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Are You a Fast Eater? Slow Down and Slim Down

By Sandy Schroeder

Look closely at the way you eat, and see if you fit today’s “gulp and go” diners. Breakfast usually speeds by in an effort to get out the door. Lunch may be quickly consumed in front of the computer, and dinner may sweep by as we field calls and handle family issues.

All in all, eating fast may subtract the pleasure from eating and increase weight.

Harvard Health supported this view, citing an observational study published online in 2018, by BMJ Open. Researchers found people who ate slowly were 42 percent less likely to be obese than people who gulped down their food. They also said it takes about 15 minutes for the “getting full” signal to kick in during eating, which means a lot of calories can be devoured before we realize it’s time to stop.

How to Slow Down

When we make an effort to slow down, and just focus on the meal, everything works better.

Chew More, Digest Better

Chewing more slowly can increase the pleasure that you get from your food, and improve digestion, according to WebMD. Chewing slowly and thoroughly activates digestive enzymes in the mouth and allows the gastric juices in the stomach to work better to make use of all of the food’s nutrients.

Savor Every Bite

Anticipating a great meal may begin with its heavenly aroma. Taking the first bite may be the best. Eat slowly and chew each mouthful to really taste the foods. The longer the food is in touch with the taste buds, the more sensations of satisfaction and fullness will be generated. Eliminating the atmosphere of haste can make even the simplest meals more enjoyable.

Give Up Multi-Task Eating

It’s easy to polish off a bag of chips or a dish of nuts when your favorite team is playing. Lunch rolls right on through when you are on deadline and you munch as you type. Dinner may go right on by when there are a lot of interruptions, or you dine alone in front of the TV.

Make Every Meal Special.

Take the time to eat a good breakfast and sit down to do it. Go out for lunch with friends, or pack a lunch and eat it outside. Shut down phones and sit down with family or friends at dinner to savor the meal. Fix your favorite recipes and spend some time just eating and talking while enjoying the evening.

Eating slowly may be a habit that takes some time to acquire. You may find yourself slipping back into the old speedy eating habits, but as you eat more slowly, more often the pleasure gained and weight lost may make it well worth the effort.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Saint Peters, Mo.

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