When we start nutrition coaching with any of our clients, one of the first things we look at is whether they are eating slowly and mindfully. This is one of the fundamentals of the Precision Nutrition coaching methodology which we use, and for very good reason.
Eating slowly improves digestion, hydration, can help manage weight and encourages us to sense satiety more effectively. Conversely, eating too quickly can lead to poor digestion, unwanted weight gain and less satisfaction. So, simply slowing down your eating is a great way to get started towards improving your long-term health and well-being.
Alongside eating slowly and mindfully, we also ask our nutrition clients to eat at a table with no distractions, but there are social and environmental factors at play here which influence how difficult people find this. When you sit down to your next meal, give it a try; eat slowly and mindfully and, if possible, at a table with no distractions.
If you grew up having family meals at the dinner table with mobiles and tablets off limits, you will probably find it fairly natural, and eating slowly and mindfully without distractions may come quite easily. However, if you’re used to eating on your own in front of the TV, it might feel quite challenging to set a place at the table and put any form of entertainment to one side.
Just as eating slowly and mindfully is good for your long-term health, eating without distractions has health benefits too. If you’re distracted, watching TV or scrolling through Instagram while you eat, your unconscious, automatic brain will be in charge which can lead to an inability to receive satiety signals, resulting in overeating. Paying attention to your meal puts the conscious, executive brain in charge and enables us to be more in control of what and how much we eat. Your food will also land in a digestive system which is much calmer and more relaxed so you will absorb all the nutrients you need more effectively.
Although these fundamentals may seem simple, they can actually be quite hard to put into practice! Have a go and see how you get on – maybe start with one meal per day and take it from there. And if you need any help you know where we are!