How you eat is just as important as what and when. Eating too fast, not chewing enough, eating out of too large of a dish, and drinking water with every sip are all ways you can impact how well your body absorbs nutrients, signals your brain that you are full, and balances acid levels in your stomach—or not. Taking time to think about just how the calories you are consuming are actually entering your body will help you lose weight, reduce inflammation, and appreciate the delicious food you have in front of you. All part of living a balanced, healthy life. In this article, we will cover 6 proven methods that won’t change what or when you eat, but will rather, improve how you eat—a critical aspect of your metabolic health.
Stop eating before you are full
Historically there are cultures who eat until they don’t feel hungry rather than eating until they are full—like our culture. Some cultures that happen to have the longest-living centenarians in the world, like the Okinawans in Japan, even have instructional sayings that come from this value. “Eat until you feel 80% full” is a common theme. Other cultures promote eating by savoring; they take their time to bring presence and the ensuing enjoyment into every bite. By relishing every flavor, texture, and aroma while chewing mindfully they slow down the process of digestion enough to receive the signal from the Vagus nerve that they are full well before they over-stretch their stomach.
Serve in smaller dishes
And yet other cultures serve multiple mini-courses in small portions and in small bowls and plates, eating as if they are Sommeliers testing multiple wines. There have been studies that show that people eat over 30% more if they eat from a 34 oz bowl rather than a 17oz bowl. Look what has happened to us in North America with increased obesity and massive portion sizes!
Slowing down our eating by chewing our food to a liquid before swallowing also contributes to better nutrient absorption and less acidity in our digestive system. Allowing Saliva (which is alkaline) to thoroughly coat our food neutralizes the stomach acid and sets up the digestive bile salts and pancreatic enzymes to finish the process with a balanced pH. This in turn minimizes gastric reflux issues but also keeps the pH of our intestinal tract a supportive environment for our “good” bacteria.
6 Ways To Improve How You Eat:
Here are some considerations to support “nutrification” (the process of consuming nutrients through healthy food) and avoid eating excess calories:
- Serve smaller portions on smaller china, then take a moment or two to sense if your hunger has abated before reaching for a second helping.
- Place your fork or spoon on the table after every bite, and leave it there while you chew. This will avoid mindless conveyer belt loading, a surefire way to overconsume.
- Mindfully savor all the tastes, textures, and aromas while chewing. Really enjoy and be curious about what you have in your mouth.
- Chew your food to a liquid before swallowing, and avoid drinking to swallow. This will allow your saliva to do some work for you, balancing the pH of your stomach.
- Minimize the liquids you drink at a meal in order to keep digestive enzymes their most potent.
- Avoid distracting activities, save some communal conversation, while eating in order to maintain mindful noticing to sense when our body is telling us we have had enough.
What is Mountain Trek?
Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning hiking-based health program, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress, anxiety, and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at email@example.com or reach out below: