It's great to lose 20 lbs, but it can only happen 1 lb at a time. Small steps lead to big gains (or losses) over a period of time. This is obvious in the management of one's own body weight. But things are getting harder, because we are getting heavier. What has caused the growing endemic of obesity in the west?
The answer - Our lifestyle.
We are beginning to pay a health price for the luxuries we enjoy. We find ourselves in a position where material wealth and professional recognition matter more than the simple pleasures of life. Food is one of them.
We like food that tastes good and is easy to prepare. In the supermarket, we go the distance by reading nutrition labels, but generally gravitate towards the foods we love the most. Acquired tastes are hard to overcome. This article is not about giving up your favorite foods, but looking at the art of eating in a different way. This will help unlock your weight loss potential, and open up a whole new world of food enjoyment.
OUR APPROACH TOWARDS FOOD.
Small changes have big payoffs, especially with eating. Let's take a humble lesson from the French. They have a simple strategy – Enjoy your food rather than gulping it down. Chew it slowly and savor every bite. Pause between beats and concentrate on the taste, texture, flavor and consistency of food. Being undistracted (not reading the newspaper, talking on the phone, watching TV) and swallowing slowly promotes digestion and contributes to a feeling of fullness. This is the art of food enjoyment.
FOOD AND STRESS.
When in stress, the most common coping mechanism is food. Sounds familiar?
Boredom, fear, anxiety and excitement are all triggers for food. Other causes like eating on the run, availability of fast-food makes it easier to cheat. Isn't it surprising how easy it is to grab a burger and soda (not ‘real’ food) and eat it on the run? Would it be as hard to buy steamed vegetables, grilled meat and a glass of sparkling water?
PACE DOES MATTER.
Eating slowly has unique benefits. The presence of taste buds on the tongue means that it is important to eat small bites. This allows the brain to recognize the taste of the food and relish it. The slower you eat, the more you enjoy your food. As a bonus, you consume less food due to increased satiety.
Ask yourself - When was the last time you savored food? Do you remember your last meal? If so, what was it, and can you describe the taste in vivid terms? If the answer is no, then its time to relearn the art of food enjoyment.
Focusing on our food involves sitting down at a table (don't stand and eat). Take 30-45 seconds to enjoy the sight and smell of the food before you begin. Take small bites. Chew slowly and sip water regularly. Enjoy the food and take at least 20 minutes to complete your meal. Do not distract yourself with other activities while eating. This means none of the following – television, business, reading or talking on the phone. Sit down and enjoy your meal.
When food is viewed as a source of relaxation and refueling (instead of an inconvenience), everything starts to fall into place. The correct eating habits will help you to get more results by helping your mind, body and soul.
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