Eating slowly is good for you. It not only helps you to eat less, but also helps your stomach digest your food properly, as well as the hormones that signal that you are full. 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
There are three problems associated with eating quickly:
- Indigestion: fast eating can overwhelm the digestive system.
- Eating too much: you can often finish a meal before you realise that you have eaten too much. It takes about 20 minutes before the stomach registers that it is full.
- Social distraction: slower eaters feel uncomfortable around fast eaters. Finishing quickly often interrupts the flow of conversation, whilst the other eaters are trying to keep pace.
Tips for Eating More Slowly
Here are some slow eating tips:
- Take small bites. Cut up the food into half the size you normally do, and chew every mouthful four or five times before swallowing.
Put your fork down. Don’t pick up your cutlery until you’ve swallowed the food in your mouth.
- Only eat. Don’t multi-task when eating. There is a tendency to eat more quickly whilst watching TV.
- Talk with an empty mouth. If you’re dining with another person, talk only when your mouth is empty.
- Allow the food to cool. Wait a brief moment before beginning to eat. Appreciate the way the food looks and smells, then eat slowly and savour the food.
- Vary your diet. We tend to eat faster when we eat familiar food. Interesting food slows us down so we can experience the new tastes and aromas.
- Schedule meals: Try to eat meals before you actually feel too hungry and allow plenty of time for your meal breaks, so you’re not rushed and can relax.