One of the diet / weight-loss tips that I often read is: "To eat slowly," because it takes time for the tummy to give the brains the signal that it is already full. This topic has been tackled in one of Lyn's Habit-a-Week Challenge, so this is already something I can say I already mastered.
Still, for the benefit of those who are just starting out, Dr. Beck gave out some suggestions to help you slow down while eating.
- Change something in your eating environment - change the plates and utensils or maybe put something new on the table. Every time you notice the change, it will be a reminder for you to slow down.
- Set a timer to beep every one to three minutes - says in the book... put down the flatware after the beep then wait 10 seconds before picking up again, and when you do, remind yourself to eat slowly.
- Take sips of water after every few bites - This was something effective to me, but I only take a sip as I do want to enjoy my eating and not focus on the drinking.
- Eat something hot - Because you need to blow air on your hot soup or rice before putting it in your mouth, it might teach you how to slow down.
- Pay attention to your body - Listen to your body and look for signs that you're starting to feel full.
- Look at the clock - Record how long you normally eat your meal. The next time you eat, try to eat much longer than the recorded time.
When I first applied this to my own eating pattern, I didn't change my plates and I didn't do the beep thing, but I did do some things listed here. Also, what I did was, I'd mix all of food together - flake the meat / fish and mix it with rice, just to make it look as if my plate was full (tricking my mind that I was eating a lot). After each bite, I'd put down my utensils and place my hands on my lap while I chew on my food. At times, too, I'd chit-chat with my family members (making sure I swallowed my food first before I speak) to help extend the eating time. Near the end of my meal (some 1/4 of food left), I'd get up and get my papaya from the fridge or get some water or volunteer to refill the rice bowl for the family. Now, even if I am eating about 1/2 cup of rice and viand (if it's brothy or saucy), there were times my family members (who ate two, three helpings of food) would finish eating before I did.
In connection to The Beck Diet Solution - Day 3, I notice, I can focus more on my food if I am eating sitting down. Once I tried eating in front of the television and I didn't notice I already ate everything on my plate and I was still feeling hungry. It sure helps to eat at a relaxed environment, but like what Dr. Beck said, we all have to teach ourselves to focus on food even with some distractions. I guess, now that eating slowly and mindfully is something easy for me, I still have a lot to learn about having some distractions while eating.