Take Time to Eat less
By Carolyn Richardson
The one-hour lunch is a thing of the past. In fact, more than half of Americans take 30 minutes or less for lunch. But just as it takes time to do anything successfully, when trying to eat healthy food in reasonable portions, you have to make the time. If you take lunch as a separate time away from the world, then you may find that you eat less.
Walk Away from Your Desk
Even more disturbing than the shrinking lunch break is the number of people eating at their desks. According to a survey by Right Management and LinkedIn, twenty percent of workers who take a lunch break eat at their desks. This is a big no-no. Not only is your desk a major germ incubator, but eating at your desk can make you hungrier later in the day. Researchers from the University of Bristol found that those who ate lunch while sitting at a computer screen ate twice as many snacks later on than those who didn’t.
Enjoy a 'Siesta'
While Spain’s three-hour break may be out of the question, taking a break from work and technology to focus on eating will prevent you from over-eating. Referred to as intuitive eating or eating mindfully, this method asks you to focus entirely on your meal and the eating process as opposed to enjoying other stimulation. The result is experiencing your food: how it tastes and feels in your body. Like taking a nap, intuitive eating helps rejuvenate your mind and body by experiencing the joys of food.
Is Your Brain Full?
"It takes the brain anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes to send satisfaction signals," says Kathleen J. Melanson, PhD, RD, associate professor of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Rhode Island, who confirmed the need for slow eating in her lab. In this age of drive thru windows and eating in the car, an entire meal may be down the hatch only to feel overly stuffed ten minutes later. To avoid this, chew your food. Yes your mother told you to do so, but now your mouth has to listen. By chewing your food longer, you allow your body to get full on less.
Don’t Eat Alone
Many people eat slower and less when they eat with a companion. A girls’ lunch may lead to more talking than eating, resulting in food left on the plate. But select your dining companions carefully! Choose those that don’t speed-eat because the fast eater will set the pace for the table. Likewise, avoid junk-eaters because they make sharing an entrée impossible. Manipulate the ambiance, including the people, and you will lower your stress levels as well as the amount you eat.
Do you eat at your desk? Do you eat slow, medium, or fast?