Are you a speedy eater?
Are you a fast, moderate or slow eater?
But wait, do you even know long it should take to eat a meal?
Actually, it’s more like 20 minutes!
Alright, so how long you take really depends on what you’re eating – the texture (i.e. soup vs steak), amount served etc – so it’s not possible to have a hard and fast ‘time target’ for any meal, but 20 minutes is a pretty good guide
Why is eating speed so important?
1. Your ability to sense when you are full is a result of your brain reacting to chemicals which are released when you put food or drink in your stomach.
However, your brain takes around 20 minutes to register these chemicals.
So if you scoff down your meal in less than ten minutes, you may not realize how much you have actually eaten.
You may go for seconds, or eat something else thinking you are still hungry.
And end up eating more than you body actually wants or needs.
This is overeating.
And overeating can quickly lead to weight gain
As well as feeling bloated and uncomfortable
2. If you eat too fast, you will fail to notice what you ate.
Do you remember what it tasted like?
Do you even remember eating it?
Not truly experiencing what you eat will affect the pleasure you get from eating food.
And pleasure helps us to register when we are full.
Meaning your tummy may feel full, but your head is asking for more food – it hasn’t been satisfied!
Which can lead to overeating and, yep, you guessed it – weight gain
3. You most likely did not chew your food properly, which along with eating too quickly can cause issues with digestion.
We’re talking symptoms like reflux and indigestion – a feeling that you aren’t digesting your food properly – or like you have a ‘lump’ in your tummy after eating.
When this happens, eating is no longer pleasurable. It’s painful 🙁
So if you are a speedy eater, its time to S-L-O-W… D-O-W-N
HOW do you slow down?
Here are some tips that you will hopefully find very helpful…
1. Prioritise time to eat.
Schedule it into your diary if necessary. Allow at least 20 minutes, but half an hour is even better so that you don’t feel the need to rush.
2. When it’s time to eat, EAT!
Turn off or get rid of distractions like phones, computers and TV. Instead perhaps turn on some lovely relaxing music and even dim the lights and light a candle (this may be best done at home, not in the office!) If you are at work, perhaps there is a park nearby you can escape to where you can enjoy nature while you nourish your body.
3. If you are eating with others, pace yourself with the slowest eater.
Often there is at least one in the family. If nobody eats slowly, still make sure you do!
4. Check out what is on your plate before you dive in.
Pay attention. Get excited. Take small bites, taste your food. Let your brain be fully present when you eat.
5. Put your knife and fork down between bites!
Relax. Breathe deeply before picking them up again for your next bite.