Stop! Before you take another bite – put your fork down and CHEW what is already in your mouth! I know, new concept, but trust me, your digestive system will thank you! 

Too many of us rush through our meals without paying attention to what we are eating.  (I’m guilty as well!) We eat while standing or walking, while in the car or on the bus, train or subway, while watching television or working on the computer. We don’t take the time to STOP! AND CHEW! This rushed eating is a bad habit – and one that is hard to break, but must be broken to ensure a healthy gut, and good health in general.

Digestion begins in the mouth, where your saliva releases enzymes to help pre-digest your food, before sending it to your stomach and intestines. The less work your mouth does, the more work your gut has to do, the more tired, sluggish and bloated you may feel. Whether you are munching on a Doritos chip, a Brownie or a delicious piece of kale, savor it and chew it. Really taste that food – you may find out you love it or you don’t like it!  Slowing down your eating also enables you to tell when you are full – your internal portion control! Overeating leads to poor digestion as well, and weight gain.

So at your next meal, try eating consciously. Take a break from your day’s pace and put the fork down in between bites, chewing what is in your mouth thoroughly. Help your body out.  You may lose a few pounds in the process or find out you can do without that afternoon espresso shot.