Do you chew your food or are you that hungry when you come to eat you inhale it in 3 mins?
Maybe you don’t have the time to sit down and eat, it is either a desk lunch mid-work or eating on the run.
Paying attention to how you eat and the speed you eat can be a game-changer for your weight loss, and health overall.
When you eat slowly it gives your body enough time to recognise that you are full. If you take 3 minutes to eat your meal you are risking over eating because the signals from your stomach haven’t reached your brain to tell it you are satiated. You then overeat, feel uncomfortably overfull, and have most likely consumed a higher amount of calories.
Eating slowly improves your digestion.
Your digestion starts in the mouth with chewing your food. If you don’t chew your food thoroughly your stomach has a really hard job breaking the food particles down to be sent into your gut. This can lead to many things including indigestion and other gastrointestinal issues.
It can also affect your sleep, ever had a late meal before bed and then couldn’t sleep or had a disrupted sleep? Your stomach is still working hard when you are trying to rest, a poor night's sleep then has a knock-on effect the next day which can lead to poorer food choices - it is all connected!
Eating slowly helps you eat less - helpful if you are trying to be in a calorie deficit for fat loss. Not only at the time of eating but also an hour after eating. Evidence proves that those that ate their lunch quicker were more hungry an hour later and less satisfied with their meal.
Eating slowly enables you to be more in control of your eating habits. If you have binged before on foods you could end up feeling guilty or that food controls you. By slowing down, you are controlling how and when you are eating.
Some tips on how to slow down and improve your health or fat loss goals:
- Sit down to eat with minimal distractions - not watching tv, or driving, or on your phone. Pay attention to your food.
- Choose fibre dense foods that you need to chew - lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Try a minimum amount of chews per bite - did you know we should be chewing up to 20 times? Try it!
- Put down your utensils between bites - take a minute, breathe or talk.
- Set aside time to eat - set a timer and take the time to eat your meal, at least 20 - 30 mins.
This is why families sitting around the table enjoying a meal with conversation is part of a healthy lifestyle.
If you don’t have the environment to sit down for a meal, challenge yourself with a friend, or set your timer to slow yourself down, get away from your desk stop and sit wherever you are, and taste your food.
“Learning how to eat more slowly is one of the simplest yet most powerful things you can do to improve your overall health”