Love Your Body: Use Your Freedoms Wisely

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

Last Monday was actually Love Your Body Monday, but as I mentioned in that post, Why I Have Hope for Katy Perry, I felt led that someone needed me to write about prodigals last week. So I’m switching Mondays on you, ha ha.

This week, we celebrate our Independence on the 4th of July. While I could write an entire post on how important it is to remember that we’re in a battle to maintain our religious freedoms and independence from government and special interest groups trying to take away those freedoms and misinterpret what our founding fathers wanted for us, I’m going to refer you to a great article by Todd Starnes, Teens Threatened with Arrest for Praying—in America! Todd gives a shout out for every Christian not to become complacent as we watch yet another cross torn down, or a 10 Commandments monument destroyed. People doing these sacrilegious acts are clueless that nothing can destroy the Cross or the will or presence of God—not a wrecking ball, sludge hammer, car, dynamite, unfair law—yep God’s still omnipresent and omnipotent!

But I diverse, let’s get back to how independence effects our bodies and our health. Once we move into our teens and adulthood, we usually have freedom to determine what we eat, when we eat it, and how much we eat. I remember when I went off to college and staying in the dorms came with an all-you-can-eat meal pass in the cafeteria! After growing up with my mom carefully portioning out food on our plates and determining what we ate, it was amazing and a little overwhelming to have so many food choices! Some foods I’d never even tried before. Since I was getting a degree in Dietetics, I made wise choices (for the most part LOL), but let’s just say it’s a good thing I didn’t have a car and had to do a lot of walking around campus!

Often the resistance people have to eating healthy is that it’s their body and they’ll do what they want with it, whether it’s unhealthy eating and drinking, or even drugs, cigarettes, promiscuous sex, and sadly abortion. But thinking of our bodies as our own is a false statement fed and fueled by the father of lies who can’t create anything but deterioration, destruction, and decay.

God created every person. No one created himself or herself, and no one comes into being except through God. Every atheist or unbeliever, who by birth becomes part of “mankind,” has to admit he or she was created by something, even if they don’t believe the Scriptures that affirm it is was God! I wonder who or what they think made them and breathed life into them?!

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

God does care about what we do with the body He gave each of us. It’s not our body, it’s His. We aren’t supposed to treat our God-given body like it’s worthless to anyone but us. When you think of the intricate workings of our bodies that sustain life, it’s almost more than our minds can conceive. I’m sure every doctor who studies the body has to stand in awe. It’s hard to imagine any of them could not be believers, and yet, I had a radiation oncologist who was an atheist!

God cares how we treat His intricate temple that comprises our body, soul, and spirit:

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:10-20

God cares so much about your body that He even knows the hairs on your head, and those that fall. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Matthew 10:30

Now it’s true that God isn’t going to love us any more or less based on how we treat our body, and He has given us free will. But when He created man and woman, He did say that it was good. He was pleased with His creation, and before the fall I have to believe that the Garden of Eden was full of fabulous food! Everything Adam and Eve had at their fingertips would have nourished them and kept them healthy. But we all know what happened when they gave into Satan’s temptation by eating what they weren’t supposed to eat and God cast them out of the garden. They had to start making their own food choices, just like we do.

One last point I want to make is that some people can eat whatever they want without any problems of weight or health issues. I hope you savor that freedom, but don’t boast about it because not everyone is like you. Be considerate with your freedoms, especially as we enter a holiday weekend remember:

Maybe you can eat steak, ribs, and hamburgers, but someone else is trying to lower red and fatty meat intake because of high cholesterol or cancer. Don’t berate them; offer an alternative choice like fish, chicken or turkey.

Maybe you’re a meat lover, but someone else is vegetarian. Have many veggies and salads available.

Maybe you can eat desserts with no concern for weight gain, but someone else is trying to lose weight, is a diabetic, or history of cancer. Don’t tempt them with gooey concoctions that will only make them feel guilty later or maybe seriously hurt their health. Offer fruit and light cheese to your dessert menu.

Maybe you can drink a glass of wine or have a beer, but someone else doesn’t drink, can’t tolerate alcohol without getting drunk, is an alcoholic, or young children and teens are watching. More accidents happen from drinking on holiday weekends than from any other cause. There are so many nonalcoholic sparkling alternatives and parties really are more fun when everyone has their faculties about them and is coherent.

Here’s the bottom line, just because you have the “right” to do something doesn’t make it righteous. With freedom comes responsibility . . .

