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6 Tricks & Tactics to Slowly Eat Your Way to Fat Loss


Week 3 of the Orca Nutrition Games is all about SLOWING IT DOWN!

The benefits of slow eating include better digestion, better hydration, easier weight loss or maintenance, and greater satisfaction with our meals. Meanwhile, eating quickly leads to poor digestion, increased weight gain, and lower satisfaction. The message is clear: Slow down your eating and enjoy improved health and well-being.

This week I will be bringing you tactics how to slow your meals (and snacks), and more positive health-promoting reasons too!

If you want to know how I can help improve your nutrition habits, Click the link!


Reason #1 to Eat More Slowly
— Allow your body to Sense Satisfaction —

Eating slowly allows your body enough time to recognize when you’re full. It takes your body about twenty minutes after beginning the meal for your brain to send out the signal your appetite is satiated; do some of your meals even last that long?

If you are eating too quickly, it is easy to consume an excess of calories from the delay in communication. What if each meal/snack that you felt ‘stuffed’, rather than ‘satisfied’, could be a culprit for stalled body goals?

When you slow down, savor the meal, pay attention to how it really tastes, and be mindful of each bite, you will leave the table feeling better and making overall better choices.

Tip #1: If you feel this is a reoccurring theme for you, start with setting a timer for 20-30 minutes for meals and pace your plate clearing!

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Reason #2 to Eat More Slowly

— Improved digestion —

Think of digestion as a chain reaction. As soon as we see, smell, or think about food (step 1), we start salivating to prepare for putting that food in our mouth (step 2). Saliva contains enzymes that break the food down and moistens the mouth for easier swallowing.
Meanwhile, digestive steps 3, 4, 5 etc. have to get ready to go to work. Our stomachs start to secrete more acid. Our small intestine starts to get ready for some peristalsis. And so forth. If you rush this process, you can force our Gastro-intestinal tract (stomach, small & large intestines) to deal with stuff before it’s fully ready to recieve it. Surprises are great on birthdays, not so great during digestion!
This would be like getting ready to throw a baseball at someone before they’ve put their glove on to catch it. 
At the University of Rhode Island, researchers examined how eating speed affected the early stages of digestive processing by observing 60 young adults eat a meal. Here is a quick summary
  • Slow eaters consumed 2 ounces of food per minute.
  • Medium-speed eaters consumed 2.5 ounces of food per minute.
  • Fast eaters consumed 3.1 ounces per minute. They also took larger bites and chewed less before swallowing.
This means that not only are fast eaters putting more food down in a given amount of time, but that food also isn’t as well-processed. Food is essentially landing in fast eaters’ stomachs in big ol’ lumps.
Digestion starts in the mouth, and by large bites that are inadequately chewed, it will be more difficult for your stomach to turn into chyme – the liquid mix of partially digested food, hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, and water that passes through the pyloric valve on its way to elimination.
Food that isn’t properly broken down into chyme can lead to indigestion and other potential GI problems. And who wants that? Uh, nobody!
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Reason #3 to Enjoy Your Food

— Food is Fuel, but it should be enjoyable too! —

Have you wanted to have a meal so badly that by the time you began, it was seemingly over? It’s hard to enjoy your food if it goes by too quickly.
It is a bountiful and healthy meal, or maybe even a celebration or you are TRULY “stuck without many options”, focus on the enjoyment factor. If you eat them slowly, you can get the same amount of great taste with just a little bit, whereas eating a bunch will make you feel stuffed, or even guilty.
Personally, this is one I have struggled with myself with some emotional eating tendencies. I’m working on Habits 1, 2 & 3 by tasting great food, enjoying it fully, eating slowly, and removing temptations. Make your meals about pleasure, not a thing you do rush between stressful events. Here are some things I do to help slow my meals down, and think you will like to try too…
Tips for #2 & 3:
  • Set a timer for 20-30 minutes, and take that time to eat your meal
  • Place your utensils/food down between bites, and don’t pick it back up until you have completely swallowed
  • Try eating with your non-dominant hand; if you’re a righty, hold your fork in your left hand when lifting food to your mouth, surely it will slow you down
  • Use chopsticks instead of a fork… Especially if you’re having soup
  • Try to take the perfect bite each time, rather than shoveling or speed eating your way through your plate
  • Take small bites and chew well, almost too well
  • Before opening the fridge or cabinet, take a breath and ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Try drinking some water, taking a quick walk, or some light/brief exercise
Here’s my plate from this morning’s TIMED meal. 22 minutes

Reason #4 to Eat More Slowly

— Eating quickly promotes can make you feel out of control of your eating habits —

If you’ve ever experienced a binge episode, you’ll know the feeling — a powerful urge to get the food in there as fast as possible.

