In a recent book released by a dieting expert, cruising was mentioned as the perfect way to lose weight. No, we’re not talking about calorie counting or even exercising more or any combination of the two. Instead this awesome dieting tip play’s right into one of cruising’s biggest strengths… being social!
Although it takes no more than about seven seconds for food to get from your mouth to your stomach, it takes a whole 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full. No surprise then that we manage to fit in so many extra forkfuls or spoonful’s of fries, buns, donuts, shakes, desserts and other ‘naughties’ before the “STOP EATING I’M FULL” message from the body’s hormones kicks in!
That means by simply eating slower you can dramatically reduce the amount of calories you take in per meal.
Eating in the main dining room of your favourite cruise ship, chatting with your fellow table mates both before and during courses… not only does it make the experience that much more enjoyable, it also helps you lose weight… Who knew?!
So don’t feel bad about talking at dinner, just tell people you’re actually keeping them healthy!
Following this advice the author of Cruise Yourself Slim also suggested…
1] Use the wrong hand to hold your cutlery. Bonkers? Well try it. Who’s going to know which hand you usually use? Unless of course you drop food on your lap every time – but then that’d save calories!
2] Use chopsticks. Yes chopsticks. Unless you’re an expert, that’s sure to slow down your food intake. Maybe don’t use chopsticks if you’re eating soup or out with the in-laws. But it’s a really good technique to use at home to make you take your time over every mouthful.
3] Put your cutlery down between mouthfuls. Sounds obvious? You’d be surprised how many people ignore the social element of eating and just ‘conveyor belt’ food to mouth as swiftly as possible. French women (actually the whole nation) are generally slimmer than most – and as a society they value the time spent with family & friends, chatting and enjoying each other’s company over sometimes hours-long meals. No ‘stuff your face and run’ for them. So yes, put your cutlery down between mouthfuls and have a conversation!
4] Chew your food properly. US researchers say each mouthful should be chewed at least 30 times, softer foods like mashed potatoes 5-10 times. A weight loss study showed that people chewing more thoroughly lost more weight than those chewing less! …and the act of chewing releases enzymes which aid digestion and help prevent gas, nausea and abdominal pain plus increase absorption of nutrients.
5] Sit down to have your meal. It’s too easy to eat ‘on the run’ and as well as tricking you into believing you’ve eaten less during the day because you weren’t at a proper meal table, you’re likely to eat a lot faster and less mindfully if you ‘graze’ standing up.
6] Time yourself. Yes really! If you watch TV or read or have your food next to your laptop, you may very well eat a lot more quickly than you think. Possibly less than 15 minutes. If you time yourself, you can gradually train yourself to take longer.
7] Drink during your meal. If you have a glass of water (or maybe wine) then, making sure you finish a mouthful, put your cutlery down and take a sip quite frequently throughout the meal.
8] Set the mood on ‘slow’ … put on music, dim the lights and/or light candles. It doesn’t have to be a romantic meal to be worth making a mealtime special. The pace of relaxing music should have an effect on the speed at which you eat, and if you’re further relaxed by the lighting, in total you’re likely to have a far ‘slower’ meal.
How many of those sounded like they were describing a meal on a cruise ship?
So there you have it… It’s official… Cruising should always be part of any serious diet!
The tips came (at the appropriate speed!) from Martin & Marion Shirran, whose third book ‘Cruise Yourself Slim’ is out now on Kindle and in print and can be purchased here.