Updated: Sep 10, 2021
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen posts about my Slow September Challenge: 30 Days of Eating Slowly. The idea with this challenge is to aim for one meal that is eaten slowly and mindfully each day during the month of September.
Of course, this doesn’t have to be done from September 1st-30th – you could try this challenge anytime, or for any length of time. And if you’ve been thinking about making changes to your eating or nutrition habits, slowing down and bringing more awareness to meals is a fantastic place to start.
I’ve written about the benefits of eating slowly before, but it really is a surprisingly effective strategy for everything from overeating/weight loss, to improving digestive issues, lowering stress, and changing your relationship with food.
Let’s face it: we live in a fast-paced world where busyness is celebrated and distractions are constant. Slowing down for anything, much less eating, is not exactly encouraged – and often is frowned upon.
But taking even a few extra minutes to simply sit, breathe, and focus on your food while eating can make a world of difference.
- Notice how food smells and tastes, or notice different textures as you eat
- Recognize your level of fullness and stop when your satisfied
- Chew your food more and help your digestive system do its job
- Enjoy your meal and your experience of eating
- Discover which foods you really like or don’t like (this might be surprising!)
I’ve worked with clients with high-stress jobs and very little time to eat during the day. Even just by taking what time they did have and focusing on their meal (rather than doing several other tasks at the same time), they were able to lower their stress, notice when they were getting full (even if there was food left on their plate), and feel more satisfied after meals – while eating less than they would have usually.
I’ve had other clients who were nervous to try coaching because they didn’t want to hear they’d have to give up their favorite foods to meet their goals (side note: I will never tell you that you have to give up your favorite foods. Promise!), and by simply enjoying these foods more slowly and mindfully, they found they could keep them in their everyday routine without compromising on results.
And I’ve also seen people take on slower eating and find that foods they eat on a regular basis (and thought they enjoyed) are actually not all that exciting for them. When they took the time to pay more attention to how food made them feel, they realized certain staples in their diet were unsatisfying or unappealing. And by bringing more awareness to their eating experience, they were able to discover which foods they really did enjoy and made them feel great.
Eating more slowly sounds incredibly simple – and it is! But sometime the simplest of strategies can bring the greatest results. And when it comes to slower eating, what have you got to lose?
So, if you’re up for the challenge, try eating your next meal slowly and without distraction.
Maybe try eating one meal each day for the next week more slowly and mindfully.
Or, take the next 30 days and aim for at least one meal daily where you slow down, sit down, and just eat.
Next week we’ll look into some strategies that can help you implement slower eating – just because this is a simple strategy does not mean it’s easy! In fact, most people who try this out find it surprisingly challenging. But practicing over time will help it to become a habit, and the benefits are well worth it.
Are you in? Leave a comment and let me know! You just might be surprised by what you discover.
...for your free 30-minute consultation call, or visit https://calendly.com/meganfschall/consultation-call to get started!