The Joy of Slowing Down
As a fast eater and I had issues with bloating and other digestive issues for as long as I can remember. But when I became a slow eater a number of really interesting things started to happen. Along with starting to actually taste and enjoy my food, I noticed that the discomfort I would experience after eating a meal diminished quite a bit.
You know how when you eat fast and mindlessly put food into your mouth - I'm thinking for instance about the dinner that took 3 hours to make and was eaten in 5 minutes... Did you finish that meal and then groan because you felt bloated? There's a good reason for that. When you eat fast, you're not breathing and that signals stress to the body. When the body goes into stress or survival mode, it shuts down the digestive system because you don't need it when you're being chased by a lion. Why else would you not be breathing? Something has to be wrong so the body accommodates that signal by sending out cortisol and insulin and shutting down digestion, metabolism, and assimilation. In other words, the food sits in your stomach and you reach for an antacid.
A better solution is to put the same time and love into eating your meal as was put into its making. By taking 6 to 8 long, slow, deep breaths prior to eating you can slow the body down and put it into a relaxed state. Eat slowly, chew your food, savor the flavors, taste the love, and then swallow. Put your fork down occasionally. How is this food nourishing you?
Not only will you find you can digest the food more completely, but you'll notice when you have eaten enough, when your body is satiated. Your body naturally knows how much food it needs and it will tell you - you just have to slow down and listen.