How To Eat Your Food!
Why should I take my time over meals?
It takes on average 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it is full and doesn't need any more food. If you are gulping down food too quickly, your 'I'm full' sensors may be kicking in too late to stop you from unnecessary overeating - something you definitely don't want to do when you are slimming.
You're then left with that horrible 'over-full' feeling and pangs of guilt that can overshadow any enjoyment you got from the meal. If you train yourself to take your time over meals, you'll learn to know when you're full.
Does not chewing properly make any difference?
Not chewing thoroughly could lead to indigestion, but though your system might have to work a little harder, ultimately, you won't be missing out nutritionally. Unfortunately, chewing doesn't use up more calories, or magically make any calories disappear from what you are eating!
How to avoid over-eating
- Start treating mealtimes as an event - that means no more gulping down dinners in front of the TV! Lay the table properly, make conversation with whoever you are eating with, chew properly, and lay your cutlery down in between bites. A meal isn't just about the food on your plate - it's about creating an ambiance and interacting with other people.
- Give yourself a small portion to start with rather than a massive helping. Serve food on smaller plates so that you trick yourself into believing there is plenty on there. You'll soon find you need smaller portions than you think.
- Ideally each meal should be in the proportion of ½ vegetables to ¼ protein to ¼ carbohydrates. Fill up on vegetables if you are still hungry at the end of a meal.
- Eat more slowly so that you savour the flavour of what you have made, and your stomach has plenty of time to tell your stomach when it's had enough. Stop eating when you feel satisfied rather than full.
Eating on the move
If you really don't have time to linger over meals, and often have to gulp down food on the move, just make sure you are careful about portion sizes. If after finishing your meal you still feel hungry, wait at least 20 minutes before eating again. You may just find you're full!