I think of this every now and then, and thought I’d post a few ideas on it.
Please add some of your ideas! I will add them to this list; it would be a good resource 🙂
1. Chew thoroughly – Of course we all know this. Easier said than done! It takes a bit of (annoying) monitoring of your eating for a spell to get this down. When you eat, you should not swallow any pieces or chunks of anything; food should be creamed and go down smooth — like a green smoothie!
2. Put your fork down! – Yes. Try it. After you take a forkful of food, put your fork/spoon down and chew (as in no. 1), swallow and enjoy the flavor! Take a moment. Resume 🙂 Finish that mouthful completely before you even think of lifting up that fork.
3. Fill your fork – with a modicum of food! Yes, take note of just how much you put on that fork/spoon. Surprised? I was — ack! More than enough; in fact, too much. This, leads to a mouth-too-full, which leads to improper mastication (see no. 1 again); poor digestion (eegads — gas/bloating, anyone?); a general rushing; and, actually, less enjoyment. Shoveling food means you’re not really savoring and tasting properly. Try it. I think you’ll find food more pleasurable and flavorful (and better for digestion). The food is in your mouth longer, where all the tastebuds are! The flavor disappears once food is swallowed…how sad 😉
4. Time, as in take your – Yes, this may take what is already more time than you have for eating, but, hey, you gotta do it. If rushed for time, then adjust your meals to accommodate your needs. So, if you have no time for your lunch, make it a more calorie-dense meal to get you through the meal faster — so, focus on beans and fat, and round it out with as many greens as you can get it. Then, make sure you are getting your requirements the other meal(s), like your greens in your smoothies and/or soups, maybe; and the rest of your fruit and veg at dinner, etc.
5. Try not to drink with meals – drink before or after. (this is more about digestion; but I think it also helps to not just flush down a mouthful of improperly chewed food with liquid)
6. Do not eat “mindlessly” – I try not to say this, but do, myself, sometimes, and it’s kind of annoying, lol. I mean, it’s so general, like “Listen to your body” — another one that annoys the heck out of me…I’ll save that for another ramble ;). “Mindlessly” is just referring to not being conscious or aware of what you’re doing — ever drive and arrive at a destination and have no recall of the journey? Can’t recall getting on and off a particular onramp/exit? Still, who wants to sit and think intensely about food all the time? I mean, it’s fairly impossible if eating with others. Most of us converse with those we sup! So maybe “practice” the above lessons when alone and when you can, being mindful of chewing thoroughly, putting a moderate amount of food on each forkful, and putting down your fork after every entree of food.
7. Count – Well, when you can :). My Mom always used to say, “Chew your food at least 25 times before swallowing.” Well, that might be okay for the average Western Diet food which is over-processed junk, but for a person eating a nutrient-dense diet, focusing on fresh, whole foods, it’s a whole other ball of wax! With the amount of raw foods we need to consume and generally high fiber foods, we need double that. If it helps, count how many it takes before food is creamed.
8. Also remember that eating with your mouth closed helps avoid gas and bloating. I won’t go too much into gas and bloating, as I have a post on that already — reference my list of suggestions on this page, Suggestion Digestion Post
9. Avoid Overeating – All of the above will also help you to not overeat. When rushed one does not allow time for the full signal to go from the stomach to the brain. As well, taking it a bit — just a bit, now 😉 — slower will help with nutrient absorption because one is creaming the food for the body to better extract the nutrients and digest, so less is needed — you’re more satisfied when your body actually gets the nutrients. Don’t overwhelm the poor thing! This leads to other goodies, such as true satiety, less food needed, and, as Dr. Joel Fuhrman says, the loss of cravings: Cravings are a sign that the body is improperly nourished.
Personally, I notice that I can still put too much food onto my fork and — this is worse — have another forkful ready to go before I’m even halfway through chewing my last one! That’s, well, embarrassing! Not to mention an indication that I’m rushing and/or eating mindlessly.
Chew Well, All 😉