Eat Smart, Eat Slow

Melbourne is well known as the culinary capital of Australia. With so many amazing restaurants, cafes, bars and food outlets how does one taste it all without gaining kilos in the process? I asked a Melbournite the secret....

"Eat Slow" was the reply. I think those Southerners are on to something. We all want to be able to eat our favourite foods - whether its chocolate, cheese, alcohol or fried food but how do we Eat Smart to keep the kilos off, while still enjoying the flavours, aromas, sights and sounds of our favourites? Eat it slower and savour the taste.

In fact, Dr Google will tell you that Eating Slow is not a Victorian phenomenon but a worldwide one. Eating Slower will allow for better digestion as food is more completely masticated but it also gives more time for the brain to register when the stomach is full. Thus one should be able to eat less while maintaining satisfaction.

So, on my recent weekend in Melbourne, I embarked on an Eat Slow Challenge. And challenge it was! For someone who is used to eating fast, eating slow certainly takes conscious effort. After a delayed flight, with lunch a very distant 7 hours prior, the sight of food on the dinner table was enough to send me diving in. However, I was able to restrain my fork lifting hand to a slower pace and savour the first course. Fortunately we had chosen a Soufra, or 4 small, slowly served Middle Eastern courses served over a few hours which aided my slow eating challenge. By the end of the 2nd course I noticed a sense of contentment, surprising, considering I'd only eaten a few mouthfuls. As the 3rd and 4th courses came, I had small mouthfuls of each component but did not finish any and by the end of the meal I was satisfied but not feeling over-full. First round - success!

Over the weekend I practised Eating Slow with varied success. Where I was relaxed and not starving to start the meal it was easy to moderate my pace resulting in smaller amounts eaten When I was hungry or in a rush, I returned to my old habits of eating quick until the plate was finished.

For those who grew up in a family of Eating Slow, the concept of small mouthfuls over time would be the norm, but for those who relish a quick meal, eating slow would certainly take some practice. However, when health, weight and Eating Smart are in your focus, try eating slow to savour the flavour of your favourite foods. Will you take up the challenge?

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