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Eating Slowly… the Hardest Test Yet

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I’m not fat. I get that. I didn’t always, but I’ve come to accept that I’m above average when it comes to these sort of things. But like so many, I’m not satisfied with where I am now.

No, I am certainly not obese by any standards. Some might say I’m overweight, like moronic metrics such as the BMI (Body Mass Index). But even that is very questionable.

That all being said, I’m not at all satisfied with where I am.

More than a Little Frustrated

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And why should I be?

I’m no couch potato, sitting around all day wondering why I don’t look like all those people on the TV screen I can’t stop staring at. Sure, I can eat better. And I can exercise more and harder. But I am certainly doing my part.

For most of my adult life I have consistently exercised. I have tried to keep my fitness intense and full of variety. And most of the food I eat is real, unprocessed, whole food, loaded with nutritional value.

I know I can be doing better, but that doesn’t change how bothersome it’s felt week after week, looking at the scale and seeing it hasn’t budged in the slightest. I keep trying new things. I keep crossing my fingers. And every Friday when I “check-in”, I see that nothing’s changed at all.

And I can’t help but feeling exacerbated and more than a little frustrated.

The Elimination Diet

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I keep trying new things. I tried an elimination diet. In fact, the only blog post I ever started writing and then scrapped was supposed to be a review of my experience on the elimination diet. I expected fireworks. Some giant revelation of what was upsetting my system and causing me suffering. But what did I find? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Or at least not much at all.

Certainly not enough to write a post about. Picture it now: The world’s most uninformative guide to elimination dieting.

Intermittent Fasting

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I moved on to other attempts at altering my lifestyle. In comes the infamous intermittent fasting.

I led this type of lifestyle for many, many months. It had its perks. It gave a certain level of structure to my life, which is no small thing when it comes to eating. For me, without some type of artificially imposed structure, eating is a free for all. I eat as much as I want, from the moment I wake up until I rest my head on my pillow.

So at least I knew that my eating world wasn’t going to be all over the place. And most importantly, there was a point when I would stop. I knew after a certain time that my eating window was closed and I was done for the day.

But, sadly, that’s where the obvious benefits trailed off. If you read articles about intermittent fasting, it is touted as this super system with miraculous results. Shove your eating into eight hours of your day and you’ll conquer the world. You’ll have more energy, your muscles will grow to insane proportions, and fat will melt off your belly.

But no. I had nothing to report at all, except for annoying and inconveniencing my family by always forcing a dinner cutoff time. My energy was still low. My health issues went nowhere. And the scale did not budge.

Again, I hoped to write a really fun post about my experience with intermittent fasting. I hoped to speak of the miracles, as I watched everything that had been ailing me for years just piece by piece go away.

And after I was fully convinced this was doing virtually nothing for me, I put it to the side.

Where Do I Go From Here?

And I was left without a new avenue to pursue. I was left with no panacea to all my woes.

Well… I still had one to pursue. But it was the hardest and, to be honest, I’m not sure if I’m ready for it. It involves uprooting a lifetime of bad habits. I’ve conquered awful habits before. I was a massive nail-biter and through intelligent, concerted effort I was able to put that nasty habit behind me forever.

But this was a whole different beast.

Eating Quickly

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I eat quickly. I attack the food on my plate, barely chewing each bite, and while I’m chewing I’m just readying myself for the next oversized morsel of food. And when it’s all gone I’m already loading up my plate with more.

I’ve known this to be a problem for a while, but I’ve felt powerless to do anything different. I’d tell myself it’s just who I am. Some people eat fast, some people eat slowly. And who in the world can crush decades of horrendous habit forming?

But it feels like I’ve tried everything else, and the science is certainly behind trying to slow down and treat food like something you want to savor rather than something you want to demolish.

And here I am, just a few days in. I’m chewing the hell out of every bite, putting down my utensils in between bites as well. I’m plating my food instead of eating out of pots and containers, and trying to load up on the produce. And I’m trying to seriously consider every single piece of food I put in my mouth.

Eating Slowly: First Impressions

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First reports: On the plus side, I’m really discovering more about food texture than I ever expected to. And there were a few days in which I experienced a serious afternoon burst of energy, which is quite rare. It makes sense, since my digestive system is getting a well-deserved huge break. And despite the challenge, I feel really accomplished when I break through old and damaging habits.

However, I can’t lie. It’s boring. Really, really boring. And I’m not certain how long I can keep it up, even if the results are phenomenal.

One thing is for sure: The science is with me. Everything in health is a debate… but no one says it’s better to eat faster and chew less. So I have to believe this is all worth trying, no matter what.

Everything in health is a debate... but no one says it's better to eat faster and chew less. Click To Tweet

And I look forward to a follow-up post telling you what’s going on with me after trying this for a month or two.

Happy eating.

Or should I say… h… a… p… p… y… e… a… t… i… n… g.

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