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Five reasons why the WAY you eat could be impacting your weight, as well as WHAT you eat.

Updated: Mar 12

We are all very familiar with the impact that our food and its calorie content can have on our shape and our overall health, but not many of us focus on why the WAY we eat could be impacting our weight and our efforts to get in shape.

How you eat impacts weight as well as what you eat
How you eat impacts weight as well as what you eat

The way in which you eat can have a big impact on how well you digest your food, and ultimately how much benefit you get from the nutrients within it, and it can also have an impact on how much you consume too.

Try implementing these five tips to make your food work much better for you, and you may also notice a difference in your shape, energy levels and overall health as a result:

1. Practice mindful eating – mindful eating is being more aware of what you are consuming. For example, if you eat in front of the TV, or whilst you are working, your brain will not be as aware of what, or how much, you have eaten. If your brain hasn’t registered that food has been consumed, then this may lead to you being hungry again a short time later. Eating whilst distracted can also lead to over-eating, so as a rule, try to always eat at the table with no distractions from computers or the TV.

2. Chew your food properly – good digestion is key in getting as many nutrients out of your food as possible. Digestion starts before you even eat, it starts when you begin to think about food, or to smell food cooking and your mouth starts to produce saliva. The next stage of digestion is chewing and the more thoroughly you chew your food, the more nutrients your body will absorb when the chewed food reaches your small intestine. Try to chew each mouthful as much as you can and put your knife and fork down every now and again so you’re not rushing your food.

3. Relax – Eating when you are stressed or short of time can lead to your digestion process not being as effective and in turn you won’t get the most benefit out of the nutrients in your food. Stress can also lead to other digestive disorders such as bloating, cramping and slow digestion so trying to eat in a relaxed manner and environment is important. If you are feeling very stressed before a meal then try taking some long deep breaths to calm yourself down before you start to eat.

4. Eat with others – Research shows that when you eat with others, you eat more healthily and consume more vegetables. Also, when you eat with others you are likely to be more relaxed and to take more time over your meal which will benefit your digestion.

5. Only eat when you are actually hungry – many of us are guilty of reaching for snacks when we are bored or stressed and the calories from these extra snacks can easily add up over the course of a week, month and year. Try to eat regular meals and to fill up at these meals on foods which have a slower energy release and will keep you full for longer (lean proteins, fibre from lots of vegetables and wholemeal foods) and then try to stop and think each time you reach for a snack about why you are eating – are you actually hungry, or just feeling bored or stressed.

If you'd like to review your diet and lifestyle and see where you could make some changes then I have a few slots available each week for a complementary 30-minute Diet and Lifestyle Review.

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