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How to Slow Down at Mealtime

When overeating, it's easy to get in a trance-like state where slowing down feels close to impossible. Beyond sabotaging weight-loss goals, racing through a meal can leave you feeling bloated, uncomfortably stuffed, or worse, guilty. These tips will help build better practices when it comes to mealtime allowing you to slow down and enjoy your food.

Make it about the food: Chowing down in front of your TV or computer can speed up your eating rhythm. Sit down at the table, turn off other distractions, and focus on the task at hand: eating. When you designate mealtimes for food, you'll find that you slow down, fill up faster, and are able to recognize when your body is full.

Always sit down: Grazing out of the refrigerator saves time when it comes to dishes, but it can also create bad habits. If you're eating out of the fridge or pantry, you're not always able to take stock of how much food is being consumed. A few handfuls out of a bag might not seem like a lot, but depending on what you're eating, that might be twice or three times the serving size.

Stop and think: The first step to slowing down is to become aware. Think about where your tendency to eat fast is rooted. Did you grow up in a big boisterous family where everyone had to eat quickly? Was the TV always on during meals? Taking a look at past experiences can often shed light on current eating habits. Once you start to recognize the source of your habits, your patterns may change naturally.

Try chopsticks: Unless you're a true pro, picking up a pair of chopsticks will help slow speedy eating tendencies. Using chopsticks at the table — even when not eating Asian food — doesn't allow for shoveling food with the same ease as a fork or spoon.

Have you struggled with eating too quickly? How did you change your habits?

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