By Katy Peterson
Eating slowly is a great habit to get into! It takes about 20 minutes from the start of your meal for your brain to send out satiety signals and hormones that tell you that you are full and no longer need to eat. If we eat too quickly, we completely miss these cues. You are very likely to have finished your meal (and have eaten too much) before you realize you’re full. You may even be tempted to go back for seconds or dessert.
Eating slowly can provide us with great benefits at very little effort cost including:
- Better digestion and less GI problems
- People who eat slowly tend to be less overweight in general and gain less weight overtime
- More satisfied and increased feelings of fullness after you eat a meal
- Less cravings and less likely to eat as frequently
- More likely to maintain or decrease portion sizes
- Reduces the amount of calories you eat in general (which can lead to weight loss or better weight management)
Ways to Eat Slowly:
- Set time aside to eat – Create real eating time where all you do is eat – no distractions, no rush.
- Do something in between bites – pet the dog, take a sip of water, take a breath (or 3).
- Avoid distractions – Avoid eating in front of the TV, your computer, while on the phone, etc.
- Add just one minute – Start small, and add 1, then 2, then 3 minutes. Set the clock or use an app like ’20-Minute Eating’ to time yourself.
- Chew more thoroughly – Chew your food around 30 times and eat more solid foods that require more chewing. Minimally processed foods take more effort – and time – to eat.
- Put down your utensil – put the fork down in between each bite. Sit back, breath, drink, talk.
- Be more social – Engage in discussion and build better relationships. Be mindful of how others positively or negatively impact your eating speed.
Eating slowly can be a habit that can help you improve portion control, manage emotional eating, and feel more satisfied with what you eat. Don’t be hard on yourself: If you forget to slow down during one meal, no biggie. Just slow down next time, and notice what happens. Give it a try and let us know if you notice a difference!
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