This might sound bizarre but… are you eating correctly? Not just eating the correct foods, but are you doing the actual act of eating in the healthiest way possible? Believe it or not, some common mistakes we all make during our meals might be negatively affecting our health in the long-term.
Here’s a few tips to sort your mealtimes out.
- Limit your water
I know it sounds counterintuitive, especially coming from me, to drink less water. However, your body needs the full strength of its stomach acids while you are trying to digest your food, and water will weaken those acids in the short-term. If you eat your meals with a water-diluted stomach, you aren’t able to truly breakdown and absorb all the nutrients of the food you’re eating.
This could lead to acid reflux, bloating, belching, poor mineral absorption, or just the frustration of still being hungry after a full meal.
- Slow down
Your meals should take at least 30 minutes to eat. As busy people, we tend to rush through eating. We gulp down our meals in big chunks as quickly possible, but it takes 15-20 minutes for a hormone cascade to be released and regulate our hunger. Slow, mindful eating will help you not overeat.
When we overeat, there isn’t enough room to blend our food well and break it down into even smaller particles. That can cause post-meal fatigue, constipation, and malabsorption. Try putting your silverware down in between bites and mindfully chewing. Speaking of chewing…
- Chew 20-30 times before swallowing
While we chew our food, enzymes are released that aid in digestion. To fully breakdown our food, we should give our stomachs the smallest particles possible.
- Breath while you eat!
Remember what you learned during yoga or stretching lessons. Breathing is key.
- Make mealtime a priority
Food is meant to be enjoyed! When it’s time for a meal, sit down and embrace it. Don’t watch tv, text, read emails or multitask. Take 30 minutes away from your desk to enjoy your lunch and recalibrate your mind.
Living in a stressed state will keep your body in “fight or flight” mode, which alerts your sympathetic nervous system and turns off your digestive process. Your body thinks it’s in survival mode and tries to store all your calories. Relaxing during mealtime will help you better digest, metabolize, and ENJOY your food!