Even in inconsistent bursts, people who suffer from compulsive eating often feel out of control of their eating behavior. After a binge or episode of over-eating, they feel guilty, ashamed, and regretful of their decisions.

The good news? Focusing on slowing down can be a great way to nip it in the bud.

When you’re in the grip of a binge or an over-eating episode that feels overwhelming, just try to slow down as soon as you realize what’s happening. 

You might not feel able to stop eating right away, and that’s OK. But most people can slow themselves down, even when the binge demons are howling and can pull the reigns in on curbing some destructive decisions.

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Does this happen to you too? It sure does for me at times. Let’s talk about it and build a PLAN

Reason #5 to Eat More Slowly

— Your BRAIN and your GUT need time to COMMUNICATE —

Scientists have proved that your stomach being full is NOT the only source to trust when feeling if your meal/snack has satisfied your hunger. When food reaches your stomach, it begins to stretch and sends that signal to your brain to release hormones associated with digestion and energy.
It can take up to 20 minutes for the signals of “being full” to register in your brain… Look back to Tips #2 & 3 on ways to slow your meals down!
But the way your stomach and brain communicate is like a 2003 dial-up computer, versus our current 5G-LTE-iMessaging we are so used to needing and getting today… You have to be PATIENT from the time food enters your body for the telephone to ring up between your ears. Here’s the sequence of events:

Food Goes in ⇒ Stomach begins to fill with food ⇒ Sends a message to the brain (dial-up speed) ⇒ Brain gets the message (like morse code decryption) ⇒ Secretes hormones for digestion & sends the message back to stomach & body (more dial-up speed) ⇒ Pleasure is felt from just the right amount of food… Ahh, it feels good to go slow!

If you like a bit more science to explain that scenario, here is what actually is happening:
“Stretch receptors in the stomach are activated as it fills with food or water; these signal the brain directly through the vagus nerve that connects gut and brainstem. Hormonal signals are released as partially digested food enters the small intestine. One example is cholecystokinin (CCK), released by the intestines in response to food consumed during a meal. Another hormone, leptin, produced by fat cells, is an adiposity signal that communicates with the brain about long-range needs and satiety, based on the body’s energy stores. Research suggests that leptin amplifies the CCK signals, to enhance the feeling of fullness. Other research suggests that leptin also interacts with the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain to produce a feeling of pleasure after eating. The theory is that, by eating too quickly, people may not give this intricate hormonal cross-talk system enough time to work.” – Ann MacDonald, Harvard Health
The theory is that, by eating too quickly, people may not give this complex system of hormone enough time to do its job properly, which is to tell you:
  • How Much More Food You Need to Be ‘Just Right.
  • When You Should Be Feeling Full (what do you need, not what do you want)

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Reason #6 to Eat Slowly

— Distracted or Stressed Eating is Directly Associated with Weight Gain —

We’ve all been there…

In front of the phone or TV, driving-&-eating, shoveling food in between appointments or commitments, standing over the counter chomping on ANYTHING to prevent us from facing something…
In those moments, the problem is we are not focused on the food that is in front of us.
A study showed that
a) Being distracted/not attentive to the food in front of caused them to eat a LARGER meal
b) Paying attention to your meal directly linked to eating less later on in the day
Have you ever finished a hectic/speedy lunch or dinner, only to be daydreaming about your next snack pretty soon? It’s because you didn’t mentally register how great and fulfilling that last meal was. Being focused on, or distracted by something else disrupted the BRAIN – GUT communication I was talking about in Reason #5
If you aren’t actively mindful on what’s going into your mouth, the communication goes haywire. That means it doesn’t get stored in your short-term memory, and without a memory of having eaten, you are more likely to eat again sooner than you might really need to (from an energy standpoint) if you ate more mindfully.
Tip #6: PUT DOWN THE PHONE, TURN OFF THE T.V., NO EATING BEHIND THE WHEEL … You can wait the few minutes extra until you are able to just focus on that one thing, I promise you won’t starve or whittle away!

If you are ready to commit to your health & fitness before the holidays, you can join Orca Empire Fitness for FREE. Click the link to book your free consultation. 

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