Don’t Feel the Need for Speed at Mealtime
Most people’s days are filled with rushing from one activity to the next. We speed through showering, dressing and often stuff whatever food is within reach into our mouths as we run out the door or race to the next activity. Even when we get the rare opportunity to actually sit down to a meal, most of us scarf it down at a sprinter’s pace in order to get up from the table to see what else is going on.
While eating as fast as possible may seem like a way to pack a few extra activities into your day, it certainly isn’t the best idea if you are working on building a better body for the beach this summer. The problem is that our bodies take much more time that you would probably think to let your brain know that you’ve had your fill. This leads many people to consuming far more calories than they need to in order to feel satiated and often results in feeling over stuffed and lethargic by the time you’ve made it to the couch and watched the first few minutes of the show that you were rushing to see.
Thankfully, there are a few very simple tricks that you can adopt that will help you to slow yourself down enough at the lunch or dinner table to avoid over eating and excess weight gain.
Unless you’re eating soup or oatmeal, make an effort to chew every bite at least twenty times, or until it becomes impossible for you to determine what you are eating by the texture. Though some foods certainly won’t require you to chew them twenty times to adequately break them down, hitting the target with each fork full will force you to slow your pace down enough to let your body inform your brain that you’ve had enough before you’ve taken in too much.
An added bonus, thoroughly chewing your food will drastically improve digestion and most likely eliminate a number of symptoms that are commonly associated with indigestion. This could result in less discomfort following meals and plenty of money saved on over the counter remedies like Tums, Rolaids, and Alka Seltzer.
In addition to reaching the targeted number of chews for each bite of food, sipping your low or no calorie beverage between bites can also do wonders for slowing down your pace. After every bite, put your fork or sandwich down and take a sip of water, sugarless tea or black coffee instead of immediately taking another bite.
Taking a drink between bites has a few benefits – it slows down your pace even further beyond reaching the minimum number of prescribed chews per bite and the low calorie fluid will help you feel full even faster, requiring the consumption of even less calories to feel satisfied by the meal.
If you want to maximize the effects of your calorie free beverages for weight loss, try drinking a full eight ounce glass of water prior to beginning your meal and taking a sip in between each bite. The additional water will help to fill up your belly with zero additional calories and consuming that extra water at every meal will help to ensure that you stay adequately hydrated.
If you’ve gotten used to eating meals as rapidly as humanly possible without choking, adopting this new approach will probably take some time getting used to, but it can make a sizable difference in your weight loss efforts. Simply slowing down at every meal to keep your body from overindulging can actually have a positive impact on your body weight without even making any other adjustments to your routine.
About Jeff Wilson Jeff Wilson has been involved in some form of sports and athletic training for more than two decades: as an athlete, a trainer and a writer.