Habit #2: Channel Your Inner Sloth
by Amanda Hepp Jackson, SHOP Blogger
There aren’t many things I like to do slowly.
(For those of you who started at the beginning of this blog, I’m pretty sure this is the scene where I very clearly remember Goose replying with kicking tires, lighting fires, etc. I’ve been wrong about that for several years).
Anyway, I only use nail polish that dries quickly (Sephora Formula X is INCREDIBLE if you’re also into that sort of thing).
I prefer to be the fastest in my WODs (which has been a tremendous hit to my ego since I’ve been carrying around this baby in my belly for 38 weeks and basically every WOD has become a weighted version with an additional 30 pounds).
I really, really, really dig Amazon Prime.
I’m an American after all, and I am super into instant gratification. (Except if I’m getting a massage–that sh*t can last all.day.long).
I tell you all this because Habit #2 is a real mental challenge for me–and if you like to do things quickly and/or efficiently, it’s going to be tough for you, too.
So here it is.
HABIT #2: EAT SLOWLY.
Again, if you’re like me, you see this and you go, “Um. No. I’ll take your fish oil and probiotics, Drew Skaggs, but I have things I gotta get done, and sometimes I eat standing up at work because there isn’t time to sit down and eat–LET ALONE sit down and eat slowly. And I gotta clean and we have guests coming and the dog needs a walk and in less than two weeks there will be a baby crying for my attention (did we put that crib together yet?!?!), not to mention my husband who has trouble functioning on his own.”
Trust me. I hear you.
But let’s talk about why it’s important for your body and its efficiency to slow it down. (You read that right–by eating slowly, we actually make it hella easier for our body to work at its full capacity).
The Big Three Reasons to Eat Slowly:
- Better digestion: our bodies are some pretty amazing machines–especially if we take care of them properly. Eating is all a part of that process. When we eat too quickly, we make our bodies work overtime to process the giant food chunks we’re swallowing at a too-fast pace. Digestion is much more effective if we take in small, very chewed bites, and over a longer amount of time.
- Satiety: folks, it takes something like 20 minutes for our bodies to communicate to our brains that we are full. If we cram in a bunch of food in the 8-10 minutes it takes most people to eat a full meal, we haven’t given our bodies the opportunity to tell us to stop eating before we’ve had a third helping of grandma’s lasagna and garlic knots.
- Weight loss and maintenance: when we eat slowly, we take in fewer calories (because our body has a chance to tell us when we are getting full! See #2). Fewer calories leads to weight loss (that’s obviously waaaaay oversimplified, but you get the impact here–you likely need a lot less food than you think you do).
For more information on this, see the Precision Nutrition article here:
Ok, so how to do it? What works for me is making it into a challenge–every meal is like a bizzaro AMRAP.
WOM (Workout of the Meal) #1: AMCAP in 25
Set a timer for 25 minutes. Make the food on your plate last that entire time by being really slow and chewing all your food thoroughly (As Many Chews As Possible = AMCAP in 25).
Your very last bite should not be until 24:59. (See the article above for other tips that may work better for you if you aren’t as competitive/crazy as I am).
WOM #2: “Moose”
This is named after my cat Moose who takes an entire morning to eat his breakfast. He really savors those grain-free kibbles.
After each bite, set down your utensils. That’s right. Release them from your paws (see what I did there??) If you take two bites in a row without having to pick up your fork in between, you lose the WOM.
WOM #3: “Friends with Benefits”
You know how sometimes you find someone during a race or a workout to pace yourself with? That works for eating slowly, too. I’m a lucky lady to have a husband who is the slowest eater on Earth (I’m often finished with my meal before he’s even put on his salad dressing). Have meals with people in your life who either eat slowly or who are just non-stop talkers during mealtime, and eat at the same rate that they do. If you finish eating before the Slow-Eater, you lose the WOM. This will help you retrain your eating habits so you can do it on your own when those friends aren’t around.
Best of luck on adopting Habit #2! May your inner sloth be with you.