6 Easy Ways to Eat Slower

Have you ever accidentally burned yourself? When you touch a hot stove, your body immediately knows your fingers are in pain and you pull your hand away. The message travels from your fingertips to your brain and back almost instantly through your nervous system. When you eat, the signal of fullness takes 15-20 minutes to travel from your stomach to your brain, telling you to stop. This signal is much slower because it’s carried as a hormone through your bloodstream, slowly working its way through your veins to your brain. If you eat quickly, you’re likely to overeat and feel stuffed. Instead, work on slowing down with these easy tricks from Susan Albers, PsyD of www.eatq.com.

1. If you want to slow down, try eating with your non-dominant hand (if you’re right handed, eat with your left hand). Research suggests that you eat 30% less when you eat with your non-dominant hand. This simple switch interrupts the automatic movement from your hand to your mouth.

2. Say at least two adjectives to yourself to describe the food you are about to eat before each bite. For example, “way “cold” and “creamy” before each spoonful of yogurt you put in your mouth. This simple trick can give you just enough of a pause before a bite of food to slow you down and help you enjoy the flavor of your food more.

3. Sit down. It sounds simple enough, right? People tend to eat more rapidly when standing up.

4. Stagger your bites with another activity. For example, try making a comment to your dining partner before each bite of food. Or try one sip of water after  every bite of food.

5. Just observe. Notice how quickly or slowly other people eat. Use their pace to set your own. Intentionally eat lower than or just as slowly as another person’s bites.

6. Consider your fork or spoon a tool you need to reload. Instead of hastily shoveling your food, focus on filling your tool carefully and deliberately before each bite.

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