Eating for good health isn’t just about what you eat. How you eat matters too, and we’re not just talking about your manners. As you eat, messengers in your gut communicate with your brain to trigger feelings of fullness. This complex process takes time — up to 20 minutes — so when you speed through a meal, you can overeat before you even start to recognize that feeling of fullness. Eating quickly interferes with the release of a hormone known as PYY, which normally serves as a signal to put down your fork. Putting on the brakes at mealtime goes a long way toward preventing overeating — which may also help to normalize your weight. Before each meal or snack, spend a minute or two getting centered, whether that involves expressing thanks for your food, being grateful (aloud or silently), or simply closing your eyes, feeling your feet on the ground, and paying attention to your breathing. Set an intention to eat slowly and attentively. Savor flavors and textures, and put down your fork between bites. If you still find yourself speeding, try chopsticks or pick up the spoon with your non-dominant hand. You may feel goofy at first, but it works!
“All food is comfort food. Maybe I just like to chew.” Lewis Black