Benefits to eating slower
In today’s busy world we can be easily distracted, sometimes unplanned which leads to us grabbing food on the go. We rarely take the time to savour the foods we eat and rush our meals. Which can lead to weight gain, slow digestive systems and feeling unsatisfied. Eating quickly really does us no favours.
It takes around 20 minutes from the start of a meal for the brain to send signals of fullness. Bet your thinking, “wow my meals don’t even last that long”
Here’s some benefits to slowing down at mealtimes:
- Sense satisfaction
By slowing down and giving your brain that time to register it will reduce your likelihood of over eating and that sense of heavy fullness and bloating you can experience at the end of a meal.
- Improved digestion
When we eat it’s a chain reaction of events within our bodies. The first step starts when we see and smell the food we are about to eat has we start salivating, the next step is chewing our food whilst the saliva enzymes break down the food for easy swallowing. During this the stomach will start to secrete more acid and the small intestines gets ready. When eating is rushed we are forcing the GI tract to work before its ready and if food isn’t broken down enough from chewing it can lead to indigestion and other GI problems.
- Smaller portions
There’s much research on this topic which points to the fact that eating slowly helps you eat less.
University of Rhode Island conducted some research where they found that when women ate quickly they consumed 646 calories in 9 minutes compared to 579 calories in 29 minutes when they ate the same meal but slowly.
That’s a 67 calories difference in 20 minutes. You can see how this can add up over time.
The women also reported that they found they were hunger an hour after eating their meal quickly compared to eating slowly.
This shows slow eating meant less but more long lasting satisfaction.
- Better hydration
The same researchers as above also concluded that drinking more water might be a key to helping us eat less during a meal. This was because the women reported that after eating slowly and consuming 14oz of water during their meal found they had less hunger and no desire to eat compared to when they ate quickly with the same amount of water during their meal.
Plus keeping hydrated has so many other benefits for our bodies we will cover another time.
It does seem eating slower can carry many benefits for better digestion, good weight maintenance and longer satisfaction from meals.
Here’s some tips to help
- Slow down and be mindful of what you are eating, pay attention to taste, textures and how you feel at the end of a meal.
- Aim to sit in a calm environment away from any distractions. Turn the TV off, put your phone on silent and avoid eating when driving.
- Ear more fruit and vegetables, they take more time to chew
- Put your utensils down between bites
- Try chewing for longer
- Set aside time to eat avoid eating on the go.
This all may feel strange to start with but take note of how you feel after. Keep a diary and see how different you feel after a week.