Lose Weight By Eating Slow?
If only there was a simple way to lose weight, get fit, and feel good about yourself while still eating anything you want. Like we used to be able to do when we were kids or even very young adults. I remember eating a couple double cheeseburgers, fries and a milkshake as a young adult and never gained any weight as a result of it. Well up a certain point in time. As I got older and my metabolism slowed down but my eating habits didn’t. Then I was like…something must be wrong with my washer or dryer because they are all of a sudden shrinking my clothes! Now granted there are SOME adults out there with a freakishly fast metabolism to whom I say…
Ok, just kidding (a little). But if you’re like most of us adults, you have to be mindful of what and when you’re eating and making sure you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming if you’re trying to shed some pounds. The unfortunate truth is that eating whatever you want, will likely make you gain fat. Not all of it our fault. When we were younger, most of us didn’t have the responsibilities that we do now, hence less time to workout or do something active. Many of us have to sit during our jobs which can also contribute to gaining weight. While the Fastin diet pill is good, let’s be honest…It isn’t a magic pill and a magic pill doesn’t exist. It does great at providing energy and curbing hunger pangs but you also need to be smart by employing healthy eating, and working out to some extent to create that caloric deficit. That said, there are some new (and some old) tips that can be helpful in our quest to shed some extra weight. Below are some of these helpful tips that actually seem to help.
You could try eating slowly. It turns out your body doesn’t know what’s up right away. Did you know your stomach communicates with your brain to let it know when it’s full? When it’s had enough to eat, it tells the brain, “Hey, stop it. I’m done. I’m full,” and then your brain tells your body it’s finished eating. The problem is…there is a time delay for that communication to take place. So…you just keep on keeping on and adding more and more calories into your body with each bite even though your stomach is actually full. Crazy huh? This can be remedied by simply taking your time at the dinner table when you have a meal. Eating slowly gives your stomach the time it needs to realize it’s no longer hungry and notify your brain. This in turns eliminates those extra calories from being consumed (and creating a larger number of calories that need to be burned). This is an easy way to reduce calories and lose weight without adding any extra exercise or activities to your routine! On way to easily accomplish this is to engage in a good conversation with a friend or significant other during meals. If you’re yapping, you can’t be chewing! At least we hope not. Please don’t be one of THOSE people.
In addition to eating slowly, here are some additional tips that can go hand in hand in this tactic.
Use a Smaller Plate
It’s easier to eat less (and lose weight), if you don’t have so much food in front of you. Your brain is easily tricked by what it sees in front of you even when it’s not entirely accurate. It’s been proven that if you have a large plate and fill it up, you eat a lot more. If you have a small plate and fill it up…the plate fills faster and with much less food. Your mind and your stomach think you’re eating a ton of food, but you’re actually eating quite a bit less than you would’ve. And again, when you’re eating less and taking in fewer calories…it makes it easier to create a bigger caloric deficit and…LOSE WEIGHT!
Every time you take a bite of food and swallow it, take a drink of water. Water helps you fill up faster, so you eat less. Sometimes you eat even when you’re not hungry simply because you are thirsty. When your body starts to dehydrated, it might make you feel hungry. Try drinking a glass of water anytime you feel hungry and then wait 20 minutes. Most people are no longer hungry after that time because they satisfied their craving with a satisfying (and zeo calorie) glass of water.
Also, when you drink water between bites, you give your body more time to digest the food and feel full. It takes a moment to fully chew and swallow your food before taking a drink of water. More time to drink, swallow and you’re magically eating slower and allowing that communication to happen between the stomach and the brain that…”I’m good dude!”
Chew, Chew, Chew
Did you know…that most of us don’t chew our food as much as we should. This is especially true if you’re eating something you really enjoy. Nothing to feel bad about, it is human nature BUT…try paying attention to how much you’re chewing your food before you swallow it. Chewing your food a little bit more can provide you with many benefits. For one, it will break down the food into smaller pieces making them easier to swallow and digest. And two, it can minimize your risk of choking on a piece of food that’s too big. Yes! It COULD save your life! Additionally, and once again tying into the eating slower theme…taking more time to chew your food (anywhere from 10 to 20 times) will allow that communication time from stomach to brain to let you know that you are full. And less calories…I’m sensing a theme.
Give Yourself Time
So we’ve been talking a lot about taking more time to eat and using some of these tips to assist in that. But also remember that you should give yourself some time to grow accustomed to this new way of eating. As is true with most habits, you won’t be able to change it overnight. You need to do things to remind you that you’re trying a new approach. Eating is instinctual and has become an automatic part of our daily lives. I mean, who thinks about how slow they are chewing their food or how many bites they are on while eating? No one really. It needs to be something you work on to build that new habit.
Eating slowly won’t (and shouldn’t) be the end all in your weight loss journey but it can be a helpful component of it. If it helps you shave off hundreds of calories a day, imagine how that’ll add up over a week, a month or year? One last tidbit to keep in mind. If you’re doing exercise now and are getting to a caloric deficit (more calories expended, then consumed), you’ll lose weight. Now…if you keep the exercise the same but are able to reduce the calories consumed by employing these tricks. Then you’ll make that much more progress on towards your weight loss goals and get there even sooner.