I’m sure you’re wondering what Turbo has to do with this post about weight loss, right? Well, I thought the image of my kids’ favorite snail was a good way to portray the message of “Slow and Steady Wins the Race”… with that hidden reason for why you might have trouble losing weight being the fact that you’re approaching food from “Life in the Fast Lane”.
I recently completed the Institute for the Psychology of Eating’s Transform Your Relationship with Food program. I have my Health Coach Certificate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, but I felt like there were definite gaps in their program relative to coaching people through the emotional part of making changes to their diet. I’ve found that with a significant number people who want to lose weight their problem is not a lack of nutritional knowledge. While moving towards a more real, whole food diet will definitely help shed pounds effortlessly, it isn’t the total solution if you’re dealing with emotional eating or have a toxic relationship with food. I’ll be sure to share more of the information from that course in the future (so many a-ha’s!) but today I wanted to discuss one of the biggest a-ha’s which is the importance of slowing down.
Fight or Flight versus Rest & Digest
Unfortunately, we live in a fast-paced society and most of us are under a lot of stress a lot of the time. But when you eat in a state of stress, your body is in “fight or flight” mode and is focusing its energy on either fighting or fleeing from that lion – not on digesting and assimilating your last meal. So… that means, calorie burning is at a low. Nutrient absorption is at a low. Which is pretty much the opposite of what you want if you’re trying to lose weight and optimize health. So by taking the time to take a few deep breaths before and during your next meal, you are shifting your body from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest” and you’ll get so much more out of that meal.
I’ve found that this theory of slowing down has been an important part of transforming my relationship with food. I’ve been dealing with some major bloating issues over the past year or so, where pretty much everything I eat (and most of what I eat is healthy food) bloats me to the point I look 6 months pregnant. (yeah, it sucks bad) I’ve found that when I slow down to actually tune into my experience of food, chew thoroughly, and breathe throughout the meal, my bloating isn’t quite as significant. Plus, I find I am satisfied with so much less food because I’m enjoying every bite more and it’s actually registering that I’ve eaten my meal.
So, take the time to actually experience your food and get into a rest and digest mode: instead of eating your food in a rush, on the go, while working at your desk, driving in the car or standing up in the kitchen – sit down at a table and mindfully eat your meal. You will be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.
Weight Loss and Slow & Steady
I also wanted to take this “slow and steady” message a step further as it relates to weight loss and remind anyone who’s struggling with unwanted weight – it didn’t come on overnight, so it’s not going to come off overnight. Trust me, I get it! It is frustrating when you feel like you’re putting in some effort and you’re not seeing any results (or fast results), but the more you can make any dietary changes sustainable in the long run, and focus on getting your body the nutrition it needs, eventually the excess weight will fall by the wayside. Be patient with yourself and your body as you adapt to a new way of living.
Want to discuss how to actually implement this in your life? Schedule some time with me one-on-one for a free discovery session and we’ll uncover how together.