The Power of Slow

Unless you have never read an article about fitness or weight loss you must have heard of the word metabolism.

The Power of SlowWe also closely link this word with our body weight. High metabolism = slim body, slow metabolism = overweight body, hence we all want to rev up our metabolism through either better nutrition or exercise.

So many people want to increase their metabolism which means they want to “calorie burn” better, they want more energy, stronger immune system, better digestion. Therefore we assume in order to have these things you have to push harder, I need to work more, move faster, I need to get all pumped up, I need to push the pedal to the metal. Actually this might not necessarily be the truth.

A few of years ago Marc David wrote a game changing book in nutrition and eating psychology called the Slow Down Diet. It’s a very fascinating read and one of the key concern he talks about at the beginning of the book, is slowing down. Slowing down is a very powerful remedy for so many of us with our nutrition related health challenges, symptoms, diseases and eating concerns such as over eating, binge eating, emotional eating and really any unwanted eating habit.

What strikes me today is that the metabolic power of slow is more important than it ever was.

Fast World

The speedy world we live in is addicted to speed. We want fast internet and fast cars and fast service at the restaurant, fast money and fast weight loss. You name it and we don’t have time to wait for it. This love affair with speed is killing us a bit.

When it comes to food and body, our high speed living creates some big disadvantages. Most importantly we eat too fast. 70% of the western population when asked describe themselves as a fast eater, 20% would say moderate speed eaters and only about 10% slow.

Fast eating is considered by the body to be a stressor. Meaning it’s not natural, it doesn’t work, the body doesn’t like this behaviour and we will literally go into the physiological stress response.

The Stress Response

Physiological stress response is a graded response meaning you can have mild, moderate or severe stress chemistry in your system. Depending on the intensity of our stress to some degree we go into digestive shutdown. Enzymatic output in the gut will dramatically decrease, blood flow to the gut is approximately 4 times less in the state of digestive shutdown, the movement of the musculature of the stomach and intestines slow down or even stop altogether.

Nutrients are secreted during stress, oftentimes in significant amounts including vitamins, minerals and even healthy fats. We will increase the secretion of insulin and cortisol. These are two hormones that shoot up during stress response which can decrease calorie burning capacity.

The point is that you could be eating the healthiest food in the universe but if you’re eating it too fast you’re not going to be getting the full nutritional value of that meal. Your habit of speed eating hasn’t served you very well. In addition to eating fast and its added stress response, invariably puts us into some degree of digestive upset, because we have food in our system but we are not metabolising it, so it’s going to lead to bloating, gas, and queasy feeling in our gut.

Common digestive side effect of stress induced digestive shutdown from eating fast is heartburn. There is a huge amount of people who face the challenge of heartburn every day and if that’s you please consider that your body is taking to you. It’s saying something, and in this case it’s telling you to slow down.

Some Basic Research

Lastly the act of eating fast completely deregulates our appetite. It takes the body approximately 20 minutes to realise that the stomach is full. This is a lessons brought to us by research several decades ago.

The research is essentially saying this: the body needs time to scan a meal and to determine its nutritional profile to see if it needs to eat more or if the meal is done.

During a stress response in this case caused by fast eating, the brain has significantly less ability to register taste, aroma, satisfaction and the nutrient profile that’s existing in your digestive system and in your blood stream. These result in the fact that you can eat a lot of food but the brain still registers as hungry, and so you eat more food. And then we think we have a will power problem but the real problem is that you’re eating too fast.

The bottom line here is that you can do yourself a profound metabolic favour by slowing down. If you do that, guess what is going to happen?

The food will taste better, you appetite will be naturally regulated. You will digest better, you’re going to assimilate better, you will calorie burn better and you will notice life for all its beautiful details we tend to miss when we’re at high speed.

If there was a pill that did all that, everyone would be buying it!

The Power of Slow

Fortunately slowing down is free. It’s time to reclaim your natural pace. It’s time for us to eat more like human beings and less like stressed out creatures whom running out of time.

The following exercise can help you to connect with your food better and letting you to eat at a slower pace, helping you to achieve a higher metabolic rate though the power of slow.

Exercise: Check in and breath

Before every meal or snack ask yourself ‘Am I about to eat under stress? Am I or my mind in high gear?’

If the answer is yes, pause. Then take ten long, slow, deep breath preferably in and out thought your nose. Ideally, your deep-breathing experience would be as follows:

1. Sit in a comfortable position with your food right in front of you.
2. Have a look at your plate and notice your meal.
3. Deeply inhale through your nose, filling your lungs to approximately two-thirds capacity
4. Exhale fully
5. Repeat this cycle ten times

To find out more about Judit and her philosophies as well as booking a free consultation please visit

About Judit Rago

Judit Rago works as a Personal Trainer in the Arches Leisure Centre and teaches Kettlebell classes as well as One-on-One client PT. You can contact her on if you would like to find out more!

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