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Friday, May 9, 2014

How long does it take to form a new habit?

A habit is a new behaviour which becomes automatic or second nature (like brushing teeth before bedtime) over time.

Based on research done by Dr Phillipa Lally on 96 people, a new behaviour takes about 7 weeks to become habit.

The smaller the action chosen, the more likely it is to succeed. The new behaviour must be performed in the same way, same time, same place (ie same context) so that over time the body becomes cued to perform the habit.

Missing a day here and there does not reduce the chance of forming the new habit, and some habits may take longer than 7 weeks. In general, the larger the new habit, the longer it takes.

Generally doctors do not help their patients make change; they just tell their patient to loose weight, or get more sleep, or quit smoking. When faced with any major lifestyle change,  many people give up because a lifestyle change requires the assimilation of many new smaller habits into their new, healthier lifestyle.

If you are needing to develop healthier habits contact Birgit Schinke, health coach & educator, clinical counselor for help with developing your new lifestyle. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Why is chewing your food thoroughly so important?

1) Digestion: Saliva is a digestive enzyme which starts the first phase of digestion. Food passes down the esophagus when properly chewed.

2) Hormonal Signaling: If not chewed properly food passes into the stomach not ready for the next phase of digestion. Chewing also starts the secretion of other digestive hormones furhter along the chain as in the stomach (hydrochloric acid) and the pancreas (bicarbonate).

3) Pylorus: Chewing relaxes this muscle which allows food to move into the small intestine.

4) Dental Health: Chewing keeps teeth and jaw strong. It also helps prevent tooth decay.

5) Bacteria: Chewing reduces food borne bacteria from moving into the stomach. Bacteria can cause bloating, cramping, and other digestive discomforts. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

What are the benefits of eating slowly?

First of all, how does one eat slowly?

Simply put, by chewing your food longer, such as up to 40 times a mouthful. Most people eat as an unconscious act, just chewing and swallowing their food without  really noticing what they're doing.

Studies show that overweight people eat more quickly than normal weighted people. A 2008 study published in the British Medical Journal found that eating until full and eating quickly triples the risk of becoming overweight.

Why is this?

1) The slower one eats the less calories consumed during the meal, and as well in snacks afterwards.

2) Eating slowly allows the hormonal network tell the brain when one is satiated (full) . It takes the body about 20 minutes to realize it's full during which time the hormone, leptin is released to prevent overeating.

3) Mastication (chewing) starts the digestion process by breaking down carbs and proteins so that the nutrients can be made properly available to the body. If the body does not get enough nutrition, cravings for more food, in general,  can cause overeating.

4) Slow eating also helps prevent diabetes.

If you think you may be a food addict by eating too much and eating compulsively, contact Birgit Schinke to develop a relapse prevention or mindfulness plan to help control your food intake.