10 Practical Strategies for Slowing Down Your Eating
We tell you this all the time – it takes at least 17 minutes for the message to get from your stomach to your brain telling you “I’m full”. As a result, you are likely to eat more than you really need – especially if you eat fast. It may be easier said than done, but here are some strategies that are sure to help you slow down as you eat. Savor the taste. This will also make it easier to eat to live…not live to eat.
Add one of these tips each day for the next 10 days. By the end of the period you will have accumulated new healthy habits. It takes a little more than a month for a new habit to be ingrained in your routines so keep them rolling to make them stick.
- Sit down for all of your meals and snacks – this REALLY helps!
- Keep your serving bowls/platters off the kitchen table. Dish up each plate in the kitchen and watch serving sizes
- Put your utensils down between bites
- Use salad plates (no more than 10 inches in diameter) and small/baby utensils so you take small bites. Seafood or cocktail forks are ideal
- Cut foods into small pieces (like the size of a nickel)
- Count your chews – aim for 25-30 chews per bite of a dense food item like meats
- Use the “half plate strategy”:
- Divide the food on your plate into two halves
- Take note of the time
- Eat the first half of your food
- After the first half of your food is consumed, take note of the time again
- Wait until 15 minutes has passed and then eat the second half of your food
- If you are right handed, use your left hand to eat and vice versa
- Try to be the last one at the table to finish eating. How many minutes did it take?
- Control your eating environment – remove distractions such as TV – play mellow music, dim lights or light candles…remember to truly taste your food and savor the flavor
**Bonus – Avoid eating while driving – instead, drink water – it is a GREAT way to get your 8+ glasses of water in each day – I do this all the time!
*Adapted in parts from Parade Magazine