It probably comes as no surprise, but mom was right: We really shouldn’t eat so fast.
Apart from the noise and the mess and the ill-effects on dinner table conversation, wolfing down food may have ill-effects on health as well.
A detailed new analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that taking your time when you eat can substantially cut down on how much you eat. And in today’s world, where at least two thirds of the nation struggles with weight, this can have important implications.
The researchers performing the analysis combined the results from 22 separate studies looking at speed of eating and the amount of food eaten. What they found was that those who ate their food slower ate less overall than those who ate their food faster, and apparently without feeling deprived. Eating speed – fast or slow – had no effect on feelings of hunger, either right after a meal or three and half hours later.
We live in a society that often works against us when it comes to choosing healthy food and getting physical activity. This can make it tough to lose weight, or even stay at the same weight. Yet, there are some simple steps we’ve promoted for a long time that can help with cutting back on calories and burning more calories through exercise. Eating more slowly is one of these. It may take some re-training of eating habits but in the end, its a pretty simple step – just sit back, enjoy your food, and let time do the hard work. In the end, we’re likely to have eaten less – and to feel just as satisfied.
Try this and other tips to help keep weight in check:
Choose smaller portions, and eat more slowly. At the most basic level, eating slowly gives our stomachs time to tell our brain when we’ve had enough food. As competitors at the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest will tell you, it takes about 8 minutes or so for the brain to register when the stomach’s full. If you eat too quickly, you can down a plate of food, grab more, and then down that before your brain knows what hit it. By then, you may have had twice as much food as you needed or even really wanted. So why not slow down and enjoy your food. You won’t even miss the extra food you’re not eating and that you didn’t even really want.