STEP 1. Eat Slowly!

This was one of the first lessons I learnt nutrition coaching and it’s important not to be fooled by the ridiculous simplicity of it.

It wasn’t until I tried to implement this, that a realised how quickly I have ‘hoovered up’ my meals for years. As a coach I was interested in getting to the bottom of my own behaviour. Just why did I eat so fast?

When I was recovering from glandular fever I had been unable to work for an extended period. I wasn’t fit enough to return to my career in personal training and private security and essentially needed to get back into productivity, routine and earn some money.

I’d spent a couple of years supporting adults with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. My client group ate at speed, whether out in the community or back at our facility. Many of them had resided at community centres for years and found if they didn’t eat quickly someone else would relieve them of their meal. I learned to pick up the pace to ensure I got to eat at least some of my own food before my client was done and immediately left the table for a new activity.

I’d also worked in roles within mentoring, coaching and fitness over the years where food was literally eaten ‘on the run’. I’d grab a few mouthfuls between what I was doing or eat my lunch at a desk because I considered myself pressed for time with paperwork tasks. I’d developed a poor habit of merely swallowing my food and didn’t lessen the pace when I had more time to eat in the evening or weekends.

Why does it matter?

STEP 2- Eat Until 80% Full

To effectively lose weight its necessary to eat less calories. That’s an over simplification of the process but you get the basic principle.

80% full is a simple strategy that you can do at every meal, whether you’re out socially or its work related, without having to worry about counting calories.

80% full will help you eat less, if you make good food choices. (80% full on cake and cookies is not what we’re going for here).

If you’re eating at speed, as was my bad habit, you just won’t notice how full your getting – so 80% will be pretty much impossible to gauge.

The two principles combined are powerful tools.

Eating slowly helps your digestion, you’ll develop an awareness of your appetite. You’ll enjoy your food.
Eating till 80% full helps keep calories under control, helps you develop awareness of your own body and its response to food and drink and helps avoid being overfull, which is an unpleasant sensation. It puts you back in the driving seat with your appetite and food choices.

2 simple, powerful principles you can try at your next meal. It helps my clients start moving in the right direction and I hope you find it helpful too.

Want some breakfast ideas? – Download Free 20 Quick and Tasty Breakfasts to Kick Start Your Working Day.

Joanne Coley is an Online Body Transformation Coach based in the United Kingdom. She is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs transforms their health and lives. The Faster Leaner Stronger Entrepreneurs program is designed to help women take the best care of themselves, so they can serve more people, create more impact and blow the ceiling off their earning potential.