“It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t lose anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do. But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.” 1 Corinthians 8:8-9 NLT

I pray each of you has a happy, healthy, safe Independence and Freedom in God we Trust Day!

Janet

PS If you received this post by email, please leave a comment here.

Love Your Body–Get Help with Overeating! By Julie Morris

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

I am so excited to share today’s blog post with you written by author friend Julie Morris who truly understands and empathizes with the struggle to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Even as a nurse who knew better, she couldn’t help herself until she surrendered completely to God. Please take the time to read this entire blog and pray about how God would have you apply it to your life. It could save your life like it did for Julie.

I also wanted to let you know that I’ll be taking a break from my Monday Morning Blog for the months of July and August, when I’ll be speaking and finishing my new book Mentoring for All Seasons: Women Sharing Life’s Experiences and God’s Faithfulness. So have a blessed summer and I’ll be back in September!

Somebody Help! I Can’t Quit Overeating!

By Julie Morris

My blood pressure gauge frantically tapped out the message I didn’t want to hear. While thoughtfully removing the stethoscope from his ears, my doctor said what I already knew: “You have got to lose weight!

After years of dieting, starving, and bingeing, I was fatter than ever. The harder I tried not to overeat, the more I found myself eating. I was the RN Supervisor of a large medical-surgical floor in the local hospital, telling people what to do to get healthy, and I couldn’t lose the weight that could kill me. Even though I was only in my 30’s, my doctor told me that I could have a stroke if I didn’t lose weight. I had dieted a thousand times before, but this time nothing seemed to work.

I woke up every morning and pleaded with God to help me to eat right that day. By lunchtime, with all the stress at work, I found myself saying, “I just need a little something to get through the day.” Those words seemed to magically give me permission to gobble up everything in sight.

Since I had already “gone off my diet,” as soon as I got home, I would yank off my uniform and run to the refrigerator muttering, “I’ve already blown it today, so I may as well eat.” Every night I fell asleep promising to do better and praying that God would forgive me for eating in such an unhealthy way.

Why Is It So Hard to Quit Overeating?

When I stopped long enough to think about what I was doing, confusion overwhelmed me. Why was I eating like this when I knew there was nothing more I wanted than to get rid of these extra pounds?

I didn’t know the answer then, but research has discovered why many of us continue to overeat, even when we try not to. The secret? Endorphins—feel-good brain chemicals. These natural substances that our bodies make, increase when we eat. Some of us have a dramatic rise in endorphins when we overeat. They are the same chemicals released when an alcoholic drinks or a drug addict takes drugs.

As long as I could remember, I had turned to food to help me deal with stress. Eating always numbed my pain, but stress-eating like that caused a horrible vicious cycle: when I got upset, I ate something so I would feel better. My problems grew… and so did I. And because I overate every time I had to deal with stress, my problems didn’t get solved. They only got worse. It didn’t make sense, but I couldn’t stop because eating really did help me to feel better… at least for a while.

I called out to the Lord daily, begging Him to make me thin. And I complained bitterly to Him about giving me such a slow metabolism, but I knew deep down that my problem wasn’t my metabolism. My problem was that I ate too much and didn’t know how to stop. However, after my doctors scary words, that I could die, I was determined to lose weight and be healthier.

How Can I Surrender My Eating to the Lord?

I went to someone in my church and asked what to do. “You just have to surrender your eating to God, Julie,” she stated simply, as if there were some surrender button I could push. Oh, I wanted to. I knew I should be able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me. But even though I had been a Christian for years, and prayed every day for God’s help, I couldn’t seem to surrender my eating to the Lord. 

These 12 Steps Helped Me to Surrender My Eating to the Lord!

I continued crying out to God for help and, finally, in 1982, I began to make progress when I went to my first 12-Step meeting. I realized that night that the 12 Steps were the structure I needed to help me to surrender this problem to the Lord. I felt sure that the steps would help me to draw closer to Jesus and plug into his power. And I began to understand that they would also help me to get to the emotional roots of my problem with food.

People try to make the 12 Steps complicated, but they’re not. The 12 Steps are just little baby steps, taken directly from the Bible, that help us to rely on God’s power when we lack will power. They are not just a list of 12 things that we do and then quit, but a way of living—surrendered to the Lord, being guided by him.

The steps I use were inspired by AA’s 12 Steps, but are different because mine focus on Jesus. Another difference is that we are learning how to receive Jesus’ help to stop overeating—instead of drinking. Later, I started using a shortened form of the steps to make them easier to understand. Look at end of this post for a summary of the Christian 12 Steps.

