Your mother always told you to slow down and enjoy your food when you were young and eager to go out to play with your friends, but did you know there are actual real benefits to slow eating? Taking your time promotes better digestion, better hydration, great satisfaction with your meals, easier weight loss or maintenance. Conversely, when you eat too quickly, it can lead to digestion problems, weight gain, and makes meals less palatable and the experience of eating less pleasurable.

You’re probably wondering how you’ll ever find time to slow down and eat. With everyone in the family on different schedules, it can be incredibly tricky trying to figure out how to get from one activity to the next. How you eat is the last thing on your mind when you can’t remember when was the last time you actually had something to eat. But when you consider all the health benefits of eating slowly, it might be worth the time and effort to take your time.

When you eat too fast, besides the very real possibility that you could end up choking on your food, youre also not giving yout brain time to catch up with your food consumption and could throw your system out of balance. How do you know that you’re full if you stuff food into your mouth without thinking? The reality is slowing down your eating will help you to avoid overeating.

In order for your body to achieve a sensation of fullness, two things have to happen. One is the hormones that signal to your stomach that you are full must spring into action. The other is that the stretch receptors in your stomach have to expand fully.

 

If neither of those factors occur, your body (brain) has no idea that it’s reached its maximum capacity.

 

If those factors become faulty (i.e., when ingesting food at rapid speed), you invite the overconsumption of calories and create unnecessary digestion issues. These issues lead to gas, indigestion, weight gain, bloating, cramps, and a host of other issues. Long-term it can lead to significant weight gain.

If those factors become faulty (i.e., when ingesting food at rapid speed), you invite the overconsumption of calories and create unnecessary digestion issues. These issues lead to gas, indigestion, weight gain, bloating, cramps, and a host of other issues. Long-term it can lead to significant weight gain.

Eating too quickly also doesn’t allow enough time for your stomach to fully digest the food. Food can become lodged in your stomach, or even worse, can be aspirated in the lungs.

Eating slower eliminates many if not all of those risks. It allows you time to thoroughly enjoy your meal and get all the proper benefits of eating better for your waistline and your stomach. Take the time to savor every bite and thoroughly enjoy a good meal.

Take in the atmosphere and avoid unnecessary distractions. Slow down, have a pleasant conversation, relish in the moment, pay attention to your tablemates, and know that what you’re doing will not only make your stomach feel good, it gives you much-needed respite in your busy life.

 

By Vanessa Jackson