Did you know that eating slow is one of the best ways to lose weight?
Studies have proven that eating slow not only helps you to eat less, but it also helps your stomach digest the food you are eating. It gives your brain time to produce the hormones that signal you are satiated before you are actually FULL, helping you to stop yourself from overeating. Researchers at the Nagoya University in Japan found that eating quickly among middle age men and women often leads to obesity.
Problems with Eating Quickly
What happens when you eat too quickly? Here are a few downsides of stuffing your face:
- Indigestion — Eating too fast can overwhelm your digestive system, slowing down your body’s natural absorption rate. A lot more food goes to waste when you eat a lot too quickly.
- Social distraction — If you’re focused entirely on your food, those around you may feel uncomfortable or like they’re less important to you than your meal. When you finish faster than everyone else, it can interrupt the flow of conversation and make things awkward.
- Overeating — This is the primary problem facing most people who eat too quickly. You end up eating easily 25% more than you would if you ate slow, because your brain doesn’t have time to release satiety hormones until after you’ve gone well past your recommended calorie intake.
As you can see, eating fast is going to work AGAINST you. It’s in your best interest to slow down your eating and really take time to enjoy the food.
Tips for Eating More Slowly
Here are a few slow eating tips to help you slow down your pace:
- Shrink those bites — Instead of taking massive forkfuls of food at once, take smaller bites. Cut up your food, or use a smaller spoon if you have to. Make sure to chew every mouthful well before swallowing. Don’t just “inhale” your food.
- Focus on eating — One of the worst things you can do is watch TV or read a book while you eat. This distracts you from your food, making you more likely to overeat. When eating, turn off the TV and put down your book.
- Enjoy the conversation — You’re eating at a table with other people, so why not try to engage them a bit more? Talk about the day, their interests, and anything else you can think of. The more interesting the conversation, the less likely you are to overeat.
- Put your fork down — Want to make sure you eat at a slower pace? Make it a habit to set your fork down between each bite, and only pick it up once you’ve swallowed. It will slow down your eating speed by a few seconds per bite, which will add up over the course of the meal.
- Savor the food — Don’t stuff it into your mouth while it’s still hot, but let it cool down just enough for you to enjoy the flavor as well as the heat. Savor each bite, tasting all of the flavors involved in making the food as delicious as it is. The more you enjoy the food, the less likely you are to gobble it down.
- Mix it up — Try new foods, and give your tastebuds a chance to find new combinations that you enjoy. Add more spicy foods to your diet, and throw in a few hot sauces. The unfamiliar flavors will arouse your curiosity, making it easier to eat slower so you can savor every bite.
- Schedule the meals — Don’t rush through the breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but give yourself time to eat. Schedule your meals at a time when you can sit and enjoy. Eat before you feel hungry, and you’ll be less likely to overeat.