Research suggests that if you eat slower you tend to eat less. Why is that? Maybe it’s supposed to trick you into thinking you’ve eaten more than you actually have. Maybe the process allows your body to digest food a little faster.
Although quite effective for weight management, additional research* has proven how eating at different speeds results in even less over-eating.
The overweight participants in this study were given a lunch-time meal to eat, but were told to eat at different speeds: Normal eating rate; half the normal eating rate, and normal rate changing to half-normal eating rate.
The results showed that eating at half the normal rate affected men – who ate less – but not women. However, this changed when the meals were started at normal pace and then slowed down to half normal pace, with men and women showing significant appetite reduction.
In conclusion, the normal-slow pace of eating was proven much more effective than eating slowly all the time.
So to put this into practice, eat the first half of your next meal at a normal speed and then change to a slower gourmet style, where you enjoy and savour every mouthful (try pretending to be a Master-Chef judge and note the colours, flavours and textures of all the food in your mouth).
*C.K. Martin, S.D. Anton, H. Walden, C. Arnett, F.L. Greenway and D.A. Williamson (2007) ‘Slower Eating Rate Reduces the Food Intake of Men, but not women: Implications for behavioural Weight Control’.
Did you know that most children experience various forms of anxiety and stress from the moment they are born? Sometimes, it is easy to spot whether a child is anxious by their crying and clinging behaviour. But as they advance in age, children may start hiding their anxiety. Nevertheless, it will still reflect in their actions.
You can help your child effectively deal with anxiety and stress through the following suggestions:
Arrange a ‘fun’ time.
Piles of homework can certainly drain your child energy and make them prone to anxiety and stress. Even sports activities can be physically and mentally stressful too. So make sure they have time to have some ‘pure fun’.
Organise some fun yet relaxing activities, such a painting, drawing, reading, a tea party or some games that don’t require too much competition.
Teach your child to become their own superhero.
It is very common for children to have fears, just as adults do. But the problem with many parents is that they tend to encourage their kids to avoid their fears, instead of facing them. But the more they hide from their fears, the more they will be hunted by it.
So slowly, help your child become used to the things they fear the most. Normally, anxiety is reduced in 20-45 minutes of staying around a mildly fear-provoking situation. If your child is suffering from an intense fear or phobia, it is advisable to seek therapy as soon as possible.
Emphasise their good side.
Children with severe anxiety tend to focus on their negative side – their flaws, things they cannot do, etc. Negative thinking can make your child hate themselves and other people.
You can help your child become more positive by giving attention to their good side – talents, skills and strengths. Congratulate your child for scoring high in their test, teach them some new skills, and surround them with positive people.
Make sure your child sleeps on time.
Lack of sleep has been found to make children more irritable and stressed. It is important that they get at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night. To promote quality sleep, set a bedtime schedule that must be strictly followed even during weekends.
Enhance their problem-solving skills.
Critical thinking must be developed at the earliest age possible. If you keep on solving even the little problems your child encounters, they will just learn to become dependent on you. Now, what if they face a problem at school and you aren’t there?
It will make them more anxious and exhausted. Allowing your child to solve their problems (with your guidance of course) will greatly benefit them, especially as they grow older.
Organise relaxation exercises.
In the morning, before your child goes to school, you may encourage them to practise some relaxation exercises with you.
At night as they close their eyes to sleep, you may ask your child to think or imagine a very relaxing place, such as a garden full of fragrant flowers or some enchanted forest adventure. These techniques are scientifically proven to reduce anxiety symptoms and relieve stress. Many people don’t realise this is in fact hypnosis.
Be the role model.
You don’t expect your child to become free from stress and anxiety if you yourself are having similar issues! Children follow what their parents do. For them, anything you say or do is right.
So be the role model of your own child. Positivity is contagious. If you are always positive, your child can easily acquire your personality without you having to do so much effort!
Never lose hope.
No matter how hard it is, never stop trying. Anxiety and stress can be very hard to overcome but it doesn’t mean your child wouldn’t be able to deal with them any more. Just keep following these tips and discover a great difference.
Also, you may want to see a therapist to guide your child. A professional practitioner, with a blue card, should be equipped with the skills and knowledge to reduce anxiety and stress in children, just as they can effectively deal with adult issues.
Please comment if you found this article useful and by all means feel free to share forwards.
All the best,
Here are some useful tips to help you all students avoid the many pitfalls of stress, anxiety and panic – particularly when it comes to exam time at school, college or university.
Avoid stressful people.
Stress actually is contagious. During exam week, resist the urge to have a study session with your super-tense friend, especially if they’re complaining about all the work they have to do and breaking pencils all over the place. Their stress will only add to your stress.
Eat healthy and exercise.
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a wonder how many people forget it. Skip the sugar, which will make you crash, and go for snacks like Granola bars, healthy cereal or fruits and veggies to keep your blood sugar stable. If you’re studying for a long period of time, eat some protein too. Also, try to get some form of exercise. Even a 10 minute walk will leave you calmer and more focused.
Just say NO.
I don’t mean to drugs, although I’m definitely not recommending them. What you need to say no to are the people who want to take up your time. There will probably be a friend who needs to talk to you for hours about their life, or a keg party the night before your final, and if you say yes, you’ll probably be tempted to blow off studying. Resist the urge. Say no to the distractions and be selfish for a day. You want great results, right?
Force yourself to take breaks.
For every hour or so that you work, take a 10 or 15 minute break. Let yourself do whatever you want (check Facebook, check out that guy or girl sitting nearby, stare off into space, call a friend, etc.) for those 10-15 minutes, then start working again. This gives your brain a little rest and will help keep you more focused when you are actually doing work.
Visualize it all going right.
This is actually my favourite tip of all, even though it sounds kind of nuts. Imagine yourself taking the test and feeling confident that you know all the information. Picture getting all of the answers right, and focus on how relaxed you feel. Then picture the A on your test paper. When you imagine a happy ending, that’s often what happens, because you make the decisions that lead to it without even realising.
If you’ve studied all you can, get up your confidence!
When test-time rolls around, it’s time to get yourself into confidence mode. You’ve prepared as much as you could, and now it’s time to ace the test. The tip here is to do whatever works to convince yourself you are going to do really well. Again, I know this tip sounds a little crazy but you just have to try it for yourself. I think you’ll like the results.
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Pass this onwards if you know someone it may help. Your thoughts, feedback, comments, likes and shares are always welcome.