Losing weight is not just about what you eat, but its also about when and how you eat! Being conscious about your surroundings during meals and paying attention to your food intake plays a role not only in how well you actually digest your food, but ultimately can affect your weight loss efforts as well. People who eat under stress are more likely to not pay attention to what they are eating, to grab things that are not as healthy for them, and to overeat! Following these 5 simple steps can make a big difference in your stress levels, your enjoyment of food AND your weight.

1.  Eat before you get hungry

Hunger is usually a sign that your blood sugar is dropping. Eating before you get hungry can help you avoid grabbing for a quick snack that might not be as healthy as what you would prepare before you are starving.

2.  Eat in peace

Distractions such as reading, watching TV, noisy environments, and dinner table arguments have very harmful effects on digestion. If you are upset, calm yourself and relax before eating.

3.  Chew well

Chewing is perhaps the most important part of the digestive process, so chew more than you think is necessary and avoid swallowing un-chewed food. Chewing well also allows the digestive enzyme amylase in your saliva to predigest some of the food.

4.  Eat slowly

Enjoy the flavors and textures of every bite. Eating slowly will also decrease the likely hood of overeating, as you will be more aware when you are approaching fullness.

5.  Stop before you’re full

You’ll feel full about 10 minutes after a meal if you stop eating when the food begins to lose some of its taste.  It is recommended to only eat until you are 80% full.

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