Why HOW you eat matters

Have you ever thought about how you eat?

Answer would definitely be yes if I’d ask about what you’re eating. But how? Like with a spoon or a fork? Nope. Here’s what I’m talking about…

 

  1. Are you chewing enough?
  2. Are you flushing food down with liquids?
  3. Do you stop for a minute while having a meal?
  4. Do you enjoy your meals?
  5. Is there big emotions connected to your eating?

 

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These are all important questions. Too little chewing is the main problem in the first too cases. If you don’t chew your foods thoroughly, well, that’s how it comes out at the end. Bigger food particles can’t be digested as efficiently as well chewed ones. If you’re having stomach pain or feel really bloated and gassy soon after eating, check these things first.

I have to confess… I’m the worst chewer ever! I used to eat in like five minutes, even though my portions are huge. I got so accustomed to stuffing the food down as quickly as possible while I was really busy at work. Bad habit, I know. I’m slowly (heheh) learning to slow down my eating and trying to chew each bite like 10 times or so. It works really well when I’m not too hungry. If there’s massive hunger attack, then it’s back to stuffing and stomach cramps…

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Questions three and four dig more into the eating situation. Eating is so much more than just having more fuel to your gas tank. It’s that too obviously, but there’s more to it. Lunch break, snack time or family dinner is an important break in your day. That’s when you can breath for a moment, enjoy some good company or alone time, enjoy delicious flavours. Stressing over your foods or eating super quickly while you’re doing something else most likely takes away the enjoyment part.

I really think that everything you eat should taste great. If dry chicken, soggy broccoli and plain rice does that for you, then good. Most of us don’t really enjoy that combination though. You really can make food taste amazing AND be good for you. There doesn’t have to be a compromise. If you eat not so good food every day during weeks, weekends tend to go by eating everything you ”should not” eat. Therefore make your daily meals delicious and enjoyable!

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And if you don’t fully concentrate on your eating, it’s easier to eat too much. We’ve probably all been there, reading a magazine, watching tv, checking e-mail, filling up the dishwasher and then booom! Your food is gone. Feels like you didn’t even eat, but it’s all gone. In that situation, it’s easy to take a bit more to feel fully satisfied. When you focus on this moment and this meal in front of you, you’ll notice the natural satiety signals before you’re too full.

Last question is about emotions attached to eating. You might wonder what does that to do with HOW you eat. Well, everything. You see, our emotions usually quide us quite much. Guilt, shame and frustration don’t promote healthy eating patterns. Food is not a punishment nor a reward. There shouldn’t be BIG emotions attached to food: If eating certain way or certain foods defines you, makes you feel good or bad, your emotional life propably isn’t that stable or balanced.

So that’s a food for thought today! I would appreciate a lot if you left a comment about your thoughts and feelings 🙂

~Heidi

 

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