On average, how long does it take to eat one of your standard three meals? Less than 10 minutes? While doing something else at the same time? You would be surprised to hear how common it is, but also how much damage it might be doing to your health. 

Due to our fast paced lives, eating really quickly and while distracted is almost considered to be the norm, even though it is detrimental to your body itself and its ability to absorb nutrients from your meal.

While taking an hour to eat each meal might be unrealistic, if you inhale your food before it hits the table (like many people tend to do), you’re putting your body at a disadvantage. If you slow down, breathe and focus on your food, you can reap the following health and lifestyle benefits including: 

• Absorption of more nutrients into your body, allowing a positive impact from the foods you’re eating

• Preventing undigested food from entering your blood stream which can cause adverse effects to your health

• Allows you to maintain a healthy weight by registering the food you are consuming and the sensation of “fullness”

• Reduces the bacteria build up in your gut, along with other side effects including gas, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain and cramping

• Encourages you to enjoy the sensation and tastes your food has to offer, and allows you to be present at meal times.

If it takes approximately 20 minutes for your body to register fullness, and you are eating your meals in a much faster time frame, taking stock and consciously slowing down could be of benefit to your health and wellbeing. Our top tips for slowing down:

•    Chew each mouthful approximately 30 times – it will give your jaw a workout, but also allow you to properly taste your food! 

•   Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls. Holding your fork in your hand will encourage you to keep eating even before you’ve finished what’s already in your mouth. 

•   Try to take approximately 20 minutes to eat a main meal. If eating at home, set a timer and track your meal progress. 

•   ALWAYS sit down to eat at a table and away from distractions. Standing in the kitchen to eat adds a sense of urgency to meal times and doesn’t treat them like the “event” they are. 

•   Minimise distractions by turning off the tv, radio, etc. so you can give full focus to your meals and how your are eating. 

•   Use a plate and proper cutlery at meal times. 

•   Cut your food into smaller pieces as you eat. More bites = more time to chew and eat. 

When you give some of these tips and tricks a try and turn them into a habit, you’ll be surprised to hear how much more enjoyable meals can be and how thankful your body will be for the change!

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Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith is the Founder of Glow For Life, with personal experience acting as the driving force for her passion to make a positive difference to the health and wellness of others.

Danielle tipped the scales at 30kg overweight in her childhood years and was a constant target for bullying. After making the decision to lose weight, Danielle moved to the opposite end of the spectrum, battling anorexia and bulimia for several years. Due to these early issues in her childhood she suffered from health issues later on in life like IBS, an underactive thyroid, nutrient deficiencies which lead to fatigue where she has spent countless hours and dollars with doctors, naturopaths and numerous allied health professionals trying to identify what was wrong.

After a lengthy recovery process, Danielle was able to build a healthy relationship with food, exercise and body image and made this a core priority in her life.

Unfortunately, a corporate career path with no passion or personal motivation caused Danielle’s priorities to slip, with health, fitness and attitude to life all taking a back seat.

The ‘Glow moment’ that Danielle had was a telephone call informing her that her mother was going to die. She was sick with jaundice, had a tracheotomy in her throat, was on a dialysis machine and her body was not receiving the nutrients required. The next day her father was admitted to hospital with renal failure.

Having experienced first-hand what can happen when you don’t prioritise health and wellness, Danielle knew it was her purpose to help educate and assist people to make positive changes in their lives to ensure that they are the ultimate version of themselves.

This was the catalyst for Danielle to quit her corporate career, study fulltime and begin her “Glow for Life” journey.

Since taking the plunge, Danielle has worked as a Personal Trainer at Soultrain in Woolloomooloo and as a Sport Massage therapist for the GWS Giants and worked with Julia Russell Massage therapy with such sports teams like The NSW Waratahs, South Sydney Rabbitohs, West Tigers and the NSW Cricket team.  She has just recently returned from spending time in New York training with some of the elite trainers at Equinox Greenwich in Manhattan and Celebrity Trainer from Muscle Manhattan, as well as training in Thailand at a Muay Thai training camp,  with current Muay Thai champion fighters.

Danielle is currently working with individuals, couples and families as well as in the corporate space, promoting health and wellness in the workplace and in general life.