The faster you eat the more calories you consume
How fast do you eat?
Did you know that people who eat fast actually consume 50% more food that those of us who eat slower.
This is because fast eaters take bigger mouthfuls and don’t chew their food properly. The gut then has problems digesting so much food so quickly and leads to heartburn, reflux and being overfull.
How fast you eat can be influenced by different factors including if you are eating with slow or fast easters, how hungry you think you feel, if you have things to do after.
Speed eating probably wouldn’t be so much of an issue if we didn’t have such easy access to far too much food.
Early mankind possibly wolfed down his quarry in extreme hunger but that was after he hunted it, prepared the fire to cook it and shared it with his village knowing there was no more food until the next hunt or gathering.
Today, the hungry hunter gatherer in us is still strong but our quarry takes no effort to gather and consume, plus there’s plenty more on the shelves. A combination for eating too much too quickly, too easily.
We could try to blame being time-poor but if you set the alarm to get up 5 minutes earlier and you get 30 minutes for lunch then there’s no need to rush the food down.
If you’re always first to finish regardless of what the meal is, slow down. Plan to extend the time taken to finish by at least 5 minute.
For some people, it’s not the duration of the single meal but rather how long between courses that matters more. Wait about 20 minutes before you choose whether to have more.
Eating a meal should take you at least 20 minutes!! This is so the hormone ghrelin has chance to kick in and tell your brain when you are satisfied so you don’t over eat.
Tips to slow down the speed eater
Find the slowest eater at the table and mirror that person’s pace. Watch and mirror their every move including how much food they load on their utensils, when they put the utensils down, and the pace they lift the fork or spoon to the mouth.
🔸Add conversation to the table and apply the etiquette of not talking with your mouthful.
🔸Avoid eating with people you’d rather not be with.
🔸Find a relaxing place to dine at rather than in a food court or at your desk.
🔸Send your computer, phone or mobile tablet to sleep to avoid sudden txt, sms, phone and email interruptions that demand a quick swallow and hastened reply.
🔸Dim the lighting. Perhaps use candles at night to create a relaxed feel.
🔸Program your smart phone to timer mode or metronome beat and set your eating pace to match a preset slow interval.
🔸Don’t automatically buy a sweet finish when you buy lunch. Eat the savoury part of lunch slowly. Then walk away and wait until the very end of your lunch break to decide whether you are still truly hungry for something more.
🔸Don’t set your heart on dessert or cheese platter the minute you look at a restaurant’s menu and don’t order it as soon as the wait-staff clean away the main course plates. Wait at least 10 minutes – with a bit of luck, they will be equally slow at delivering the final course. By then, your brain may have had enough time to ‘see’ how full the stomach feels.
🔸Put utensils down between each mouthful. This popular recommendation is hard to keep doing because hold habits die hard. A ready-loaded fork is an entrenched and automatic habit so practice, practice, practice or shift to toddler sized utensils or swap to chopsticks used in the wrong hand.
Try and follow these simple rules:
- Eat slowly
- Eat in a relaxed environment
- Allow 20 minutes to eat each meal
- Eat at a table
- Eat until you are 80% full
You will enjoy your meals more and avoid the feeling of being stuffed and uncomfortable at the end of you meal – and most likely eat less calories on a more consistent basis