It’s common knowledge that we should all take the time to eat more slowly. It aids digestion, hydration, weight loss and gives you a greater enjoyment from your meals – whereas if you wolf down your meals without thought, your digestion along with your overall health and wellbeing will suffer.
Most of us are too busy, rushing around and stressed – therefore sitting down in a calm environment and taking time to enjoy a meal can seem like an arduous task. Next time you sit down to eat, think about whether you’re even chewing your food properly! But if you want to improve your health and your waist line, it’s worth taking into account the following:
Shovelling food down quickly and mindlessly means that you’re almost definitely going to end up overeating and consuming more calories than you actually need to.
Eating slowly gives your body a chance to recognise when it is full. It takes around 20 minutes from the start of your meal for your brain to send out signals for you to stop! When was the last time you spent 20 minutes eating a meal? Slowing down the rate at which you consume meals will help you to eat less and therefore make weight loss easier.
Digestion begins as soon as you either smell, see or think about food! When you smell or think about food, you begin to salivate.
Your saliva contains enzymes which help break down your food. Further down the chain your stomach and intestines are also getting ready to accept and deal with your meal! If you rush through your meal, you’re forcing your body to try to do a job it simply isn’t ready for which can lead to indigestion, bloating and other digestive problems.
Studies show that another benefit of eating slowly and chewing your food properly is that you tend to drink more water with your meal this way!
Being properly hydrated not only helps with your weight loss efforts but it also helps your organs to work more efficiently, improves energy levels and helps to combat headaches. Drinking water with your meal also helps to make you feel fuller, sooner so it’s a winning cycle!
Although chewing your food properly and eating meals slowly wont be enough alone to help you reach your weight loss goals, it will definitely help you to control your portion sizes and give you greater satisfaction from your food with better satiety overall. Fast, speedy eating promotes overeating and weight gain and can lead you to feel out of control when it comes to your mealtime habits.
- Eat sat down in a calm environment
- Don’t eat when driving, texting or watching Netflix!
- Choose foods which force you to chew more - high fibre foods like fruit and veg
- Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls and enjoy the food you’re currently chewing
- Diarise your meal times! Block out at least 20 minutes for each meal and make that a time for eating only
If you struggle to slow your eating pace, practice! Eating is habitual and habits take time to change, but remember your body is important and it deserves to be looked after!