Doing this process right before you eat is somewhat like saying grace to yourself. Breathing releases stress.
Taking a minute to do a simple breathing process before you eat will boost your metabolism and increase your ability to digest your food.
The studies have shown when you are stressed your digestion is off because your body is in fight or flight mode. When you are relaxed you breathe in more oxygen and burn food more fully, your digestion is awake.
Practice this exercise adapted from Mark David www.psychologyofeatingin.com before you eat. This simple exercise will burn calories without any effort. When you breathe more you burn more.
Sit comfortably with your feet on the floor
Breathe in 1-2-3 filling your lungs ¾ full
Hold your breath 1-2
Breathe out 1-2-3-4-5
Repeat 10 times
The reason we breathe in only ¾ you ensure your blood pressure does not go up. We hold the breath to signal a message for blood vessels to dilate which reduces the blood pressure and the stress response. This type of breathing increases endorphins relaxing the body turning on your digestion.
Give it a try!