The benefits of eating more slowly


Eating more slowly has several positive effects on our health, including enhanced digestion and hydration, less hunger between meals, the reduced effort required to lose or maintain weight, and higher levels of overall meal pleasure. Conversely, eating too quickly is associated with a decline in digestive function, a rise in body weight, and a decrease in overall enjoyment. The takeaway is simple: Eating more slowly has been linked to better health and happiness.

Slow eating aids digestion. Better weight loss or maintenance is possible for you. However, you are also experiencing an increase in satiety after each meal.

In contrast, digestion issues arise when meals are rushed. Stressful situations often arise at mealtimes. As a result, you may feel the need to snack between meals. There’s also the risk that you’ll “overshoot the runway,” or finish eating before your body’s fullness signals kick in, leading to an uncomfortable feeling of bloat.

Importance of eating slowly

We live in a fast-paced, multitasking culture where everyone is always on the go. The standard mealtime in North America is marked by a rapid pace of eating. Most of the time, we don’t even bother to chew our meal well before swallowing.

Feeling Satisfied

Eating slowly allows your body time to signal fullness, which is one of the most essential benefits.

Twenty minutes after beginning a meal, the brain begins sending out signals of fullness. A typical dinner isn’t even eaten that slowly!

Consider the additional calories you may consume if you didn’t give your body a chance to tell you it was full. Envision how your weight might change if you ate that much more. The feeling of fullness is different from the feeling of satisfaction we get from eating slowly.

Savoring a meal, paying attention to its various flavors and textures, and appreciating each bite leaves you with a wonderful feeling within. even if you only ate a baloney sandwich.

Better digestion

Eating slowly also aids digestion.

Consider digestion to be a chain reaction. We begin salivating as soon as we sight, smell, or think about food (step 1) in order to prepare for putting that meal in our mouth (step 2). Saliva includes enzymes that break down food and moistens the mouth to make swallowing easier.

Meanwhile, digestive steps 3, 4, 5, and so on must get to work. Our stomachs begin to produce more acid. Our small intestine begins to prepare for peristalsis. So on and so forth.

We force our GI tract to cope with things before it is fully equipped if we accelerate this process. Surprises are fun on birthdays, but not so much during digestion.

Researchers at the University of Rhode Island observed 60 young individuals eating a meal to see how eating speed affected the early phases of digestive processes.

  1. Slow eaters ate 2 ounces of food every minute.
  2. Eaters at a medium speed consumed 2.5 ounces of food every minute.
  3. Eaters who tend to eat quickly consumed 3.1 ounces each minute.
    In addition, they take larger chunks and chew less before they swallow.

Fast food consumers not only consume more food in the same amount of time, but their food is also less processed.

Small, well-chew bites are easier for the stomach to break down into chyme, the liquid mixture of partially digested food, hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, and water that travels through the pyloric valve on the way to elimination, than large, poorly-chew bites.

Indigestion and other gastrointestinal issues might occur if food isn’t fully digested and converted into chyme. And why would you want to?

Improved Hydration

Hydration has many benefits, including keeping fluid levels stable, giving muscles energy, aiding in bowel and kidney function, and making skin look better. A possible upside of taking one’s time while eating is that it causes one to drink more water while doing so.

In reality, the amount of water consumed was compared in that same study from the University of Rhode Island. In contrast, when the women took their time eating, they drank 409 mL (approximately 14 oz) of water. Water consumption dropped to just 289 mL (9.7 oz) when they ate rapidly.

These kinds of findings have prompted some researchers to speculate that upping one’s water intake might be the key to feeling full for longer.

This hypothesis was tested by scientists at the University of Rhode Island. (As you may have noticed by now, URI is particularly invested in studies of slow eating.) For this variant of the lunchtime trial, they ensured that participants drank the same amount of water at each meal.

The women in this study ate about the same amount of food regardless of how slowly or rapidly they ate. Also, they rated their hunger in the same way both before and after eating.

One hour after eating, those who took their time to enjoy their food reported feeling more full and less hungry than those who rushed through their meals.

The study’s authors concluded that increasing water intake could be the answer to reducing mealtime hunger.

However, research suggests that eating at a slower pace can help curb appetite and increase feelings of fullness between meals.

Is it truly unhealthy to eat fast?

If you want to lose weight, eating more slowly will help you limit your portions and feel better after eating less.

Meanwhile, there is a consensus among studies that eating fast leads to weight increase and a sense of helplessness about one’s dietary choices.

Gaining weight

Multiple studies, both of vast populations and of more specific subsets (such as firefighters) who regularly consume big amounts of food in a short amount of time, have found that fast eaters are more likely to put on weight than slow eaters.

You should take it easy if you want to lose or maintain your weight.

Eating disorders and rapid eating

A strong desire to consume as much food as possible as quickly as possible is familiar to anyone who has ever had a binge episode. Fast eating speed has been identified as a characteristic of binge eating.

Those who struggle with compulsive eating typically report feeling helpless in the face of their obsessive eating. They experience feelings of guilt, humiliation, and remorse after bingeing or other episodes of excessive eating.

Even if you don’t feel ready to stop eating right away, that’s fine. Most people, however, are able to control their speed even while the binge demons are yelling.

It’s like when you’re daydreaming and someone calls your name to bring you back to the present.

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