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Tips to Help You Slow Down and Eat LessWondering how to eat slower?

Well, you’re not alone. Eating slower has all sorts of different benefits including increased pleasure from eating as well as better digestion. 

In fact, studies have shown that eating slower helps you feel more satisfied with less food

But how?

Well, part of why it makes us feel more satisfied is because when we chew and taste the food,  the brain starts to regulate hunger and appetite hormones. If we are able to slow down, we tend to chew and taste more so that the brain is better able to properly regulate hunger and appetite. 

It seems like such a simple change to make, right?

Well, as easy as it sounds, it can be a challenge for many, myself included.  I have to constantly remind myself to slow down when I eat. 

Believe it or not, I’ve been working on this one small change for almost a decade.

Some experts promote the whole idea of eating slower so you can eat less food without feeling hungry, but I take the approach simply because I love to eat and really want to get the most enjoyment out of the eating experience. To me, mealtime is sacred and a great way to connect with people and our planet (that IS where food comes from). Plus taking your time while you eat can lower your stress levels and improve digestion. 

How to Eat Slower: 16 Tips

Here are some great tips to help you eat slower and enjoy more without overeating.

  1. Practice. You must practice to break the lifelong habit of eating quickly.
  2. Pay attention to all of your senses when you eat.
  3. Sit down to eat, every time!
  4. Avoid distractions. While it’s not practical that you can do this every time you eat, you can still practice distraction-less eating until you feel good at it.
  5. Practice mindful eating and pay attention to all your senses (you can learn more about mindful eating here).
  6. Serve yourself less food. You can always go back for more, but for many people who feel the need to “clean your plate”, this can help cut down on overeating and/or food waste (check out some tips on how to avoid overeating here).
  7. Put your fork down and/or take a sip of water every few bites.
  8. Chew slowly…or at least not super fast.
  9. Try to eat with your non-dominant hand. This will shift your brain out of autopilot so you can be more conscious.
  10. Talk to those around you about taking the time to enjoy the meal.
  11. If necessary, take a deep breath before eating and in the middle of meals and snacks.
  12. Work on slowing down your life. If you are rushing around all day how can you expect to slow down just for meals?
  13. Take smaller bites.
  14. Try not to load your next bite onto the fork or spoon until the last bite is finished and swallowed.  This is a great way to pace yourself. 
  15. Add a new object to your eating scenery. For example, place a new vase on the table or a wristband around your wrist.  Every time you see this object use it as a reminder to slow down and enjoy.
  16. Choose foods you really enjoy. I really save the best for last here. This will help entice you to want to slow down and enjoy. I love Michelle May’s famous quote: “eat what you love and love what you eat”

If you’re struggling with your nutrition, you’re not alone. When I work with clients one on one, I help them understand their triggers as well as how to bring the joy back to food through mindful eating

If you want more information on how to eat slower, consider signing up for a coaching session with me (you can also schedule a free strategy session with me here).

And don’t forget to join my free support community: End Emotional and Binge Eating with Dietitian Dina to connect with people who want to stay healthy and are motivated to keep a positive outlook on their own wellness journey.

Enjoyed this article? Here are a few more popular articles!

3 Simple Strategies to Crush Cravings

How to Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right

30 Ways to Get in More Veggies

This article was originally published on October 22, 2015 and has been updated.

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Dina Garcia, RD, LDN
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