Of the 5 Habits, this one is probably the most important.
While it would seem on the surface that eating the right ratio of macronutrients (carbs, proteins, fats) is essential to a healthy diet, the amount that you eat matters more!
Don’t get me wrong, enjoying a diet of fresh, whole foods is important, but if you eat too much of anything, you’ll struggle with losing or maintaining weight.
The easiest way to ensure that you’re not eating too much is not to count calories or measure foods with a scale or measuring cups, it is to pay attention.
It takes our body approximately 20 minute to register the feeling of fullness. Often we sit down to a meal and scarf it up in mere minutes. Ever gotten up for a second helping, finish it and then realize how stuffed you are?
This habit is powerful in it’s simplicity. Even if you feel that you need to improve the quality of the food that you eat, you can begin to improve how you look and feel just by slowing down because you stop eating way too much food.
Even though it’s so simple, it can be difficult to master. With meal time distractions and packed schedules we often rush through our meals, barely tasting what we eat. But if you slow down, stop when you just begin to feel full, you’ll begin to foster this habit which will lead to an improvement in your health – without changing anything else.
Try these tips to start:
- set a time goal for your next meal, 15-20 minutes per meal is great, but build slowly if you find that difficult
- eliminate meal time distractions, turn off the tv, ignore your cellphone, put away the books
- take smaller bites
- put your fork down between mouthfuls and chew consciously
- notice the taste, texture, smells of your food and enjoy it fully
- take a sip of your drink, talk with your dining partner to further slow down
- make a point of sitting to eat at a table, not standing at the sink or at the coffee table in your living room
Slowing down helps you to eat less and also enables you to gauge how full you feel so that you can stop right when you feel satisfied instead of stuffed.
Start working on this habit at your next meal!