How To Eat Slower And Why You Should
For the majority of people who are eating SAD (standard American Diet), simply eliminating the processed and refined foods will have life-changing results. This is why I always emphasize food quality as the most important part of eating clean and I try to avoid bogging clients down with recommendations that are too specific.
With that being said, there is still merit in other aspects of food and nutrition that are worth addressing and that is why I want to talk about something very important here today. It is a super simple concept in theory, but can be quite difficult in practice.
Groundbreaking I know. Eating slow and chewing food thoroughly has countless benefits. Appetite suppression and satiety are benefits as in this study: http://phys.org/news82810846.html#jCp
“Satiety signals clearly need time to develop,” Melanson concluded. “Not only did the women take in fewer calories when they ate more slowly, they had a greater feeling of satiety at meal completion and 60 minutes afterwards, which strongly suggests benefits to eating more slowly.”
Eating slow helps control your appetite through hormone control. You burn fat by preventing the large insulin spike that you get from eating fast (or by drinking calories). You will get full faster, eat less, and enjoy your food more. Seems like a triple-play to me…
Another benefit of eating slow is Digestion. Digestion is improved when you eat slow (and chew more) as you are breaking up the food more so than when you are inhaling it (like I do). You also give your saliva a chance to breakdown the food more thoroughly through amylase and the other enzymes in your saliva.
Insulin Is A Killer
When food enters your bloodstream slow, it prevents the large insulin spike that invariably happens when you are gorging (or drinking a shake – yes protein shakes blur your abs). As some of you may know, a large insulin spike is bad news. It contributes to metabolic syndrome through insulin resistance and a host of other bad-news-bears health problems. It also keeps you fat as insulin is a storage hormone and too much of it makes it literally impossible to be in a fat-burning state. This is why eating slow will help you burn fat instead of storing it (like most people).
Enjoy Your Food
Now normally when something tastes super amazing we tend to scarf it down because it’s yummy and because our subconscious primal instinct is to fear that the food is going to get up and run away (or go bad like our hunter-gathered days). But when you have a tasty-ass meal like this, you should chew it slowly and thoroughly. You should also sniff food like a dog (courtesy tip of Tim Ferris in his new book The 4-Hour Chef) as smell plays a large role in tasting food.
My Personal Results
I have seen myself the leanest I’ve ever been, and less craving of sugar and sweets, when I am regularly eating slower. This simple tweak can really kickstart better eating habits.
I recommend this simple tweak to all of my clients in conjunction with the standard paleo recommendations.
Eating slow is one of the best ways to prevent fat-gain when eating a meal as well as reduce your total caloric load (and thus preventing more fat-gain).
Here are my 5 quick-and-dirty Eating slow tips:
1. Drink glass of water before meal (it always slows me down)
2. Take smaller bites and think about ‘chewing’ the food
3. Put your fork or spoon down every bite or every other
4. Use a small spoon….it works
5. Use chopsticks….it works even more.
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*extra-non-related-tip: Serve food on smaller plates and keep extra in kitchen. Anytime food is on a big plate and readily accessible (think buffet) you will eat more of it. Recommend book on this subject: Mindless Eating (right)
Savior Your Food, Taste It, And Prevent Fat Gain
Try it today. Eat slow at your next meal and note how much you ate and how satisfied you felt afterwards. Then do it again and again until it is a habit. Watch the abs come out of hiding!
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