We should pay more attention to our eating behaviour

How you can improve your productivity and health with small changes.

Created on 18 February 2021.

I don't know about you, but I rarely think about the actual process of eating. In contrast with some of my peers, I do think about WHAT I'm actually eating. The actual food, the ingredients and so on.

Alas, that is not enough.

Since I was a boy, I would eat very fast. And a bit too much if I'm honest. And here's the thing: a lot of various other processes are affected by this.

This change, which is small but difficult to make, has a tremendous potential to impact the rest of your day positively. Which, in turn, impacts the rest of your life.

So here's a list of what NOT to do:

  • don't eat as quickly as you can
  • don't fill your big plate with food
  • don't eat at your desk
  • don't watch TV, YouTube, Netflix etc while eating
  • don't stay on your phone while eating
  • stop worrying about other stuff while eating

Here's what to do instead and why:

  • take your time chewing everything - it will help with the digestion process
  • in turn, this will allow you to eat a bit slower. But make a conscious effort to make small pauses between the bites — the “I'm not hungry anymore” signal will have more time to reach your brain.

If you do these two things, you are already on a great path. You should start eating less quantity, and yet still feel fulfilled.

To help with this you can:

  • remove all distractions while eating: stopping the TV, Netflix and not having the phone with you. This will let you focus on the main task: eating. I've found myself time and time again watching an interesting video while eating. And I've observed that my eating speed was influenced by the topic. Whenever something intense was playing, filled with action, suspense and so on, or something very funny I would increase my speed.

I was looking to either finish up quickly and keep watching or I was drawn into the action and telling my subconscious to move faster.

Either way, it was not good. It helped a lot. From removing videos to removing the phone was, at this point, only a small step. It is much harder to drop everything that you are currently doing. Abrupt changes take a toll.

And now for the last item:

  • stop worrying about other stuff while eating.

Ideally, you would get ready to eat. Move to the designated area, different from where you sleep or work. Enjoy each and every bite and be grateful. A bit like having a zen attitude.

Doing this, allows the brain the take a break. This means that everything that was going on in your head, goes into passive thinking. Funny enough, that's where things get to move faster or interesting connections are made.

Giving your brain a pause, a true lunch break, will help you return to the rest of your day in a better mood, with more energy and focus.

A bit paradoxical, taking more time to eat (say 20 minutes instead of the usual 10), will help your stomach process everything better, will help you lose some weight because you are introducing fewer calories in your body and will help you be more productive (learn more, work faster, think better).

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