Meals on the run, fast food, energy bars and TV dinners are all part of today’s culture. In fact, the average American eats five meals a week in the car! Does this sound like you? Poor digestion, high cortisol levels and distracted driving are the consequences of this fast-paced, on the go lifestyle.
Nowadays, people rarely take the time to make a healthy meal, eat together and enjoy the food that is in front of them. When you aren’t paying attention to what you eat, it’s easy to consume too much. Not to mention much of the food you eat on the run has little nutritional value. Therefore, you remain hungry.
It might be time to practice conscious eating, a nutrition philosophy based on the idea that listening to the body’s natural hunger signals is a more effective way to reach a healthy weight than keeping track of the amounts of energy and fats in foods. It’s intended to create a healthy relationship with food, mind and body. Conscious eating means eating slowly, chewing well and savoring every bite. Conscious eating and digestion start in the mouth, so it’s important to chew your food slowly. Additionally, it’s important to remove as many sources of stress as possible while enjoying your food. (That means no driving while eating!) If your body is focusing on fight or flight, it’s not focusing on the pleasure of eating and digestion.
When you start to slow down and listen to your body, it becomes easier to determine whether you’re truly hungry or actually stressed, bored or thirsty. In order to learn to listen to your body again, start paying close attention to the food you’re craving, often the basis for cravings is due to lack of necessary nutrients.