I LOVE FOOD and can't wait to eat every bite. When I was a kid my whole body would shake because my mom couldn’t get the food in my mouth fast enough. Yea, that's how much I love food - but that's a story for another time. I bring up this embarrassing tale of my youth because my eating habits haven't really changed. I still eat my food as if I am running a marathon (been there done that). Truth be told, eating our meals quickly and the amount of stress we are under at the time of a meal, directly impacts the way food affects our body.
Here’s some news for you. It’s scientifically impossible for the body to release weight or heal when it's under a stress response, no matter what you are eating. Crazy right? So that means if you're scarfing down a kale salad with all the fixings before a meeting you're already late for, you can bet your bottom, it will be going directly to your hips. Now, we cannot always be present with every bite, but we can start to be mindful of how we’re putting food into our bodies.
When we eat at warped speed, our bodies don’t have time to go through the natural cross talk between our gut and our brain. This informative conversation is what sets digestion in motion. It involves many steps that need to take place before your body can go into digestion mode. Even more fascinating, when we eat too quickly, especially if we're under a huge amount of stress (fight or flight), it confuses our nervous system and shuts down digestion. This diverts the food elsewhere leading to unwanted fat storage, lack of nutrient absorption and ultimately lead to weight gain. Whoa, what?!
I know what you're thinking - how the heck can I turn my digestion back on??
Here are 3 essential tips to get your digestion movin' and groovin'
1. You’re a good human who deserves lunch.
First and foremost, no matter how much work needs to be done or how insistent your boss is about creating a last minute presentation, you deserve to eat. There's no denying the benefits of creating boundaries for yourself, especially when it comes to relieving stress. Do yourself a favour, book at least 20 minutes to enjoy your meal time in peace. Fun fact - it takes 20 minutes for your body to efficiently send fullness signals to you brain - how convenient! If that means, shutting your office door, turning off your phone and disregarding emails, do it. Giving yourself this time will be a confidence booster as well as a waist thinner.
2. Slow The EFF Down & Pay Attention
How many times have you eaten a meal and after the last bite, you were like, wait how did I finish that already? Your brain entered autopilot, you had no idea what the food tasted like, smelled like or even if it tasted good. Basically, we ate so fast our body was like "whoa! what just happened!" Slowing down your meal gives your body the time converse with itself, do its job, give you the essential nutrients to function and triggers your metabolism to fire. The more awareness and presence we bring to each meal, the less we eat, no matter what you’re eating. Heck yes, I am talking about anything, pizza, burgers, pasta, burritos, you name it - it’s all fair game. Be present, appreciate the flavours, colours and smells that come with your food. You’ll feel satisfied quicker without eating an entire pizza before realizing you hit the bottom of the box.
3. Just Breathe.
Not going to lie, I forget to breathe - a lot. It just happens and I’ll catch myself in the moment and say "holy crap, I forgot to breathe for a bit there". Have you ever done that? When it comes to eating, oxygen is the number one key ingredient that speeds up your metabolism, absorbs more nutrients and therefore burns MORE fat. This means oxygen is essential to a healthy diet and weight loss. Think of your meal time as your zen time, your meditation moment, your “me” time. You’re nourishing your body with this amazing food that you want to savour and enjoy. Breathe through those bites, take your time and know that you're doing your body good.
The exciting part of all of this news is that you don't have to go on a strict diet to lose weight! Hallelujah! The first step to success is becoming more mindful, being present with your food experiences and listen to your body. I am not saying to eat junk, and live off pizza for a year. Life should not be about restrictions, or diets, or eliminating the things that give you joy, even if it is food. Life is about moderation, finding new ways to appreciate being healthy, loving where your at and taking small positive steps that lead to big changes. You've got this!
Lots of love,
The Joy Tribe Co.
Isn't this mind-blowing? If you want more mental wellness & nutrition tips, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org