Eat slower. Breathe more.

Spending a full 15 minutes eating your lunch is harder than it sounds. Why does it matter anyway?

Psychology of Eating guy Marc David gives a lot of good reasons for slowing down when it comes to eating. You should read this book (even though it has the D-word in the title). But until you do, here are some reasons to slow lunch down:

  • Fast eating generates a kind of stress that can prevent your body from getting the most fuel from food (even the lunchtime made-with-love brought-from-home) kind.

  • Feeling stress or anxiety in general while you eat may cause you to store extra, less-helpful fat on your body.

  • You can’t enjoy the flavor of food if it’s barely in your mouth long enough to taste it. (So, seriously, why bother?)

Mr. David talks, too, about how your body needs oxygen to turn any food into fuel. Breathing is good, it turns out. So here’s one way to slow down:

To remind yourself to slow down and breathe while you eat your lunch, take two or three deep breaths after you swallow each bite.

Does this feel weird? Or relaxing? Maybe a little of both at first. Try it and see how it works for you.