Published by Dan Jones on 15th June 2016
How Eating Slower Can Help You Lose Weight
Do you ever find yourself eating whilst playing with your phone or working? Do you ever finish a meal only to realise you hardly took any notice of what you were eating? If so, you’re not alone. Modern society has seen everything in our lives speed up. We want instant gratification. We’re always in a rush. But this unconscious need for speed can be disastrous for our eating habits and our health.
Watch people eating around you. When you pay attention you can see how fast people really eat. This situation tends to be made worse when eating is combined with distractions such as watching TV, working, or playing on a phone. When you’re distracted whilst you eat, it’s all too easy to pay very little attention to the taste of each mouthful and at the pace you are eating. Quite frankly that’s a waste of good tasting food and the enjoyment of eating!
The Benefits of Eating Slowly
When you eat slowly, you become much better at recognising when you are full. I recommend you stop eating when you feel about 80% full, as it takes the brain 20 minutes to recognise how much you have eaten.
When you eat quickly, your brain doesn’t have the chance to process how full you feel. If you have finished a meal, but still feel hungry, wait for 20 minutes for your brain to catch up. If after the 20 minutes you are still hungry, you may need to eat more. But more often than not after this 20-minute period your brain will recognise what you have eaten and you will receive the feelings of fullness and satiety.
People who eat slowly consume less calories and tend to feel fuller for longer. By simply making an effort to take your time when you eat, you will naturally eat less, and over time you will lose weight.
As well developing better awareness of your satiety signals, eating slowly and chewing your food is also beneficial for digestion. When the food you eat has been chewed well, you assist the digestive process. This will promote better digestion and will help you absorb nutrients more effectively.
So slow down, savour every mouthful and watch your digestion improve and your waistline shrink!
Tips for Slowing Down
1. Put down your knife and fork between each mouthful
2. Count how many times you normally chew a mouthful and aim to double it
3. Don’t eat and work at the same time
4. Avoid watching TV whilst eating
5. Don’t use your phone whilst eating
6. Concentrate on the flavours of each mouthful
7. Make friends and family who you eat with aware about the importance of eating slowly – this way you won’t have to try to keep up with them