A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Weight loss Wednesday: Slow down!

on November 13, 2013

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can’t remember the last time I ate a slow leisurely meal. Most of my meals are eaten while wrangling a toddler or while working at my desk. On the rare occasion I do have the chance to eat slowly, I don’t because I’m so used to rushing and multi-tasking! This can be problematic when you’re trying to lose weight because it’s easy to lose track of how much you’ve eaten or get to the end of your meal and not feel like you’ve eaten anything at all. I really hate that because I love food and yet that is the situation I find myself in all too often!

Tips to help slow down:

  • Eat more often so you aren’t starving when you sit down for a meal.
  • Don’t put more food on your plate than you have time and/or points/calories to eat. If you only have 15 minutes to eat, save the rest of your lunch for an afternoon snack rather than rushing through all of it now. If you don’t have the space in your diet for everything on your plate, go ahead and box up part of it so you don’t get distracted and go further than you mean to.
  • Bulk up: The more you chew, the slower you eat so be sure to include crunchy, high fiber items like apples, broccoli, popcorn, etc. I’ve seen tips in diet magazines about chewing your food “x” number of times. I cannot imagine doing that without feeling silly so the bulky foods seem like an easier way to build that in (plus healthier choices overall).
  • Turn off distractions: Turn off the TV, phone, laptop, etc and pay attention to your food.I know I personally am much more likely to remember what I ate if it was at the dinner table with my family, versus in bed watching TV. However, I also know that I almost always have my phone out when I eat – with the excuse of tracking of my food, but the reality of mucking around on the internet. That isn’t good for my eating habits nor for my family time. I need to impose a no phone at the table rule for myself!
  • Make an event of your meal: Take the extra time to take it out of the tupperware or frozen food tray and put it on a plate. It doesn’t take long but helps you make the meal more of an event to pay attention to.
  • If you’re eating with a lot of people, pace your eating with the slowest eater rather than the fastest. Take the time to pay attention as everyone else starts eating and making comments about their selections – you’ll know what is really worth eating and build in a little extra time.
  • Use your non-dominant hand: I think this is actually one of the recommended Weight Watchers daily habits. Using your left hand to eat (if you’re right handed) will force you to slow down quite a bit, as I learned when trying to feed myself and O before he got old enough to drive the fork himself. You could also try chopsticks! (I’d starve to death – I’m totally chopstick incompetent)
  • Take a sip of water between bites of food: This has the added effect of filling you up with water as you’re eating.
  • Be more mindful of your food: Notice the textures, flavors and aromas. Since I cook a lot of our food from scratch at home, I find myself dissecting what worked and what didn’t work with a particular recipe. It helps me to tweak the meal to be even tastier in the future and helps me to pause and really notice what I’m eating.

We talked about these things in my meeting on Saturday and the reasons people eat so quickly. Along with my personal reasons of feeling like there were just too many things to do to take the time to eat mindfully, a depressing number of people said that eating was just a chore for them. I know that my love of food is probably more than most peoples, but seeing food as a chore just makes me sad. These are people who’ve talked in months past about foods they love so I hope this is a just a funk or phase for them. I don’t think you have to give up enjoying food to successfully lose weight. Food is fuel, yes, but surely it can still be a source of fun too right?

I definitely need to work being a less distracted eater. This is too regular a scene with my meals:

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6 responses to “Weight loss Wednesday: Slow down!

  1. Lauren says:

    Great tips! I never would have thought about trying to eat with my left hand – that would definitely help to slow down!

  2. Desiree says:

    Great tips, I do need to start eating more slowly instead of woofing it down!

  3. leannenalani says:

    I love these tips. Eating slowly has always been a challenge for me my entire life. I’ve had friends as a kid who tried just to keep up like it was a competition! This is probably one of the bigger health-related things that I’ve never really overcome too well.

  4. […] Eat slowly. Not only does this help you eat less overall in your daily life, in social situations it can help […]

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