Can Downton Abbey really help you lose weight? Well yes….in a way. I mean, not if you’re stuffing your face with chocolate and drinking wine while watching it every week! But you don’t do that right? Yeah, me neither.
But one of the many things I love about Downton is the dinner parties. So glamorous. So beautiful. (All that yummy food that you don’t have to prepare or clean up yourself.) Dinner then was an event. You got changed into fancy clothes for it and everyone participated and there were no cell phones present. There were also no one year olds mashing macaroni and cheese in their hair and screaming for the food on your plate, which is the same as the food on their plate, but yours is obviously better.
Sorry, back to Downton Abbey. My point is that the “Downton Experience” of setting a lovely table, removing distractions, and enjoying your meals can assist you in being more mindful of what you are eating and your body’s natural “I’m full” signals, thus helping you to not overeat or stress eat at dinner.
1. Set a lovely table.
I don’t have amazing china or rich tablecloths or silver candlesticks like the Crowley’s but I like to take the time to actually set my table for dinner. I picked up some pretty napkins on sale at Meijer and they are really so much nicer than using paper towels. I have a small floral arrangement on my table too. No candles, since we don’t like open flames anywhere near the baby, but it is a nice touch if your kids are a little older. Use real cups and dishes too. And perhaps even set your food in serving dishes instead of serving out of pots and pans. Yes, you’ll use more dishes, but even that makes me feel more put together and complete while we are eating.
Also, I struggle to remember this, but don’t be afraid to get your whole family involved in getting ready for dinner (and cleaning up afterwards!). Your family is not filled with mind readers! If you want help setting the table or getting drinks–ASK!
2. Remove distraction.
I think my biggest distraction at dinner is getting up to get stuff we have forgotten. “Oh shoot, I need a fork for that!” “Wait, we don’t have cups?” “Could you get the barbecue sauce while you’re up?” Seriously, I feel like a jack-in-the-box sometimes. If I take a few minutes to make sure we have the table set with everything we need before sitting down it helps. And then once everyone is set, if they need something they can get it themselves or do without. Tough love baby!
Turn off electronics. We don’t normally have TV going while we’re eating because we have a totally separate dining room, but phones and even computers can make appearances at dinnertime. Eliminate those distractions so you can focus on enjoying your food and conversation with your family. Or if you are the Crowley’s you don’t want to miss the drama going on AT the dinner table!
3. Enjoy your meal.
Dish your food on a plate, take a bite, and savor it. Chew it slowly (but not weirdly slowly, it’s so odd when people chew for-ev-er) and set your utensils down between bites. Drink water as you go. Talk to your family. It’s kind of goofy, but I like to ask what was everyone’s high and low from the day. If you need dinner conversation ideas Melissa & Doug has a great set for kids or you can DIY a conversation set! Also, even if you eat alone that doesn’t mean you need to eat from tupperware or in front of the T.V. You still deserve a lovely dinner experience, even if you are only sharing it with yourself!
[tweetthis url=”http://bit.ly/1EvZAbA”]Make dinner an enjoyable experience with these Downton Abbey inspired tips that may help you lose weight too! #FitFam[/tweetthis]
Like the fine folks on Downton Abbey, enjoy your meals as a pleasant way to unwind and engage your loved ones at the end of a day. And as you become more mindful of what you’re eating it just might help you lose weight too! For more reading check out this article on the benefits of family dinners. For more info on mindfulness and eating I’d recommend reading Intuitive Eating, there’s lots of good stuff in there!
Do you eat dinner with your family? How often do you sit down and truly enjoy your food?
Some fun dinner conversation starters to answer in the comments:
If you found $10 in a pocket of a coat what would you do with it?
What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen?
Linking up to Jessica Joy at The Fit Dish linkup!