Are you a speed eater?
In today’s fast paced world there’s a good chance you are.
Do you gobble down breakfast on the way out the door?
Do you scarf down lunch at your desk in between answering emails and fielding phone calls?
Do you devour dinner before anyone else is halfway finished?
Many of us are concerned about what we eat.
But the truth is, the most nutritious food in the world can’t offset the damage done from eating under stressful conditions day in and day out.
Why Eat Slower?
If you are a fast eater, it’s time to slide into the slow lane. Why? Well, first, because speed eating isn’t satisfying to your body, mind, or spirit. And because eating too fast can cause a lot of health problems including:
- Upset stomach
- Gas & bloating
- Slowed digestion & metabolism
- Weight gain
Benefits of Eating Slower?
There are lots of benefits to slowing down and savoring your food. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. Faster metabolism. The slower you eat, the faster your metabolism. By slowing down your digestion will be better and you will burn more calories. That’s enough reason for me to want to join the Slow Food Movement!
2. Better digestion. When you eat more slowly you will chew your food better which will make it easier for your stomach and small intestine to do their jobs. This will lead to less digestive upset, better absorption of nutrients, and improved overall health.
3. Weight loss. You may have heard that it takes a full 20 minutes for your stomach to realize its had enough food and send signals back to your brain to stop eating. If you eat quickly it’s easy to eat far more food than you need before you get the signal that you’ve had enough. So slowing down can naturally lead to eating less which can lead to painless weight loss.
4. More pleasure. If you are a food lover like me, slowing down helps you receive more pleasure from the whole dining experience. You take time to really see, smell, taste, and experience what you are eating. It can naturally lead you to be more discerning too. When you slow down, you may find that foods you thought you loved really aren’t that appealing.
Ways to Eat More Slowly
Are you ready to give eating slower a try? Here are some suggestions to get you started. As a former speed eater now in recovery, I can attest that they work.
1. Breathe. Breathing during meals is a great way to help you practice slow relaxed eating. At least 3 times during your meal, pause and take several relaxed, luxurious, slow deep breaths. I like to do this when I first sit down to switch out of the activity of “cooking” mode into a more relaxed “dining” mode. Do this a few more times during your meal.
2. Eat in a relaxed environment. Turn off the television and step away from the computer. If you can, light a candle and play soothing music. Serve your food in the kitchen instead of family-style, so you don’t automatically take second helpings. Engage in positive, uplifting conversation. Take a few minutes to relax and check in with your body before you pick up the fork and dive into the food.
3. Savor the flavors. Our ability to taste flavors decreases after the third or fourth taste. So try to really pay attention to the first one or two bites. That’s where the biggest flavor is experienced. Chew slowly and savor each bite. Try putting your fork down between bites to slow yourself down a little more.
4. Try chopsticks. Don’t save them just for Chinese food. This won’t work if you are great with chopsticks, but if you find them a little awkward, like I do, eating with them can be a fun way to eat slower.