What is the simplest way to eat better?
When it comes to improving their eating habits, many people find themselves lost in a sea of dietary details and nutrition myths. They fret over questions like:
“Are potatoes fattening?”
“Is a protein shake necessary after my workout?”
“Should I follow a keto, Paleo, or alkaline diet for weight loss?”
Yet, amidst these concerns, they often consume their meals haphazardly—over the kitchen sink, in their cars, or while zoning out in front of the TV. The focus has been on what to eat rather than how to eat.
However, there’s a straightforward and powerful habit that can lead to significant dietary transformation: eating slowly and mindfully. Instead of obsessing over specific foods, meal frequencies, or portion sizes (all important considerations, to be sure), slowing down while eating is a simple yet effective way for anyone to immediately improve their eating habits and overall well-being.
Why Eating Slowly Matters:
The benefits of eating slowly can be boiled down to two key reasons:
Satiety Signals: It takes approximately 20 minutes for your body’s satiety signals to register. Slower eating allows this natural feedback system to function optimally, helping you recognize when you’ve had enough to eat.
Enhanced Satisfaction: When you deliberately slow down and savor each bite, you tend to feel more satisfied with less food, and you’re less likely to experience feelings of deprivation.
Despite the evident advantages of this habit, many people struggle to adopt it. Slow eating can be a challenging practice to cultivate, but it’s worth the effort.
Practical Tips for Cultivating Slow Eating:
If you’re interested in incorporating slow eating into your daily routine, consider trying the following tips. You can experiment with them during a single meal or embark on a “30-day slow-eating challenge” if you’re up for a more extended commitment.
1. Take a Breath:
Before you start eating, take a moment to pause and take a deep breath. Then, take a single bite. After each bite, pause again to take another breath. Approach your meal one bite and one breath at a time.
2. Add One Minute per Meal:
At the beginning of each meal, set a timer or start a clock. Challenge yourself to extend the duration of each meal by one minute compared to the previous one. Gradually increase the time you spend on each meal.
3. Do Something Between Bites:
In addition to taking a breath or three between bites, try other activities to slow down your eating pace. These can include setting down your utensils, taking a sip of water, or engaging in conversation with someone at the table.
4. Savor Your Food:
Make an effort to fully engage with your meal. Pay attention to the flavors, textures, and sensations of each bite. Is it salty, sweet, or savory? Does it linger on the roof of your mouth? Explore these sensory aspects with every mouthful.
5. Notice External Influences:
Be aware of how external factors can impact your eating speed. Even subtle elements like the presence of background music or complete silence can influence your pace. Some individuals have found success in maintaining a slower eating pace by listening to a specially curated “slow eating” playlist, typically around 20 minutes in duration.
A Final Reminder: Don’t Put Food on Your Fork if There’s Food in Your Mouth:
Lastly, a simple yet crucial reminder is to avoid loading your fork with more food while you still have food in your mouth. This practice encourages mindful eating and discourages rapid consumption.
In conclusion, the simplest way to eat better isn’t about meticulously planning your meals or adhering to a specific diet trend. Instead, it’s about adopting the habit of eating slowly and mindfully. This practice allows you to harness the natural signals of satiety, enjoy your food to the fullest, and ultimately make more healthful choices without the need for complex dietary rules.
While mastering the art of slow eating may require practice and patience, the rewards in terms of improved well-being and healthier eating habits are well worth the effort. So, the next time you sit down for a meal, take a deep breath, savor each bite, and relish the benefits of this simple yet transformative approach to eating better.
I hope this helps, and while you’re here, I want to make sure you know that if there’s any way I can help you achieve your health and fitness goals, I’m here for you.
I offer online nutrition coaching to clients who are ready to quit dieting and start looking and feeling better, with more confidence and increased energy levels – without complicated diets or painful workouts
What exactly is “nutrition coaching”… and how will it help you reach your goals?
When it comes to losing weight and getting the body you want, “eating better” is one of the most important steps. The only problem?
Most of the common diet advice you receive simply isn’t sustainable…
- “Avoid your favorite foods… forever!”
- “Don’t eat after 7pm!”
- “Weigh and measure every morsel of food you eat!”
If you’ve tried something like this before and “failed”—or just couldn’t stick with it—you’re not alone.
(And it’s definitely NOT your fault.)
I talk to people every day who are trying to muster up all the willpower they can find to diet their way to a better body… but they still aren’t getting the results they want.
The good news? There’s a better way.
My nutrition coaching focuses on strategic, doable daily actions that are designed to fit into YOUR lifestyle. With this approach, you’ll learn how to:
- Eat better—without dieting or feeling deprived.
- Lose weight—without giving up your favorite foods.
- Ditch the food rules—overcoming the guilt and shame.
- Feel energized all day—so you can enjoy all the things you want and need to do.
- Get the results you’ve always wanted—and build the healthy habits you need to stay that way for good.
Bottom line: My goal is to help you learn how to “eat better” so that it becomes easy, consistent, and automatic.
No restrictive dieting. No weighing or measuring your food. No “one size fits all” meal plan.
Instead, you’ll learn how to bring healthy eating into your lifestyle and get in amazing shape—while building the habits you need to stay that way for good.
How is nutrition coaching different from fitness coaching or personal training?
As a coach, my number one goal is to help my clients reach THEIR goals. Doing that effectively requires me to constantly look for opportunities to learn new skills and hone my craft.
This is exactly why I chose to become a Certified Nutrition Coach through Precision Nutrition.
I’ve now been trained by the best of the best, so I know what works.
(The nutrition method they teach is backed by science and has been proven to work with over 100,000 of their own clients… so it’s the real deal.)
The best part? The knowledge and skills I’ve gained can help you finally get the results you want—and keep them for life.
Through the rigorous training I’ve received, I learned that while exercise is a crucial part of losing weight, feeling good, and achieving optimal health… it’s only half the equation.
The other half—as you may have guessed—is nutrition.
I’d actually argue that nutrition is more important than exercise, because while you spend a few hours working out each week, challenges around eating and food can happen anytime (some would say all the time!).
That’s why having a coach there to guide and support you is crucial.
Don’t get me wrong: Exercise is very important. But no amount of exercise will ever be able to “outwork” bad nutrition habits. So in order to help you get the life-transforming results you deserve—I’m excited to be able to offer nutrition coaching in an official capacity.
What I learned while becoming a Certified Nutrition Coach opened my eyes to a whole new way of doing things. And through this science-proven approach, I’m ready to help you get even better results through healthy nutrition habits.
Interested? Have questions? Let’s talk…
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, or if you have questions about what this would look like… I’d love to discuss how my online nutrition coaching program could help you get the results you’re looking for.
Click here to get started and I’ll answer any questions you have. Plus, we can connect to talk more about what this would look like for you.
Dedicated to your success,
P.S. Just so you know: I’m offer fitness coaching as well—and it doesn’t have to be “either or.”
If you’re in a place where guidance and support from an experienced coach could help you reach your goals, I’m here to help in whatever capacity will be most beneficial for you.
Simply learn more here and we can talk about the different coaching options I have available.