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Speed Bumps: Slow down and think as you eat

By Michelle May, M.D.

speed-bump-slow-down-eatingA speed bump slows you down. Anything that interrupts an automatic, mindless behavior and reminds you to pause, think, and then respond, is a speed bump.

A good example of a speed bump from the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating programs is dividing your food in half before you begin eating. When you “hit” this speed bump, it reminds you to slow down, reassess your hunger and fullness level, and notice whether you’re really enjoying the food you chose.

9 Other Speed Bumps to Experiment With

Speed bumps are especially helpful when you’re first learning to eat mindfully. Below is a list of other ideas for speed bumps that you can experiment with. These are not intended to be used restrictively, like “portion control.” Instead, approach your experiments with curiosity.

  • How does using smaller plates, bowls, and glasses affect my portion sizes?
  • Do I notice a difference when I place a serving of food on a plate rather than eating it out of the container?
  • What happens when I order or serve myself less?
  • Does it help to keep serving dishes in the kitchen rather than on the table?
  • Is it helpful to buy single servings, make my own snack size bags, or pack small containers?
  • Do I like sharing meals?
  • Is it easier to stop when I feel satisfied if I request a to-go container prior to starting my meal?
  • What happens when I wait ten minutes before having seconds?
  • Are there certain foods that I prefer to not keep in the house or at least keep out of sight?

What other speed bumps do you use to help you remember to pause and think as you are eating?

(Excerpt from chapter 8 of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating: A Mindful Eating Program to Heal Your Relationship with Food and Your Body.)

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About the author

Michelle May, M.D. is a recovered yo-yo dieter and the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs and Training. She is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: A Mindful Eating Program to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle , winner of seven publishing awards. She is also the author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes, Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating, and Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Bariatric Surgery. Michelle shares her compelling message and constructive keynotes with audiences around the country, offers workplace wellness programs, and has trained and licensed hundreds of health professionals to facilitate Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs worldwide. She has been featured on Dr. Oz, the Discovery Health Channel, and Oprah Radio, and quoted in Diabetic Living, Fitness, Health, Huffington Post, Parents, Self, USA Weekend, US News & World Report, WebMD and many others. Her personal success story was published in Chicken Soup for the Dieter's Soul. Michelle cherishes her relationships with her husband, Owen and grown children, Tyler and Elyse. She regularly enjoys practicing yoga and hiking near her home in Phoenix, Arizona. She and Owen, a professional chef, share a passion for gourmet and healthful cooking, wine tasting, photography, and traveling.

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