What we eat: when we eat: HOW we eat.


Carpe diem
Today, I was in Burger King sipping on hot black coffee and nibbling my peanut crunch bar, savouring every little bite.

I was engaged in a bit of 'people watching' (a bit of a hobby of mine) and I found myself absent mindedly observing a couple of children eating their meal (don't worry - I'm not a wierdo - they were in my line of vision). Both were boys aged about 10 or 11, one was as thin as a pin and the other, sadly, was quite overweight (not just 'puppy fat', but more than just chubby and with a very big tummy). I could'nt help noticing that they ate very differently from each other. The thin lad nibbled his meal a chip at a time whilst the bigger lad shovelled his in 4 chips at a time, each mouthful barely touching the sides before the next lot went in.

He had finished his meal in half the time of the skinny boy when he went up for his second cup of coke.
It got me thinking ... I often used to eat like that. Not in public - but out of the public gaze I often wolfed food down with it barely touching the sides. I never gave myself time to even register 'fullness': I'd eat my meal and be getting my dessert practically whilst chewing my last mouthful of dinner (exaggeration but you get the gist). I could get through vast amounts of food in this way.

I'm definitely beginning to see the link, in the way Paul McKenna says, between just 'eating' food and 'tasting' or 'savouring' it. I'm hoping that this is another lesson I can take with me into maintenance.
I totally understand where you are coming from!

I remember too always having a pudding even tho I was completely stuffed, to the point of feeling ill! Just because, that was always done. Same with eating because its 9am,12pm,5pm etc good film on you name it. Quite shocking really.

Great points made!

I've started eating properly - chewing each mouthful & pausing to finish each one before I load the fork with the next one. I haven't quite got to putting the knife & fork down in between yet but I have felt satisfied rather than stuffed. For the first time in years I've actually managed recently to stop just as I get the tiniest inkling I'm getting full. That's amazing & is happening more & more regularly!

Love xxx
I think thats a great point... I am, or I should say, I DID used to shove more than one chip in my mouth at a time - I think iread somewhere your brain registers your tummy being full after 20 minutes no matter how much you eat, so the slower you eat, the less it takes to get full..

Saying that, I often avoided eating out in public as much as poss - cos people dont seem to like overweight people eating out!

I was one of those people who ate a few chips at a time and couldn't wait to get the whole lot shoved down my throat, more so in private, in public i would have been a bit more aware. have to say have been off CD for the past couple of weeks and my eating habits haven't changed a whole lot so more work needs to be done there... but have every intention of doing it!!

Gen xx
Saying that, I often avoided eating out in public as much as poss - cos people dont seem to like overweight people eating out!

just wanted to comment on the above... i have noticed since i have lost weight, if i am eating in public or ordering food a little voice in my head is telling me that people are watching me cos 'i'm the fat person eating or ordering food' obviously that voice was there before and i acted accordingly ie tried to hide what i was ordering.... but now when that little voice pops up i just remind myself that i'm not that fat person anymore and its ok to eat and i actually get excited when that happens!!!
Hi Debbie,

Sadly I would have to agree with these observations...but the results are not the same on everyone immediately but long term I think yes, if you eat fast...(takes some people years to get fatter)

Let me explain further.

My husband is a fast eater so much so that it has been a Big Bone of Contention with me down the years...

I love cooking and it always infuriates me that something I spent perhaps an hour preparing and longer cooking he could devour the lot in five minutes...................

No matter how much I pleaded....he still ate like a cave man.

Now my husband has been as thin as a rake for years...but in the last couple of years age and bad habits have caught up with him and he did gain some weight...it is still hard for him to admit how much he gained and he is not here at this moment to confirm exactly. 'even as if'... I could squeeze the truth out of him as needless to say he is very fragile over it and the exact amount!!!

As part of his weight loss program he has used Paul McKenna's methods to slow down...Paul's TV program really got him thinking...even though I had preached on deaf ears for years and Pierce is very good at it now too and leaves his fork and knife down while chewing and the added bonus is when I do cook it is a joy to see the food being savoured by my husband.

Husband is a trim 11stone 3lbs. now:D

I always thought I was a slow eater as this had been my nature when I was trim and slim, but eating out with a friend one night before I began my weight loss journey shocked me as I seen how I had increased the speed of my eating in comparison to my friend who by the way is a skinny minnie.

So I feel there is a lot of truth in the way we eat...I now have slowed down but it does take effort:(

It is all about being aware!!!
What an interesting post debbie, and for me personally, sadly all too true. Not only did I shovel as much food into my mouth as possible, but by doing so massively increased my portion sizes.

I remember many years ago an excellent WW leader telling us to slow down - put the fork down between mouthfuls and to always try to eat sitting at a table rather than eating on the hoof. If only I'd followed her advice then !!!!

