We all live in a fast-paced society. We wake up, rush to work, rush home, rush to make dinner, rush the kids to soccer practice, rush home to put them to bed. The commonality here is that we RUSH everything. This type of lifestyle is one that promotes poor choices and unhealthy behaviors. We ultimately start gaining weight and before we know it we are out of shape, can barely walk up the stairs without getting winded, and ultimately our health begins to suffer and fail.
SLOW DOWN! We are all in the rat race we call life that we forget to take a breath. I’m not saying to sit around with your feet up all day, but slow the pace a little and you’ll notice subtle changes in your life that helps improve your overall health and happiness.
When we are constantly on the go, we put our body under stress. Stress raises cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that increases appetite, decreases energy production, and elevates fatty tissue growth – all of which are not good or healthy. When cortisol levels remain elevated for a period of time, it can cause insulin resistance and an increase in fat storage within the body – ultimately causing you to gain weight and body fat. To prevent this, we all need to find a way to decompress and reduce our stress levels.
We can reduce stress in many ways. We can exercise (yes, this causes a “good” stress on the body), we can meditate, we can focus on our breathing, we can go do something enjoyable like go for a walk in the woods, or just about any activity that brings you joy and happiness. Regardless of the way, find time each day to unwind and destress. This is “you” time and it’s ok to be a little selfish with this time.
Slow Down How Quickly You Eat Meals
In a rush to quickly shove food down your throat, we don’t give our body time to process what we consumed. Eat slowly. Enjoy your food. When we devour our meal quickly, the signal from our stomach to our brain isn’t quick enough and this could result in the feeling that we are still hungry. What do you do? You go up for seconds, thirds, grab dessert, and overconsume on liquid calories.
Slow down how quickly you eat so your body has a chance to relay the signal to your brain and shut off your hunger hormones and help you feel full and satiated. Additionally, by slowing down how quickly you eat and thoroughly chewing your food, you give your digestive system a slight break by not having to work as hard to break down your meal since you did a stellar job breaking it down into small pieces by chewing a little longer than normal.
Putting It All Together
When you implement the strategies above, you have a greater ability to maintain a healthy metabolism, find enjoyment in food versus eating until you are stuffed, and can find enjoyment in your life when you slow things down, reduce stress, and can take a breath.
Each day, try to implement these strategies and when you find yourself out of control, catch yourself, breathe, and slow down. You weren’t put on this earth to run through it like a race. Enjoy the life you live because you only get one try and experience.