Every year one of the first habits introduced in the Precision Nutrition coaching curriculum is “eating slowly”. It’s a habit that is incredibly effective, yet it never fails to frustrate people to no end.
The instruction to eat slowly brings up the same questions, and the same struggles year after year.
“I can’t drink my smoothie slowly!”.
But you can. Ingesting liquid meals slowly is harder – after all, you do not have to chew! Sipping helps. And having your smoothie in a shaker bottle helps, so you can re-blend, when the liquids start to separate. [I am not a big fan of drinking my meals for this reason – the temptation is to gulp it down quickly, and they are not nearly as satisfying].
“My food gets cold”.
Yep. If you eat hot food slowly enough, it will get cold eventually. What are your choices?
1. reheat If you have a microwave, this is easy enough.
2. eat different food If the food temperature is a big deal, wraps, sandwiches and salads are easy options here.
3. reframe This is perhaps, my favorite. How big of a deal is this, really? How big of a deal does this have to be? A coach told me once: “What if instead of eating slowly, you were simply to aim to NOT east fast?”. Ohhhhhh. I liked that reframe very much.
“It takes too long”.
Too long for what? Too long compared to what?
Slowing down will take more time. By definition. This is the part where you make time for your goals. Buckle up.
“I have a baby (a toddler, three toddlers, etc.)”.
I’d like to throw this one out to moms out there.
How do you do it? What makes it possible for you to have a peaceful meal once in a while, despite having a bouncy bundle of joy? Do you try to schedule your meals around your child’s naps? Do you recruit your partner for help? Do you lock your child in the closet? [If you do this one, don’t tell me].
Send me a message, or leave a comment, and I may add your suggestion to this section of the blog post.
Some specific tips and strategies that clients have found helpful in the past are:
putting your fork between bites
use a visual reminder (stickie note on your fridge, love note packed in your lunch)
try an app (because, of course, there is an app for that) – some examples are: VibrEat, Eat Slower Pro, and iSavor
not putting more food in your mouth, while there is already food in your mouth (it sounds obvious, but try paying attention to this one, you’d be surprised)
put together a slow eating playlist – you can make it as long as you’d like, and add songs as you get slower
*One of my favorite pieces conveniently runs for 12 minutes.
Oh, and I promised you a parable on patience.
A martial arts student went to his teacher and said earnestly, “I am devoted to studying your martial system. How long will it take me to master it.” The teacher’s reply was casual, “Ten years.” Impatiently, the student answered, “But I want to master it faster than that. I will work very hard. I will practice everyday, ten or more hours a day if I have to. How long will it take then?” The teacher thought for a moment, “20 years.”