We have all heard it time and time again… eat this, not that… don’t eat before you go to bed… greens first, entrée later. Countless tips of what we should be doing, but why is it that many of us fail to stick to our meal plan and achieve our goals? The answer lies within each of us! There is no one-size-fits-all diet, exercise regimen, or super food that can get your ripped abs, breaking PRs or losing those last 5 stubborn pounds.
The faster we move, the more life will slow us down with symptoms. Our body’s natural flight or fight response, often triggered from everyday stress, reduces blood flow to our digestive system, increases cortisol and insulin, and de-regulates our appetite. By supporting our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), we can improve oxygenation, blood flow, enzymatic activity, digestion, and absorption of nutrients. Active your PNS through the wave breathing technique. While laying down, place one hand on your chest, the other on your stomach. As you inhale, feel your belly rise and allow the air to flow into your chest, feeling your rib cage expand. As you exhale, hold the air in your stomach while you release the air in your chest first, then stomach.
Put down the shovel! Try to double the time you spend at each meal. If it’s currently 5 minutes, shoot for 10. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes for dinner. By rearranging time to allow for consumption, you can reclaim your right to nourish your body. The gastric stretch response in our stomach is slow to communicate. By increasing the time we spend eating, our body can more naturally sense fullness.
Eat only when sitting. Choose not to engage in calls, emails, social media, or any form of work while eating. Set your utensil down between bites and breathe while eating. Rather, be present each and every time you eat. Connect to your food. Notice it, smell it, touch it, truly taste it. Stay in the present if you find yourself drifting off thinking about the past or future. If you find yourself checking out, reflect on “why would I choose to be unaware?” By truly connecting and tasting, yes, TASTING your food, your body’s internal triggers of satiation and satisfaction are heightened.