Then, try to only eat a little bit during commercials.  Everyone knows there are plenty of those to keep you satisfied.
6.   Pretend you’re dining out.  When eating at home, try serving yourself like you were actually at a restaurant.  First, serve the salad.  Then, the main course.  This is guaranteed to add minutes to your meal.
7.   Don’t eat and drive.  Just try to avoid eating while in the car.  Your focus should be more on the road, which means it is not on the amount of calories you are consuming. 
8.   Set that fork down.  I read once upon a time that if you set your fork (or spoon) down between bites, you will eat slower.  Just be careful, because setting your fork down might signal to the cook that you don’t like your meal. 
9.   Count your chews.  This strategy might be reserved for when you eat alone.  Coworkers might look at you strange in the break room if you visibly count how many times you chew each bite.  I just know for me it’s, “1, 2, swallow.”  And how can you enjoy your food that way?
10. Distract yourself.  But, distract yourself with activities where you must use your hands.  If you are typing at the computer or writing out a list, then your hands won’t be constantly reaching for the food.  This allows for breaks between bites.

Want to read more?  Check out the rest of the article at

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