Slow Down! The Art of Mindful Eating

Speed eating might seem like a harmless habit, but it can lead to health problems such as obesity, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Not to mention that scarfing down your food can lead to digestive disorders like bloating and heartburn. But don't worry, it's not too late to change your eating habits. Here's how you can stop eating so fast.

Make Mealtimes Distraction-Free

Ditch the TV and put down your phone while eating. When you are preoccupied with Nicki Minaj's latest Instagram post or the latest episode on Netflix, you're more likely to eat fast and end up overeating. Distraction-free eating allows you to pay attention to your meal, engage your senses and promotes a slower eating pace.

Use Your Cutlery Intelligently

Try putting down your fork or spoon between each bite. This small act will slow down your eating speed significantly and will give your brain time to catch up with your stomach’s fullness signals. Using chopsticks can be a great hack to slow down your eating speed especially if you're not familiar with using them.

Chew, Chew and Chew Some More

This goes back to what our parents used to tell us when we were kids: chew your food thoroughly. Not only does it make it easier for your stomach to digest, but it also gives your body the time to process the nutrients and lets your brain know when it's time to stop eating.

Take Smaller Bites

This might seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of us are guilty of taking big bites when we're really hungry or in a rush. By taking smaller bites, you're not only slowing down your eating pace but also allowing yourself time to enjoy your food.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking a glass of water before meals can help slow down your eating speed. It can also help you feel full sooner and keep you hydrated. Just remember not to overdo it as over-hydration can cause health complications as well.

Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is the practice of being fully present and engaged during meals. This means savoring every bite, paying full attention to the colors, textures, and flavors of your food, and acknowledging responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) without judgment. This practice fosters a healthier relationship with food and naturally slows down your eating speed. Through regular practice of mindful eating, being conscious of our eating speed starts to become second nature.

Ingesting your meals shouldn't be a race against the clock. It should be an enjoyable process that not only nourishes your body but also satisfies your senses. So the next time you sit down for a meal, remember these tips, take a deep breath, put your fork down occasionally and really taste your food. Doing so will enhance your dining experience, promote better digestion, and give your brain the chance to recognize when you're full. Goodbye, speed eating!