Jesus Tells Us Where to Find Self-Control!

While reading John 15:4, it dawned on me that Jesus is telling over-eaters where to find the fruit of the Spirit of self-control that we so desperately need. He says,

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

Then later in that chapter, he says exactly what I had been learning—the hard way:

“Without me, you can do nothing!”

I Started Winning the Battle!

After Jesus’ words finally sunk in, I quit dieting—trying to lose weight using my own willpower—and I quit beating myself up for my weakness. Instead, I began to put my energy into drawing closer to the Lord. And, amazingly, I started winning the battle with the ravenous monster inside of me who could never be satisfied, no matter how much I fed him!

Since John 15:4 had been so life-changing for me, I began diligently searching the Bible for other verses that would speak to me about how to stop overeating. I was excited to find many of them, and I memorized a few so I could remind myself of God’s promises when food cravings struck. I started reading Christian books about weight-loss and learned a lot from people who had overcome the same struggles I had. I also decided to stop flirting with temptation, so I got all of my old comfort foods out of my house.  Another important thing I did was to start calling an accountability partner every evening to tell her how I had done with my eating that day.

Soon my cravings became weak and conquerable and the miracle finally happened: I lost my weight and have kept it off for more than 30 years! Not only that, I started helping others to lose weight.

I started a Bible study in my church to help overeaters to lose weight. It was so successful that a few years later I wrote Step Forward—a Christian weight-loss program for groups—published by Abington Press.

Guided By Him Is a Light and Easy 12-Step Christian Weight-Loss Program

GBH photo

A few years ago, I joined with my daughter Sarah Morris Cherry, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and we wrote Guided By Him—a 12-week lighter an easier version of Step Forward.

guidedbyhim

Packed with Bible studies, practical weight-loss tips and inspiring success stories, Guided By Him is perfect for individual Bible study, family meetings, Sunday School classes, Bible study groups, lunch breaks at work or friendly neighborhood get-togethers,

You can tell by these chapter titles that you’re going to have fun as you read the book and get to the roots of your overeating:

  • Tripped on a Twinkie
  • Are Donuts My Bread of Life?
  • My Refuge–the Refrigerator
  • Do Broken Cookies Count?
  • Resentments Are Fattening
  • Is Fudge My Fortress

 God Uses Our Weaknesses When We Surrender Them to Him!

It’s exciting to receive e-mails from readers across the United States and in many foreign countries as well, telling me what an amazing difference our books have made in their lives. Many say that, as a result of what my daughter and I have written, they are closer to God than ever and they have learned things that they will use for the rest of their lives.

God is helping them and they are helping others—turning their misery to ministry. He is taking their biggest weakness and using it for good as they surrender it to Him.

They are shrinking on the outside and growing on the inside as they lose the weight… and the worries that have weighed them down!

Soon You, Too, Will Have an Exciting Story to Tell!

Join me on this adventure and be Guided By Him… To a Thinner, Not So Stressed-Out You, and soon you, too, will have an exciting story to tell! The amazing thing is that weight loss won’t even be the best part!

Julie Morris’ Bio

Julie photo standing

Julie Morris is a popular motivational speaker and internationally recognized author of 12 books. She is the founder of Step Forward—a Christian weight-loss Program  and Guided By Him…to a Thinner, Not So Stressed-Out You! . Guided By Him is a lighter and easier version of Step Forward.

Other books that she has written include From Worry to Worship and From Worthless to Worthy.

She presents seminars, retreats and workshops across the country that inspire her audiences to make exciting changes toward becoming the person they have always wanted to be.

Julie has worked as a secretary at the Pentagon, Spanish teacher, Coronary Intensive Care nurse and the supervisor of a large hospital Medical-Surgical unit. She has been married for over 40 years to her college sweetheart. Julie is the mother of two adult children and grandmother of one very precious little boy.

Julie’s greatest joy is helping struggling Christians to overcome weaknesses by relying on God’s strength.

She would love to hear from you! Please comment below if you can identify with any part of her story. If you received this blog by email, comment here.

Also, please check out her website www.guidedbyhim.com  or e-mail her at julie@guidedbyhim.com if you have questions about starting your own group or if you are interested in purchasing books or inviting her to speak at your church.