It's definitely a lesson I'll be trying hard to follow through maintenance.
I have always eaten very slowly and savoured every bite....unless I am on a binge.

If I can get the binging under control then that's more than 1/2 the battle for me :rolleyes:
Just wanted to contribute to this interesting thread. On holiday we had half board (breakfast and dinner) and I engaged in people watching also. I had a cd shake, coffee and a mini pain au chocolate every morning. I am medication so i cannot ss. Often at lunch time I wasn't hungry but ate later in the afternoon, often soup or salad. Sometimes i didn't eat because it was so hot. I had icecream 5 times in 2 weeks.

The evenings were the most interesting as the variety of food available was amazing. I always started with a salad on a salad plate and if i wanted a main course I had a small portion on a salad plate. I did eat some of the Tunisian dishes that I like (Brik, couscous) but I never ate dessert and I didn't drink alcohol. I also ate lots of veg. I felt satisfied and happy. Don't know if I lost or gained but I never felt bloated or overfull.

My observations of how other people ate were amazing! Loaded plates, multiple portions, loads of bread, cakes and excess. Sadly I can only assume that was once me. I learnt a lot about my inner chatterbox in those 2 weeks and I learnt to control her. I wasn't perfect but I embraced the holiday, the lovely people we met and things we did, most significantly the food was secondary to the experience of being with my loved ones on holiday. I thank LL and CD and my own determination to put those lessons into practice.

Maybe, just maybe I am getting somewhere with this whole diet/mind/body thing and I am really proud of myself for what i have learnt. Thanks Debbie for a good idea for a thread.
We stayed in Port El Kantaoui. my husband comes from there so I've been many times. he can make brik and fabulous soup and couscous.
Hi all

Debbie, your post got me really thinking, I piled on the pounds after I moved out of home again, but this time I was living on my own. I, like I am sure most single people do, ate (well actually stuffed my face!) whilst watching TV (reading etc) so wasn't focusing on the food at all and didn't have the normal conversational breaks you generally have whilst eating with others. I am sure my portion sizes increased and 9 out of 10 times even though I was full to bursting I continued to eat - telling myself not to be wasteful or coz it was really tasty or coz the day ended in a Y:eek: .

One of my strategies for the future is to plan and make smaller meals and I am also going to look into having cooking lessons when I start eating again normally to hopefuly open up my food choices. My sister has lent me her copy of the Paul McK CD's but realisticly other than staring out the living room window I know I will continue to watch TV though and haven't thought of a good way of dealing with this other than staring out the living room window - which realisticly ain't gonna happen. More thought required on this front I think...
Jellybabe your post just goes to show how different we all are. :D

All the time I was single I was slim, it was when I moved in with my now hubby that this all changed. :(

I always ate when I was hungry and if I overate then I didn't feel so hungry the next day and didn't eat as much. That's what most slim people do, as far as I can remember, they aren't 'good' all the time.

When I moved in with hubby I still did meals for him after eating too much on the previous day and I ate them too to be sociable so that adjustment was gone.

Then the evening binge eating crept in too and I have successfully in the past (for a limited period) done nothing except cut out the 2-3 times a week binge eating sessions and lost weight with no other adjustments, I never managed to do it for long though :(

That is why I am trying not to get my hopes up that my weight will stay off because having had distance from food I have been given the opportunity to break the cycle and put new habbits into place :)
Wow, this is interesting reading, and I am so inclined to agree with you as well, watching how my own kids eat.

Real "food for thought" (excuse the pun).
I've learned a lot just by observing how my own 10 year old daughter eats - she's very slim and active like her dad: I think there's a lot to be learned by people who we label as 'naturally slim'.

Sophie mostly only eats when she's hungry and she eats slowly. Very often, she'll put her knife and fork down and say 'Food rest!'. This is an expression she invented herself when she was very little and it means 'I think I'm full - I'll give it a few minutes and see'. This gives her enough time to register if she's genuinly full or whether she's still a wee bit hungry.
However, at the end of her food rest, she inevitably says she's had enough and that's all she'll eat. I don't know if I'll be strong enough NOT to eat everything on my plate so once I'm in maintenance, I need to ensure that I CAN eat everything on my plate by serving much smaller portions.

To that end, yesterday I bought some new dinner plates - smaller ones so the smaller portions don't look so measly. The plates we currently have are from Ikea and are huge!
I've already been practicing the 'smaller portions' thing with my family (although it's difficult on these huge plates - smaller portions look 'kid sized'!). In the five months I've been on CD, hubby has lost a stone just through very small adjustments like slightly smaller portions, a packed lunch every day and practically no takeaways so I'm hopeful for my own future if we can keep this up.