Tuesday, April 4, 2017

How to eat slowly...an epiphany

I can't tell you how many times I have read that in order to be successful with mindful eating that I need to eat slowly so that my brain will register that I am full. 

I have tried this, and so have you, probably.

I have tried eating without any distractions to include, but not limited to;

  To no avail, I get 17 bites in, my food is almost gone, I haven't thought a whip about chewing slowly, or setting my fork down between bites, or not preparing the next bite and I want more food!!

I can tell myself, and again you have too probably, "I have portioned my food, so what does it matter that I take my time?, I will get what I get and not throw a fit! Dammit."  Inevitably for me about 5 minutes later I am thinking about the kids tub of ice cream in the fridge, or maybe just a breath mint...not many calories in that!! (Trying to ignore the fact that the sugar in the breath mint will send me into a sugar seeking frenzy all night.)

I have always wanted to be successful with mindful eating but never have been able to accomplish it.

Case in point: Mexican Restaurant food is difficult enough to stay on track, but those darn chips!!!  For me, not eating any is no longer an option.  In my younger days that could fly, but not in my 40s sister!

So I thought what if I timed myself in between each chip?  First I tried 30 seconds.  That was fine, but the eat to wait ratio was still too short, the chips were disappearing too fast compared to the time it was taking to get my dinner.  So I doubled it.  I won't tell you what happened because I don't want to spoil the experience of the feelings you get when you deny yourself a chip for a WHOLE minute. 

I can tell you that I carried this over to my at home dinner.  Taking a bite then waiting a minute exactly...not 58 seconds but exactly one minute, the whole time my husband across the table knowing what I am doing and putting in his two cents about my food getting cold blah blah blah.  Yes my food gets cold, but some crazy great stuff came out of this!

1. For the first time I could really see the value in chewing my food completely.
2. I could stop eating for a minute and have a very nice conversation
3. My food wasn't gone before I was full
4. I drank more water with my meal
5. Stuff like bread with my meal becomes more of a hassle because if I bite the bread, then that's a whole other minute that my actual food is getting cold!
6. When I get down to the last couple bites, I am already satisfied!! 

Here is a tip.  If you are super, duper hungry or that food just looks amazing and you want to gobble it all in 10 minutes DON'T ABANDON THE PLAN, just eat the first 4-5 bites in a normal manner, then start your timer. 

Yes your significant other, and or kids will look at you, yes they might even tease you.  I ask you...how is this different than any other day, hour, or minute than usual!?  As a mom I spend my days being weird, or mean, or crazy...it's just who I am so I say EMBRACE IT! 

If you try this, please let me know how it goes.  I have a lot more to say, but in the interest of keeping this post short, I will conclude. 

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