Join her on Facebook at…

 

Summary of the Short Form of the Christian 12 Steps

  • Step 1 is “I can’t!” While taking the first Step, I finally gave up on the idea that I could lose weight on diets and willpower. I didn’t allow myself to stay stuck in the first Step “I can’t,” but when discouraged, would go straight to Step 2.
  • Step 2 is “God can!” While taking the second Step, I began learning how to rely on the Lord. I memorized his promises, thanked him for his help and praised him for answered prayers even before I had received them.
  • Step 3 is “I’ll let him!” While taking the third Step, I learned practical things that would help me to cooperate with the Lord one day at a time.

The first three Steps are the foundation for the others.

  • In Steps 4-7 we get to the roots of our overeating by looking back at things done to us and things we’ve done. We become willing to let go of them and let God change us.
  • In Steps 8-9 we ask for God’s help with our relationships—past and present.
  • Steps 10 and 11 help us to do a daily check to make sure we’re staying on track, learn ways to seek God every day and have a closer relationship with him.
  • In Step 12, we practice doing things we’re learning that help us draw closer to the Lord and we share with others the exciting things he’s doing in us.

Love Your Body—Break the Food Strongholds

227# & 164#

Debbie Dittrich 227# & 164#

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Great visual! Debbie Dittrich now fits into one leg of old pants!

Great visual! Debbie Dittrich now fits into one leg of old pants!

Last month, in the Love Your Body series, we talked about Weight Loss is Not the Goal. If you haven’t read that blog post yet, you might want to start there. That post points out that anything but a well-balanced, portion-controlled eating pattern for life, will only be a short-lived weight loss. The gimmicks and enticements to get you to lose weight with a “program” or “product” will never work over a lifetime. You become a discouraged victim of diet failures instead of celebrating victorious success.

The only way to maintain a healthy body weight is learning how God designed your body to be sustained with natural wholesome food He created for us to eat.

We need God to help us achieve and maintain a healthy weight, just like we go to Him in every area of our lives. Why would we think He doesn’t care about our health when He created us?

Abusing our bodies with anything—drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and yes, food—is a sin against God. We make food, or the quick-fix diet plan, our god, our idol when we’re … lonely, sad, depressed, emotional, happy, frustrated, needing comfort, worried, bored, tired, … you know the drill.

In last month’s Love Your Body post, I mentioned how I often observe friends posting pictures of their weight loss on Facebook. Every time I see one of these pictures, I ask my friend how she/he lost the weight. Then my next question: How are you going to maintain your weight loss? If they’ve done anything besides eating a balanced diet, cutting back on portions and empty calories, and exercising, I know they’ll struggle to maintain their weight loss. They’ve only altered their eating habits for the duration and directives of the “diet” or “program” or “regime,” and they have no tools to help them maintain their weight after they eventually go off the diet, program, or regime and start adding foods back in that they like or missed….or worse yet, return to their old eating habits.

So when I saw the before and after pictures (in this post) of my author/speaker friend, Debbie Dittrich, on Facebook, I asked Debbie, “What are you doing and what’s the maintenance plan? Debbie shared with me how she lost the weight, but admitted she wasn’t sure how she was going to maintain this weight loss for a lifetime, and asked for my help.

With hubby before weight loss ...

Debbie with hubby before weight loss …

Debbie gave me permission to share her story, and in November, I’ll share the maintenance plan I suggested that would work for anyone wanting to stay at a healthy weight for life. But remember, I don’t recommend going on any diet or program that requires buying products, eliminating food groups or meals, or deviates from eating from the five food groups. And BTW, sugar is not a food group, but grains and dairy are and they carry a wallop of vitamins and mineral so never eliminate them. You may need to modify the type you eat for allergy reasons, but you will experience nutrient deficiencies if you exclude them entirely.

 

Debbie and hubby today. A side benefit, her hubby lost weight too!

Debbie and hubby today. A side benefit, her hubby lost weight too!

I know many will relate to Debbie Dittrich’s story as told by her! I’ll make comments at the end:

Janet, I was desperate to be free. I’ve been obese for 30 years, trapped in gluttony, sin, shame, and hopelessness. I believe mine was an addiction, and like any addiction, a stronghold of sin. I was at the end of my rope last November and had never felt worse. I’d had three surgeries within five months and was in constant pain. I could hardly move or walk. I cried out to God for deliverance and He reminded me of an email from my granddaughter the year before about a group for food addicts.

