chichen-supper

Target time for the meal was 20:00. I completed the meal in 27:21

Eat slowly.

That’s it.

I am utterly amazed at how full I feel after a meal. And for me, that feeling lasts several hours. I have not changed what I am eating…my meals are the same as ever, yet in just one week, I’ve seen movement on the scale. Every day, my weight is a little bit lower than the day before.

It’s good for you in many ways. Leo Babauta, of Zen Habits, has a great little blog post on it, too.

Here’s how I’m doing it:

I got an app called “Eat Slowly” for my ipad. (It’s free). It lets me take a picture of my meal…and I can either use the pre-set time or set my own. When I start the count down, not only does it count down the seconds…but it shows me a plate gradually getting emptier. It diminishes by 1/8ths. It’s great. I can look at my plate…and look at the ipad and judge instantly whether I am going too quickly or not. I love being able to track my pace at a glance. It helps especially at the beginning of my meal when I am hungry and most likely to revert to my shoveling habits.

How I slow down:

  1. I make sure the food in my mouth is completely gone before I start on the next bite.
  2. I put down my fork or my spoon between bites. I’ve noticed that sometimes, if I have a piece of bread (say, with a bowl of soup or stew) I have to go a get a plate to put it on…normally, I guess, I just held it in my hand the entire meal.) This one is going to take some practice.
  3. The best way to accomplish both 1) and 2) above is to take a sip of water in between each bite.
  4. This is bad–and may come to bite me when it is time to level up this habit, but so far I have not stopped my habit of eating in front of something–a book or the computer or the TV. I use it as another distraction device.

Notice something I am not doing: I am not chewing and chewing and chewing. Taking 20-30-40 chews or whatever before I swallow would lead to madness. Besides, I’d probably lose count!

Food does get cold. So, I take less food. I can always go back for more. (There’s a pause button on the app.)

Sometimes, I find I have had “enough” of something, even though I love it, (like a bowl of bean and bacon soup) and I’m still sort of hungry…so I have a salad. Last week, Chris prepared all the ingredients for a salad–and I just go to the fridge, open all the containers and throw everything into a bowl with a bit of dressing. Presto chango: instant salad.

I remember I used to eat this way as a child. People used to complain about how long it took me to eat something. It feels right to relearn how to do this.

Have you ever tried eating more slowly–or are you already eating slowly?

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