We know that body weight is a complex issue. Weight gain can be a combination of a lot of things, but we rarely consider it’s a result of bad manners.
In many ways we’ve moved away from the mannerly behaviors that used to be observed by everybody except the most uncivilized. Manners dictated that we only ate at the table.
We ate thoughtfully because we ate our meals at the table. We chewed thoroughly, and with our mouths closed. We didn’t wash food down with huge glasses or containers of liquids which may contribute 100s of calories to our meals. We used our knives and forks and avoided picking up our food with our hands.
These actions all have an important effect on how much food we eat.
Eating meals at the table make each meal an event. Not an overeating event, but rather a part of our day that gives us time to pause and really enjoy the food we’re eating. That is a highly effective way to ensure we feel satisfied at the end of each meal and that feeling of satisfaction – or absence of hunger – lasts longer.
Eating slower is a simple and practical way of reducing the amount of food we eat without feeling deprived. The science is simple. We stop eating because there is no more food on our plate and/or we feel full. Putting more food on our plate than we need and eating it fast allows us to bypass the brain signal that tells us to stop. Slowing down can give our brains time to tell our stomachs they’re full.
Imagine, you could lose weight without avoiding your favorite foods just by watching your manners!
- Eat all (or at least most) meals at the table.
- Chew your food thoroughly.
- Sip water with your meals.
- Put your fork down between bites.
- Do not eat with your hands. Always eat with a knife and fork.
- Serve yourself smaller portions.
- It is not rude to leave food on your plate. Stop when you’re full.
Manners can help you enjoy your food more, eat less of it at every meal, reduce your calories, and feel full longer.