I’ll admit it, I’m a SUPER fast eater. I put a bite in my mouth and before that bite is even done there’s another one ready to take its place. Often I leave a meal unsure if I’m satiated or not and I tend to go by pre-planned portions as an external measure as to whether or not I’ve eaten enough. I find that especially if I am having the occasional treat like ice cream or popcorn I rush even more anticipating the next bite and never truly enjoying the bite in my mouth.
For years, I’ve advised clients to “slow down” while eating I tell myself the same message as well. Frankly, constantly catching myself rushing my meals and telling myself to slow down is boring, tedious and exhausting and hasn’t worked very well for me personally in the long run. Recently I’ve learned an amazing technique that has worked really well for me and for my clients…
The One Bite at a Time Technique
Here’s how you do it…take one bite, fully chew it (I try to chew 30 times but that doesn’t always happen) and then swallow. Then, and only then, take another bite. If you forget gently remind yourself and re-set for the next bite. When I first tried this a curious thing happened. I was actually PANICKED after the first bite or so because I was still hungry. I truly believe that fear of hunger is baked into our human consciousness so this makes sense. But, after a few bites I started feeling more comfortable and I really truly tasted my food and it was GOOD! It took me a few extra minutes to eat and, at the end, I felt totally satisfied. I didn’t have to rely on an external force to tell me how much I should eat. I felt in-touch and connected.
An added bonus is potential weight loss as medical studies suggest that chewing can alter your satiety hormones and thus decrease and help keep you satisfied for longer and thus enhance weight loss efforts.
For one entire week try this for at least one meal per day:
- Sit down for you meal (I insist all my clients sit while eating)
- Take a bite and put down your fork
- Chew (try for 30 times, less is ok) and swallow
- Pick up your fork and repeat
- If you make a mistake, gently remind yourself that you are re-training your brain and start again.
- Check in every few bites and ask yourself if you are still hungry.
- After you meal, check in and see how you feel. Do you feel more satisfied? Less stuffed maybe?
This is more challenging if you are mildly distracted with TV, reading or a conversation but it’s still totally possible to split your attention. I’m confident that in time this will become your habit.
Let me know how you do!