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If there is one easy thing that you can do right now to help you lose weight, it’s to eat slower. Did you know that it takes around 20 minutes from the time you start eating, for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full? Think about it — you can eat a whole lot of food in 20 minutes! So it’s easy to see why eating quickly leads us to eat more food than we need or want.

Research has shown that the slower people eat, the more they enjoy their meal and the fewer kilojoules they consume. If you think about it, this does make sense. If you are too busy focussing on shovelling food into your mouth, you are not likely to have time to enjoy the taste, texture and colours of the food on your plate. Enjoying what you eat and savouring it is an important part of eating. When you do this, you are less likely to feel deprived and therefore less likely to look for other more ‘exciting’ foods. And if you take in less kilojoules at the same time — even better!

Do you eat too fast?

Ask yourself the following questions:

If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, then you are probably eating too quickly.

Practice makes perfect

If you have a lifetime habit of eating too fast, it will take time to change this. But practice makes perfect, so keep at it and eventually slowing down will feel natural to you. In the meantime, try some of these tips:

Savour it!

Finally, you may want to try this little exercise the next time you tuck into a bar of chocolate. Break off a small piece and then sit down with it. Look at it, smell it, feel it. Then take one little bite. Make it last as long as possible. Take the time to notice how it feels on your tongue, how it tastes when you suck it. Do this until it is completely gone and then take another small bite. Chances are you will get your ‘chocolate fix’ with a lot less chocolate this way.

Remember, food isn’t something to be inhaled at record speed. While the purpose of food is to nourish our bodies, it can also nourish our souls and provide a sensory experience in itself. So the next time you sit down to eat, make sure all your senses are engaged.

Resource: Healthlogix – Australian Corporate Wellness online.

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