FOCUSING ON MORE THAN WHAT YOU EAT WITH NUTRITION
If you look on the internet for diet plans and nutrition guidance it can be easy to think that all is important is what you eat in terms of calories, macronutrients and micronutrients. These factors are undoubtedly extremely important but equally so is your food hygiene practices which you need to optimise to give the best chance to digest the food you consume properly.
What follows is some useful simple tips to help you optimise your food hygiene.
The Eating Environment:
Wherever possible we want to practice mindful eating meaning that you aren’t distracted by anything else and can just focus on enjoying the food you are about to eat. What this means in simple terms is eating without being distracted by electronic devices and definitely don’t sit at your desk and eat on the go.
WHY? We want to do this so you are aware of exactly what you are eating and can be more conscious of when you are actually full. Being focused on the enjoyment of the food alone will help you understand when you have actually eaten enough, as opposed to when completely stuffed!
The Way You Eat:
Eating should be an enjoyable part of your day that you savour and look forward too. You shouldn’t be in a rush and should take your time with your meal. More importantly is to make sure you chew your food sufficiently (at least 30 times a mouthful) as opposed to trying to chew just enough to be able to swallow and not choke!
WHY? If you take your time when eating a meal you are more likely to eat until satisfied as opposed to when stuffed as the stomachs full signal takes some time to get to the brain. When you woof food down you will completely bypass this as you don’t give your stomach a chance to communicate that signal. Furthermore chewing your food is the first part of the digestive process as you get saliva released into your mouth to help you break down the food you have consumed. Chewing your food properly will help you digest food more effectively.
How You Are When You Eat:
You need to be in as calm a state as possible when you eat your food so before each meal take 5 big deep belly breaths before you start to eat. Also take some time to consider before you eat what you are eating and WHY you are eating it. This will take some practice.
WHY? When you eat in a stressed (sympathetic) state your body will struggle to break down and digest food properly so the deep belly breaths will help get you into a calmer (parasympathetic) state before you eat. When stressed these breaths and getting into as calm state as possible will help you massively when it comes to digestion. Furthermore considering the food you are eating and why you are eating it will help you to decide whether you are eating food as fuel or for other reasons such as emotion and cravings.
To conclude you want to give your body the best chance to digest and assimilate the food you consume in the best way possible so at all meals try to relax, unplug, chew your food and enjoy your food, take your time and enjoy the moment!
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