A lot of what we do in CrossFit is very fast-paced. Not only in CrossFit, but in life! We are rushing to get our kids to school, to meet a deadline, to get to a meeting, or simply walk from point A to point B. Unfortunately, for most of us, our eating habits are not any different.
So let’s focus on one piece of our life that we can control that directly affects our health; the speed with which we eat. What would happen if we decided to slow down?
How Eating slowly can help us lose, gain, or maintain our goal body weight
How quickly we eat relates to how fast and maintained our satiation is — this is how “satisfied” we are with what we’ve eaten.
When we eat too quickly, we are eating at a rate faster than our body is able to recognize the amount that we have eaten. Now this will come in handy if we are trying to gain weight or put on mass, because we can eat the excess of calories before we feel overly full. However, if we are trying to lose or maintain weight we want to eat slowly enough that we start to notice when our body and mind are feeling satisfied.
It has also been shown that the slower we eat will correlate with how long we feel satisfied by our meal. If we woof down our food, even though we are left feeling overly full, we will feel hungry again sooner than if we slowed down and listened to our hunger and satiation cues.
Not only will we be able to recognize when we are satisfied and feel satisfied for longer, but we won’t be left feeling uncomfortably full, or worse, regretful or emotional about what we have just eaten.
How Eating Slowly Can Benefit us Emotionally
Now let’s address how slowing down can positively impact our emotional relationship to the food we are putting in our mouths and with whom we are sharing that meal.
When we scarf down our food without even a thought for the texture or taste, we are only thinking of it as fuel. We are no longer taking into account the emotional, social, or most importantly delicious aspects of it!
I am not trying to deny the fact that food is, in fact, what fuels us. However, it is also a time for us to gather with friends and family. If all we care about is how fast we can get the food in our belly, we aren’t concerning ourselves with those around us! Slowing down and having a real conversation with our friends and family while we eat is a great opportunity to develop our relationships.
How Do I Eat Slower?
Lastly, let’s take a look at some ways that we can start to implement slow eating into our daily life.
- Have a stop watch handy and time yourself when you eat at your normal pace. Then each day following try to add 1-2 minutes to that meal for 1 week. You would be surprised by how hard this truly can be!
- Put your fork down between every bite.
- Don’t have any distractions present, for example, no TV, phone, or books.
- Eat with a loved one and chat with them! You can’t chat with your mouthful (if you are polite.)
Good luck and hopefully you see some benefits when you slow things down.