We are bombarded with information on what to eat and what not to eat. This information can often be conflicting and confusing, as there are many theories about what foods are best for our health. I would like to take a step back from WHAT we eat and focus on HOW we eat. For example, how often do we give our meals a priority? Or give ourselves time to prepare our food in a relaxed manner, and sit down with our food without feeling like we are on a time trial? On the flip side how often do we grab the most convenient food as we are “starving” and eat on the go?

When we are in a rush and eat food fast, our body produces a lot of a hormone called Cortisol, which is our main stress hormone. This hormone sends a signal to our body that we need to be prepared to run from danger or protect ourselves. This is a primal survival instinct. Now, even though we aren’t in real danger, our body does not know the difference. So the mind sends blood to our large muscle groups believing we will have to fight for our life, and this means our digestive system is left with a very low blood supply to do it’s job.

When we eat during this stressed state, our digestive system struggles to break down our food. The effects can include, but are not limited to, feeling tired and bloated afterwards, and heartburn is a common symptom people experience after eating quickly. Long-term effects of eating in a rushed state are reduced nutrient absorption, increased inflammation, poor energy, decreased immune function, poor blood sugar balance, and lowered metabolism, which can collectively lead to weight gain.

What I have explained here are some of the BASICS of eating psychology. Ultimately, we have lost the art of eating. The benefits of eating slowly, relaxed and with pleasure are surprising. Gradually increase the time you give to your meals, sit down while eating, and enjoy the taste and texture of the food you are having. I recommend starting with one meal at a time, as habits can be difficult to break. In the end, it’s more than worth the effort.

Improving your energy, metabolism, immune system, and heart function is in your hands.