By Tina HaupertI never thought my pug could help with my diet, but an incident last week showed me I was wrong.
Every night, Murphy inhales his dinner in a matter of minutes. And last week, in typical Murphy fashion, he scarfed down his food fast—but this time he started to choke. In a panic, I hopped in the car and drove Murphy to the vet. Luckily, by the time I arrived, he was no longer choking, and breathing normally again. After a quick vet checkup, Murphy ended up completely fine. But his lightening-fast eating habits definitely gave me a big scare!
Thankfully, everything worked out with my dog, but the whole experience got me thinking about eating too quickly. More than once, I've found myself shoveling down my dinner so fast that I barely taste it. I know it's a bad habit, but I also find it sort of strange, because I consider myself such a foodie. I truly love food—everything about it—so why can't I slow down enough to enjoy it?
Eating too quickly can cause a bunch of digestive problems, like indigestion, and (more importantly to my Lose the Dough goals), it can cause you to consume too many calories. So last week I decided to do a little experiment to help me slow down at meals. Here's what I did:
I made it special. More than once, I've stood in my kitchen and chowed down a snack that I just prepared. But keeping my new goal in mind, I made it a point to make my meals and snacks a little more special. For example, instead of just peeling a banana and eating it as is, I sliced it, put it in an attractive bowl, and topped it with chopped walnuts and agave nectar. Increasing the specialness of my snack made me appreciate it more and really savor it.
I paused before my first bite. Before I even tasted my food, I took a moment to relax and consider my hunger level. This reminded me to slow down, which ultimately led me to consume fewer calories. Plus, making it a point to pause before my meal allows me to focus on the meal and really enjoy it.(Getty Images)
I put down my fork. It usually takes me about 20 minutes to feel satisfied while eating a meal, so I found it helpful to put down my fork between every few bites to stay in tune with my body's fullness. Keeping tabs on my satisfaction throughout my meal helped me eat slower.