I looked at it and went that night! Food addicts is a 12-step program based on AA. I needed the balanced food plan with no sugar. I went to three meetings a week, made three outreach calls a day to other members, and worked my program. I thank God for it, but realized after six months, I needed to leave to continue with the Lord as my guide. I saw many people were as addicted to the plan as they were to food!

I’ve still been successful. Without sugar, I have zero cravings. Sugar is SO addictive! ALL my constant aches and pains are gone now. I had NO idea what havoc sugar was creating. I still have some pain from degenerative arthritis, but the difference is night and day! And perhaps my amazing energy and health explains why sticking to this food plan isn’t a problem for me.

Food is now just fuel, not entertainment! Honestly, food was my god. I sought food first when I felt any emotion or exhaustion, and God second. I had no idea I was doing that.

God is my One true God and I seek Him first now! I probably have 15 to 20 more pounds to go. But I am honestly looking for a good maintenance plan that will be doable for the REST OF MY LIFE! I cannot live the way I did before ever again.

This was the first time in my life that I approached weight loss as something I had to do forever and not just as a quick fix to lose weight.

Overeating is a Spiritual Battle

I knew how to do every single diet imaginable! I now realize my problem was a heart issue more than a diet issue. I needed a lasting heart change that only the Spirit of God can bring and maintain. I pray daily to surrender my eating to Him forever.

I was so blind. People would try to help me, and I would go on diets and lose enough to make me look better, but then I would quit. I constantly cried out to God. I had no quality of life. Everything was hard. My knees are bad and every step hurt. Every pound of weight puts about 6 to 8 pounds of pressure on your knees. No wonder they hurt! About 500 pounds of pressure are gone now! My cholesterol went from 210 to 165. That was in 2 months. It’s probably less now.

I wake up ready for life and ready to go; whereas before, it took me hours to wake up from my food coma. It’s such a huge spiritual issue. Overeating is a tool of the enemy to defeat us and deceive us daily … and we let him!

I was so helpless and hopeless.

I knew I did not need another diet; I needed deliverance! God used a food plan, not a diet, to deliver me. It took months, but God gave grace and began to show me what the true spiritual issues were.

For me, I realized fear controlled me and I used food to medicate and soothe myself. But overeating only made my fear worse! I’ve learned to surrender daily to Him, trusting Him, believing that He has given me “everything I need for life and godliness.”

This is a battle zone, as you know. Many of us with this “little issue” have no idea how we’re losing a huge spiritual battle every day and Satan is thrilled. By fighting this battle and dying to self, I am clinging to Jesus through His Spirit.

By walking in self-control, I’m proclaiming the Gospel! I’m shouting, with no words, that Jesus is enough, not only for eternal life, but also for daily life. Not just to be thin, but to be free to love and serve Him by loving and serving others. Thin is just a welcome benefit. When I’m absorbed and obsessed with food, I have no room for God, much less others.

Well, I could talk forever about this! I would love to get your input for a good maintenance plan.
Thanks for all you do.
In Him,
Debbie

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

Food Is Not the Enemy

I am NOT promoting Food Addicts for several reasons:

1. Overeating isn’t an addiction, it’s idolatry: food plays too important a role in an overweight person’s life.

2. Addictions are usually to something that is bad for us and the solution is to abstain and avoid. God made our bodies to require food so we can’t abstain or avoid food.

3. Food Addicts doesn’t include God, as Debbie wisely realized is essential to a lasting heart and health change.

However, the Food Addicts food plan is fairly balanced, and it’s natural food with reduced daily calories, portion control, and modifying eating habits, but as Debbie pointed out, you can become “addicted to the diet plan.” Debbie did mention she and some of the other members lost hair and that could be due to insufficient calories to provide essential vitamins and minerals or varying fruits and veggies.

Food isn’t the enemy, Satan is. The only way to be free of Satan’s overeating stronghold is to put food in its proper place in our life as fuel and eat sensible proportions of a well-balanced diet with limited sugar and no processed foods. That’s a food plan you can stay on for life.

I wrote a Bible study for First Place 4 Health because they address the physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental aspects of eating and offer group accountability, menus and recipes for eating a balanced diet and suggestions for exercise programs. But most importantly their health program centers around God: “As we learn to keep Christ first in our lives, we will find that He is the One who satisfies our hunger and our every need.” When my churches Women’s Group did the study I wrote, God’s Best for Your Life, without even focusing on the food plan, one of the ladies lost 15 pounds by simply learning to love her body like God loves it.

In November, I’ll share with you the maintenance tips I gave to Debbie for how to eat and stay fit for a lifetime.

