Here are some ways to make every meal a healthy, fine-dining experience.
Each time you stop to partake in a meal, a choice is presented to make smart decisions about what to eat. However, but that choice seems difficult if you feel overwhelmed by portion size or confused about healthiness. Overeating and lack of self-control at mealtime can lead to weight gain or obesity, so it’s important to monitor your behavior whenever you consume a meal. Mastering your ability to exercise control and avoid gorging during your meal-time experiences can lead to a sense of pride. Try these seven tips at every meal so you can enjoy the taste.
Slow Down When You Chow Down
Since it takes approximately 20 minutes for most people’s bodies to recognize a sense of fullness, those who are considered “speedy eaters” have an increased chance of overindulging. To get a better awareness of the hunger signals of your body, watch the clock (or a timer) and pace your eating so that meal consumption spans those critical 20 minutes. This added awareness can help curb overeating, lessening the desire to consume more than necessary.
Sit Down When You Chow Down
Standing at the kitchen counter while eating can sometimes make you feel rushed, distracted, or unsettled, so you’re more likely to quickly refill portions consumed because you feel pressure to “get all you can while you can.” On the other hand, sitting down at a dining table allows you to concentrate on your meal, savor each bite and attune to your senses of fullness, thereby creating an overall more enjoyable mealtime experience.
Focus On The Food You Eat
When you sit down to eat, take the time to carefully chew the food in your mouth, taste all the flavors of the food, and savor your moment with the food, rather than just carelessly “wolfing it down.” Mealtime becomes a pleasurable experience when you slow down to concentrate on your food, focus of the amount and satisfaction as opposed to distraction and gluttony.
Opt For Satisfying Options
You don’t have to feel that eating healthily means that you must eat bland or unappetizing meals. A satisfying life includes eating satisfying food. Actually, feeling obligated to consume unappealing food can cause you to detest so-called “healthy eating” and drive you to make less heathy choices out of spite. Remember: eat and enjoy. There plenty of recipe books and online databases to discover tasty, low-calorie ways and new ideas to make your meals most satisfying to your taste buds.
Invite Others To The Table
Partaking in meals with other people around you extends the time spent eating and can make the dining experience as whole feel more special or gratifying. Enjoying food with a relative, friend or acquaintance gives you chance to share a conversation, laughter, or quality time.
Be Careful About Family-Style Dining
It becomes much easier to fill and refill your plate and consume more food than you might otherwise when all the available food for a meal is set directly in front you in large serving dishes on the table — “family style,” as is the tradition at Thanksgiving dinner. Rather than using family-style dining on a regular basis, try leaving the bulk of prepared food on the kitchen counter or stove, so that you’re more conscious of how many times you leave the table for more food during mealtime.
Act Like You Are Dining Out
When people dine outside of the home at a restaurant, they tend to eat at a more leisurely pace than they do in their own dining rooms. Try to relive this eating-out experience by extending your mealtime while eating in. If you can, for dinners on weeknights, try taking your time to set your home table like a restaurant would, enjoy a nice salad before the main meal like restaurants serve courses, and chat with your family like you would at a nice, interesting restaurant.