As a nutritionist, I get to work with a variety of individuals, all facing a variety of food battles. One that I commonly see is eating too fast and eating too much; I personally struggle with both! How do I practice such great self-control? With fork and knife.
I challenge myself to eat every single meal with a fork and knife. No, it’s not because I’m fancy or was raised with table manners (shout out to the Cebula Family for any manners I do have 😛 ); it’s because it slows down my consumption rate and can aid in more efficient digestion.
Often times the foods we inhale are finger foods (i.e. pizza, french fries, sandwiches, chicken wings, etc.). They’re greasy and delicious in the 5 minutes that it takes you to consume them, but the aftermath ain’t so pretty. Maybe a little acid reflux, some gas … all that good stuff. Did you even taste the food you just inhaled? Now challenge yourself to eat the same foods but with a fork and knife. It may feel silly at first, but you should notice an immediate affect on your consumption rate.
A fork and knife will also help keep bites to a manageable size. Our eyes do most of the eating and we take bites that overwhelm our built-in food grinders (teeth). Instead of taking smaller bites, we rely on our esophagus’ elasticity and peristalsis (wavelike movement that helps push food matter through the esophagus) to do the job. A fork holds significantly less than our hands, so you’ll begin to take in less food, less frequently, thus allowing your bodies digestive tract to function more efficiently. An efficient digestive tract will send accurate satiation signals as your body begins to understand when it is actually full; and not overstuffed! It takes roughly 15 minutes after food consumption for your body to communicate that it is full. This presents a second challenge: try to only eat half your meal in 15 minutes and see how hungry you are after the 15 minutes is up!
If you struggle with eating too fast and/or eating too much, try eating with a fork and knife at every meal. The photo above was used from my adventure to Mohegan Sun, where I enjoyed pizza with a fork and knife … and many judgey eyes! Although I used to feel awkward doing it in public, especially with a cheeseburger and fries, I got over it as the benefits well outweighed the judgey eyes surrounding me. This small change helped my clients and me to eat food slowly and rely on our body’s natural communication systems; resulting in weight loss and a new appreciation for the food we eat.
Have any tips or tricks you’d like to share, comment below!