Camille Styles

Life Lessons

Easy Tips for Eating More Slowly

August 24th, 2016

Do you guys remember my vow to try and start eating more slowly? In the month since I wrote that post, I’ve been implementing a few changes at mealtime, so I thought it would be a good time to report back with what’s really made a difference for me. As we touched upon in the last post, these busy lives we lead often require doing everything very quickly and very efficiently, often on autopilot because we’re actually doing two (or five) things at once. I’ve noticed that when I habitually down my meals quickly, I feel dissatisfied and am more likely to reach for snacks or desserts later, even when I’m not truly hungry.

Eating slowly brings mindfulness and appreciation to mealtimes, and perhaps most importantly, it encourages optimal digestion. It makes us think about whether or not we’re truly hungry, and makes it easier to set down our fork when we’re full. I’ve noticed that since I’ve started eating more slowly, I actually feel more satisfied after eating less — and when I leave the table I actually feel happier in my soul. Click through for 8 tips that are really helping me eat more slowly — and I’d love to hear any that I left off in the comments!

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  1. I have a really hard time eating slowly. It takes all my focus because it is such a persistant habit of mine. I agree that using smaller portions helps, or speaking to someone (although I always find a way to squeeze in a few quick bites between words!).

    • Haha, same here — sometimes when I’m speaking, I’ll even cut myself short because I want to be eating instead! 😉 Crazy how hard it can be to break these habits. Hope you got some ideas you can try incorporating!

  2. Amy says:

    I read the tip about putting your fork down between bites when I was in high school, and now it is second nature to me! Although I will say I am always the last person to finish their food. If I try to eat faster, I get a horrible stomach ache!

    You mentioned smaller portions — at home, we always use salad plates as dinner plates (from the Pottery Barn caterer’s line). My parents used antique plates from my great-grandparents when I was growing up, and I swear modern dinner plates have tripled in size! The salad plates are about the same as what previous generations used.

  3. olivial says:

    I am all about the new “wellness” aspect of your brand but this seems to be taking it a little too far into the realm of eating disorders (aka 20 chews before another bite…). I hope you reconsider your positioning.

    • Hi Olivia! Thanks for sharing your thoughts — the 20 chews idea is actually not driven by a desire for weight loss (I’m currently at a healthy weight, so that’s not really a goal of mine.) It’s a recommendation I’ve been reading about from doctors and nutritionists, who advocate chewing thoroughly so that the digestive enzymes in your saliva can begin breaking down the food before it passes into your intestines. Your intestines will then be able to more easily absorb nutrients and energy from food, and improperly digested food will be prevented from entering your blood stream and causing adverse health effects (i.e. “leaky gut.”) I know it sounds like a lot, and it’s probably not for everyone, but please know that the idea comes from the perspective of maximizing health and nutrition, not losing weight.

  4. Joe Jackson says:

    Hi Camille, absolutely love your blog!

    As a nutritionist, I would say that it’s best not to drink while you’re eating, as if you drink too much it can dilute your digestive enzymes, which in turn can have a negative effect on your digestion. I really struggle with doing this myself as I always feel like drinking while i’m eating!

    • Thanks Joe, I’m really glad someone brought that up since it’s something I’ve read about before, and been curious how much truth there is to it. In your opinion, is it better to drink before or after you eat… and how long before or after? And does taking a digestive enzyme help counterbalance the effect of fluid?

      • Joe Jackson says:

        I would say try and keep 30 minutes either side of eating as liquid free as possible. Of course, we’re all human, and a little bit won’t hurt, just don’t flood your system with liquid!

        I think digestive enzymes are a great idea, although the excess fluid will still have the same effect, so it may be a bit of a waste of money!

        Looking forward to reading more of your posts! x

  5. CHristina Decker says:

    Great, tips Camille! I have a tough time slowing down while eating and often find that once I finish my meal I’m still hungry and wanting more because my brain hasn’t yet had time to register that I’m actually full and satisfied. Off topic, what is that wonderful dish in the photo above? It looks delicious!

    • I can totally identify — I often leave the table, and then 20 minutes later am wondering why I had those last few bites of food because I feel too full! Check out this post for all the details on the above photo… that baked oatmeal is seriously good, and there’s a link to my recipe in the post. xoxo

  6. Thanks for the great tips! When I was younger I ate slower – through the years I seem to be eating faster and faster. I am definitely going to try your suggestions.

  7. Samantha says:

    Thanks for nice tips! I am younger but eating very very slowly within a 1 hour finish my eat.

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