Friday, August 20, 2010

Overeaters Anonymous

If you have been reading my posts, you know I have focused on the WALK FAST portion of the blog name.  But the other half EAT SLOW is just important in the game of weight loss, so I must devote some time to that aspect as well.

In my book I go into a lot of detail about calorie control, as you have to strike a balance between what goes in and what goes out.  Obviously for me, the walking takes care of the outbound calorie flow, but how do I handle the inbound?

The first lessson is limiting how much goes in at one time.  Most of us eat too much, plain and simple.  I used to subscribe to the theory that if its good, you can't eat too much.  In fact, the better it is, the faster you need to shovel it in.  The funny thing is that you really aren't enjoying the meal any more by shoveling than if you were to eat petite bites at a turtle's pace.  But once you acquire speed demon syndrome, its pretty much a fixed in place response at meal time.

But speed doesn't really matter does it?  When you are full, you are full, right?  WRONG.  The problem with fast eaters (shovelers) is that you tend to blow past the point of being full before your body has a chance to warn you that you are approaching that dangerous intersection.  Some of us plow right through without any ill effects, while others make a head-on collision with heart burn, indigestion, bloating, gas, and a bunch of other nasty things.  But it never seems to make enough impact to change our eating habits, we just keep on shoveling.

So an inital step on managing your food intake is to SLOW DOWN when it comes to eating.  Take a very small (tiny!!!!) bite of food.  Chew it completely and swallow slowly.  Savor the taste for a moment before taking another bite.  Believe me, its hard at first, but you must force it on yourself.  In fact, you might feel stupid initially, but its a good first step.  If you can stretch out your pace of food intake, you will find that you feel up very quickly.  Or in reality, you will actually notice when your body says - stop, I'm getting full.  And then you have to take the next painful step - stop eating! 

Easier said than done, but it can be done.  And the more you do it, the better you will get.

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