How You Eat Matters
TLC BREAKDOWN #3
Hey guys, today we're following up after Watch WHAT you Consume with Watch HOW you consume.
Setting up your meal appropriately is a key factor in how your body reacts to what you give it.
If I scarf down my food, I can realize after that I wasn't breathing well during the meal at all. I can feel my stomach relax, followed by a lot of grumbling noises and movement. To the touch, I can feel my food move around there basically from one big ball. I may even get a little bit of a stomach ache because of it.
It takes about 20 minutes for your satiety controls to let your brain know that you are full so in theory, you should take at least 20 minutes to eat. If you are scarfing your food for 20 minutes, maybe you don't know what I mean by scarfing. And if you are, then you are eating way too much food.
Here are some tips to eat a little slower:
1. Put the fork down between bites.
2. Cut your food one bite at a time.
3. Carry on a conversation with those around you. Some time to rest and chat, and some time to eat and listen.
4. Count your chews and try to increase the number each bite.
5. Sit at the table for 20 minutes (with a timer on) even if it doesn't quite take you 20 minutes to eat.
6. Be present and enjoy each bite.
Furthermore, I try to gulp down my food and then wash it down with a glass of water. Taking sips of water during a meal is fine and may even aid in digestion, but I will literally chug a full glass of water (all at once), usually as soon as I'm finished with inhaling my food. Every account of this leads to a stomach ache for me. I didn't even notice it until Dro pointed it out and then we watched and it was as consistent as the sun. Every time.
As I get older, I am learning more and more that I am a sensitive person. Not a bad thing but an important thing to know about myself. In today's age, I think people in general are more "sensitive"- leaving that vague.
So because I am a sensitive person, it is EXTREMELY important to keep the conversation light and not discuss any "triggering" or high stress topics. These topics would include things that make you upset, like a strained relationship, things that hold a lot of pressure, like an upcoming work deadline... or really any work at all. Eating is the time to take a break and fuel your body. You don't expect to successfully put gas in the car if you are driving on the highway, right? Same thing.
Take the time to enjoy the meal, the company (even if you're alone), and the opportunity to fill the tank up and have a great rest of the day. It should be like a 30 minute power nap, you fill the tank and clear your mind to get back to your work/responsibilities/tasks/kids/etc. By hitting the reset button on your system, gives you a chance to start fresh without having to start a new day.
The last thing I wanted to discuss is the timing.
Have you ever heard of being "hangry". It's a real thing. First, I know because I get it... and second, because it is a physiological thing.
The brain regulates hormones. As I mentioned in my last blog about the body needing energy to perform bodily functions. Here is another example. Your brain needs energy (glucose specifically) to regulate hormones.
Simply put, when you haven't eaten in a couple hours, your glucose levels drop and thus, your brain doesn't have the proper energy to regulate your hormones/keep your emotions in check. It's not an excuse to act like a maniac while you are hungry but you're not crazy either.
If you are someone who gets "hangry", the solution is to simply eat regularly. Every three or four hours. Doesn't have to be full meals but definitely putting fuel into the tank to avoid running on E... for everyone's sake.
If you have kids, the importance of eating regularly is even more obvious. On all sides. Trust me, you will have much more patience with them if you have energy in the tank to deal with whatever crisis is at hand or any fight you have to referee. But what's more interesting is how children demonstrate the need for regular fueling.
Trying to get kids to do homework on an empty stomac- HAHAHAHHAHA- All I can say, good luck. Give them a (healthy) snack and ten minutes to get ready and they have attention to focus on the tasks. They have the energy to keep their brain functioning well or even at it's best, depending on the day. We watched our kids go from difficult, low attention, and unpredictable emotions to reasonable, focused, and stable. It was actually amazing. Setting yourself, and your kids, up for success.
Try it. It might take extra time to plan but it's so worth it. And it's better for everyone. When the household peacefully does the 45 mins (age dependent) of responsibility, you've made it to the other side. The clouds disperse and the heavens start to sing. Plus, in the interest of the kids, they are set up better to learn better. They have the tools to be able to give their best effort, which is really important to us in our household.
Recommended Easy (and cheap!) Snacks:
1. Pita/Veggies and Hummus
3. Small PB&J sandwich
5. Mixed nuts - measure it out and then put the can away Mom and Dad!;)
7. Homemade guacamole or salsa
Anyways, have a great rest of your week and take some time this week to focus on HOW you consume your food. It could help you relieve stomach pain. It could actually help you lose weight by setting your body up to utilize the fuel put in your system in more effective ways, or by giving your body time to tell your brain when you are full before you're stuffed, which will help with portion control!
Any questions, reach out. You're probably not the only one and I would love to discuss more about this topic!!
Happy eating and happy living!