Health Blog

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Relearn how to eat

When was the last time you thought about HOW you eat? No, I’m not talking about what you eat, that’s another posting or two or three, probably lots more.

Think about how you eat. Do you notice that you finish your snacks or meals without knowing how that happened? I recall studying in university and eating my favourite study snacks, Wheat Thin crackers. At that time I thought those were healthy. Now I know better. Especially as I would sometimes reach to the bottom of the box without even knowing how I got there! A whole box! Not a great choice for dinner.

Think about whether you chew your food. It’s too easy to scarf down a meal like a dog. Well, even my dog Hana chews her food better and more than many people I know. Have you ever seen a dog chew lettuce, really chew each little piece? She does! Smart dog! Chewing your food is the start of your digestive process. Skipping this step makes it harder for your body to digest your food.

Be mindful when you eat. Here are some tips:

1. Nicely present your food to yourself. Make it look appealing. You might appreciate it more.

2. Before you eat, think about how this food will nourish you, not just physically, but also emotionally (do you feel good eating this?).

3. Chew your food well. If counting bites helps, try that for awhile.

4. To slow you down, try some of these simple tricks. Put your utensils down between bites. Try eating with your non-dominant hand (it might get messy, but it’s also good for your brain). Eat with chopsticks, not just Asian food, but other foods as well.

Unlike either of my dogs, however, stop eating when you are no longer hungry. If you give your body time to assess how you feel as you slow down your eating, you will have better cues and satiety. Stop eating before you feel you HAVE to stop eating. If you realize you need more food and are still hungry, you can always go back for a bit more.

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