When it comes to the way we eat, slower is better. Here's why...
When we eat slowly, we digest better and get more pleasure out of food. Eating slower also helps us to feel more satisfied and it can also help with weight management. It takes around 20 minutes for food to reach the stomach. Eat too fast and we risk overeating by missing the signs that our body sends to tell us it is full. Rushing meals can mean our digestion suffers. It might seem like each meal is over too soon, which often makes us want to eat more.
Want to slow down your eating? These handy tips from precision nutrition.com are a good place to start.
- Sit down to eat in a calm environment with minimal distractions. Don’t eat while driving, while watching TV, while texting, etc. Pay attention to your food.
- Choose high-fiber foods that take more time to chew, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Put down your utensils between bites. Take a moment. Breathe. If you’re eating with other people, enjoy making witty conversation for a few minutes.
- Try setting a minimum number of chews per bite. This will feel strange at first, but give it a try and see what you discover.
- Use smaller plates or different utensils (such as chopsticks).
- If you find yourself rushing, that’s OK. Put your utensils down and take a minute to re-focus. If slow eating isn’t habitual for you, this will take practice.
- Find another slow eater and pace yourselves to them. Picky little kids and chatty dinner companions who hardly stop talking long enough to take a bite are often ideal for this.
- Set aside time to eat – at least 20-30 minutes for each meal, and preferably even longer at dinner. Don’t just eat “whenever you get around to it” or treat it as an inconvenience. You’re fueling your body and maybe spending quality time with friends and family. That’s important. It deserves an appointment.
Need more of a hand to slow down your eating? Believe it or not there’s an iPhone app for that – check out Eat Slowly – featuring a timer that trains you to chew more and savour what you eat.