An advent of ideas 16: the time to stop being active

Definitely not an original idea: sit down at a table to eat, not on the run or on the sofa.

(It's not perfect as you may be more likely to have a whole dish in front of you, easier to convince yourself to have seconds and perhaps to be influenced by what/how much other people are eating, for the worse)

But it ties in with improving the quality of your eating experience.

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  • Hi GoogleMe,

    Actually, when you talk about the habits of eating, there are a number of helpful tips.

    They mainly involve actually giving your eating your FULL attention so that you notice what you eat and don't eat more than you really want / need by chomping away on "auto-pilot" so as to speak. (And oh, isn't that just so easy to do!)

    Perhaps the most obvious - in our modern often hectic lifestyles - is slowing your eating down. If you can train yourself to eat more slowly, you'll both notice what you eat more - so your mind will 'register' that you've eaten better - and you'll also give your body more time for it's satiation responses to react to the food. To put that another way around, eat some food in a couple of minutes and you're very unlikely to feel satisfied, eat the same food over a period of about twenty minutes or so and you're much more likely to feel full.

    And you're right it is important to make meal times about eating - don't munch as you blog on your laptop or watch TV or are otherwise distracted, because "we eat with our eyes" and you won't really see what you're eating.

    Learn too to notice your own 'cues' for eating and avoid them when they are inappropriate. We're creatures of habit, and we've trained ourselves to expect food in certain situations and our bodies respond to cues of various times / places / social circumstances / sounds / smells, etc., by feeling it's time to eat .... even when really it isn't at all.

    Watch most dog owners go within a few feet of where the dog's treats are kept and what happens? Dog expects a treat. Much the same with humans. Perhaps, when you go shopping with your friends / out with the kids / go into town you just "have" to stop for a latte and a scone, or get some cakes from that baker, have chips from such-and-such a place, or whatever it is for you.

    As for the seconds at meal time - you're less likely to bother with them if you have to get up from the table and perhaps go into another room to get them. So don't leave the 'extra' food on the dining table, you'll be more likely to eat it just because it's there, 'at hand', almost begging to be eaten. Leave it in the kitchen.

    Have a 'plan' for any leftovers, e.g. I'm going to use the chicken we don't eat in vol au vents tomorrow, might also help to deter you from eating the whole lot.

    Many of us were trained by our upbringing to not leave any food on our plates, to finish all our food. And old habits can die hard. It was probably well intentioned by adults trying to make sure we ate properly, but sometimes leaving behind such entrenched habits can be difficult.

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