Did you identify with Debbie’s testimony? Did you realize overeating is a spiritual battle?

Do you have questions for Debbie? Ask them here and she’ll answer.

Debbie dec 14Debbie july 6

If you receive this post by email, comment here.

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

Eating Fast Is Detrimental To Your Health

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

Love Your Body Like God Loves It

While I was finishing the first of three fish tacos on my plate, my friend was polishing off her third.

At banquet tables or eating out, I’m the last one finished eating while the waiter hovers over my shoulder wanting to take away my plate.

I’m a slow eater. Some might say that’s because I talk a lot and like to socialize over a meal, but I also like to enjoy my food. I chew carefully and take my time between bites. I’ve been amazed at how fast some people eat. The trend toward eating “fast food” at “fast food restaurants” has definitely turned us into a population that eats too fast.

Or

Nutritional experts agree that learning to eat slowly is one of the simplest, yet most powerful, things you can do to improve your overall health.

Now that’s worth slowing down and learning about!

In our Love Your Body series, which is the last Monday of the month, let’s look at:
• the benefits of eating slowly
• how to determine if you’re a fast eater
• how to eat slower

Are You Trying to Lose Weight?

I’ve often had the fleeting thought that if I eat fast, I can eat more delicious food before my stomach tells me I’m full. That’s actually true! Or if I hurry through a meal, I’ll still have room for dessert. That might be true too. But I can guarantee you, I’ll soon be looking for the papaya pills to settle my stomach and I won’t be too happy when I step on the scales.

It takes about twenty minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to send out satiety signals. So theoretically, you could eat more if you eat fast, but that defeats any attempts at losing weight or helping prevent indigestion.

I’ve observed that the majority of people today don’t have meals that even last twenty minutes!

There’s no fooling our metabolism. No matter how fast you eat, more food still turns into more calories, any way you slice it.

Leisurely eating allows ample time to trigger the signal from your brain when you’ve eaten enough and it’s time to stop. So if you don’t let your body register that you don’t need to eat any more, you could easily eat far more calories than your body needs.

A too-full feeling isn’t comfortable, so if you let your body gradually reach it’s satiety point, you’re going to feel more satisfied, consume less calories, and let the body go through a healthy digestive process.

The latest study to illustrate the importance of slowing down your eating appeared in the January 2014 issue of Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

Researchers found that you might consume fewer calories over the course of a meal when you eat slowly. An additional finding was that normal-weight people tend to chew more slowly in general than those who are overweight or obese.

Do You Suffer from Indigestion or Feeling Bloated?

When we start eating, our body needs time to prepare for digesting our food. If you eat fast, you often don’t chew as carefully and take in extra air with every bite. So food arrives in your digestive track as a large lump before all the enzymes can get there to break it down and extract the nutrients. Improperly digested food mixed with air is going to give you a tummy ache.

How Do You Know if You’re Eating too Fast?

If you hear yourself say, “I’m so full I couldn’t eat another bite.” Reaching a comfortable satiety point means you’re satisfied before you feel “full” and uncomfortable.

If you’re hungry an hour or so after a meal. You may have eaten so fast you never let yourself reach the satiety point resulting in eating between meals.

If you can’t remember what you ate at your last meal.
If you look up from your last bite, and everyone else at the table still has full plates.
If you often suffer from gas, bloating, or a tummy ache.
If you never feel satisfied after a meal.
If you take second and third helpings.
If meals at your house are something to rush through instead of savor and enjoy.
If you hear yourself saying to your kids, “Hurry up and eat!”

How Can You Start Eating Slower?

Dr. Jan Chozen Bays, author of Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food, says,

“I think the fundamental problem is that we go unconscious when we eat.”

  • Chew slower. The consensus is that we should take 40 chews per bite.
    • Eat more raw and unprocessed foods that require more chewing.
    • Focus on what you’re eating—how it tastes, texture, pleasurable.
    • Don’t eat while watching TV, texting, looking at your phone, or at the computer.
    • Try not to eat alone. Engage in conversation with others.
    • Put your fork down frequently.
    • Stop and take drinks of water between bites.
    • Eat three regular meals.
    • Don’t go more than four hours between meals. When you’re starving, you eat faster.
    • Don’t eat standing up. Sit comfortably.
    • Create an inviting eating atmosphere. Set an attractive table with placemats or a tablecloth and maybe even a vase of flowers.
    • Stop and enjoy every bite.

“Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things will be yours.” ~Swedish Proverb