Many people eat their food fast and carelessly. However, eating slowly may be a much smarter approach.
Eating Too Fast Can Cause Weight Gain:
People who describe themselves as fast eaters tend to be heavier than those who say they eat more slowly. In fact, fast eaters are up to 115% more likely to be obese, compared to slower eaters
Eating Slowly Helps You Eat Less:
Your appetite and calorie intake is largely controlled by hormones.
Normally after eating, your gut suppresses a hormone called ghrelin, which controls hunger. It also releases the anti-hunger hormones cholecystokinin (CCK), peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). These hormones relay a message to the brain, letting it know that you’ve eaten and that nutrients are being absorbed. This reduces appetite, makes you feel full, and helps you stop eating.
Interestingly, this process takes about 20 minutes, so slowing down gives your brain the time it needs to receive these signals. Eating Slowly Can Increase Satiety Hormones. Eating too quickly often leads to overeating, as your brain doesn’t have the time it needs to receive the fullness signals.
Additionally, eating slowly has been shown to decrease the amount of food consumed at a meal. This is partially due to an increase in the level of anti-hunger hormones that occurs when meals aren’t rushed.
Eating Slowly Promotes Thorough Chewing:
In order to eat slowly, you actually need to chew your food several times before swallowing it.
This can help you reduce calorie intake and lose weight. In fact, several studies have found that people with weight problems tend to chew their food less than normal-weight people do
Other Benefits of Eating Slowly:
Eating slowly and chewing thoroughly can improve fullness and help you lose weight.
However, slowing down can also improve your health and quality of life in other ways:
- Improve digestion.
- Increase your enjoyment of food.
- Help you absorb nutrients better.
- Promote healthy teeth.
- Make you feel calmer and more in control.
- Reduce stress.
How to Slow Down and Lose Weight:
Here’s some advice to help you get started with eating more slowly:
- Chew more: Count how many times you normally chew a bite of food, and then double that amount. You may be surprised at how little you usually chew.
- Avoid extreme hunger: It’s hard eat slowly when you’re really hungry. To prevent extreme hunger, keep some healthy snacks on hand.
- Set utensils down: Putting down your fork between bites of food will help you eat more slowly and savor each bite.
- Eat foods that need chewing: Include fibrous foods that require a lot of chewing, such as vegetables, fruits and nuts. Fiber can also promote weight loss.
- Use a timer: Set your kitchen timer for 20 minutes, and do your best not to finish before the buzzer goes off. Aim for a slow, consistent pace throughout the meal.
- Turn off distractions: Try to avoid electronic screens while eating. If you must watch TV, choose a 20–30 minute show and make your meal last the whole time.
- Take deep breaths: If you begin to eat too quickly, take some deep breaths. This will help you refocus and get back on track.
- Practice mindful eating: Mindful eating techniques can help you pay more attention to what you’re eating and gain control of your cravings.
- Be patient: Change takes time, and it actually takes about 66 days for a new behavior to become a habit. Eventually, eating slowly will happen naturally.
Slow Down and Enjoy Your Food
Eating too quickly can lead to weight gain and decreased enjoyment of food.
However, slowing down can increase fullness and promote weight loss. It also provides several other health benefits, and can improve your quality of life.
So when it comes to meals, take it slow and enjoy every bite.