I am finishing up with my Precision Nutrition Level 2 course and can’t help but reflect on a few things that I feel contribute to the health and obesity epidemic in our country. A very important, yet simple lesson asks us to focus on eating slowly and without distractions. This in and of itself is an amazing concept. I mean, who the hell does that? Does anyone do that anymore? Do you remember as a kid sitting down with the family and eating supper or lunch or even breakfast? Do you remember tasting your food? Do you remember the texture and appearance of your food? Do you remember telling your family members about your day or what you were studying in school or what problems you were having? I do. I remember supper was always at 6 p.m. No earlier, no later. We all sat down and ate our meal TOGETHER. We didn’t rush. We took our time.
Conversely, look at families today. We are all busy. Working, coaching baseball or soccer or fill in the blank, because that’s what people do. The busier the better, right? I think not.
So, let’s take a look at what a meal might look like. It’s 6:30 p.m., you just got home from work and have to rush the kids to soccer at 7. What the hell are you going to fix for supper? Supper? What the hell is supper? Hello McDonald’s or Burger King or Taco John’s. Everyone shovels in the food like they are in the Hot Dog Eating Contest and out the door you run to make it in time for soccer.
Or another scenario. Johnny is playing video games after school with his friends and doesn’t want to come and eat supper. So you take him and his friends some pizza rolls and pop and chips to eat while they are playing. You took a lot of food in there too. You go check on them half an hour later and notice that there is NO food left. How the hell did that happen? Mindless eating. That’s how that happened.
So, this is my point. The more out of tune we are with our bodies and our mindfulness and our super fast eating and just not having time, in my opinion, contributes to kids and adults being overweight and even obese. How many people watch TV while eating? How many are on their smartphones, checking FB or Insta or snapping away while eating. Can you imagine how much more food a person eats while being so distracted. I can. I’ve done it. As a society, it’s what we do. I really believe we need to change this.
When a person slows down their eating and really starts to feel the cues they are getting from their body, it is amazing how much you start to realize that you are full way before all the food you put on your plate is gone. Pretty soon, you start losing weight. You start feeling better about yourself. You start having more energy and you even sleep better. Who wouldn’t want to feel that way?
People will always say they just don’t have time to make meals. Well here is a little time saver for you. It’s called meal prep. Meal prepping on the weekends is huge. It is pretty easy to take a few hours out of your day and make meals for the coming week. The kids can even help you out here and then you teach them another life skill. Cooking. What a concept. Another plus is you get to truly bond with your kids and have a positive influence on them. What parent wouldn’t want that?
Try slowing your roll. Try getting your family together for supper as often as you can, or make it breakfast if that works better. Look at each other. Talk to each other. Learn how to communicate. Slow down your eating and learn how to feel the cues your body is giving you. Teach your children how to communicate. Teach them how to talk to someone and look that person in the eye. Teach them respect. Let’s get over this BS of being so busy. Take the time to reconnect with your spouse. Take the time to reconnect with your children. Listen to each other, not the TV, not your phone, not video games. Turn off the distractions and turn on to each other.