How do you eat your meals? Like a ravenous wolf who hasn’t eaten in a week? Or like a cow taking it’s time to really “chew the cud”?
It’s obvious that in our culture we lead fast paced lives. We have multiple things going on at once and it seems we take pride in our ability to multitask. And when it comes to getting the nutrition we need, why not do it on the run and save time?
I think most people realize deep down that it’s probably not the best habit to eat quickly and gobble down your food. Well, below is some “food for thought” on the benefits of slowing down.
Eat Slower, Lose Weight
A growing number of studies are finding out the same thing. Eat slower and you’ll consume less calories and feel full longer. You will naturally eat smaller portions. It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to recognize that you are full and send the signal of satiety or fullness.
Enjoy Your Food More
This may be the most impactful reason. We all know we have to eat, so why not take time to enjoy it? Taste your food! Savor it! Eating slower enhances the pleasure of the dining experience.
Think of digestion as a chain reaction. If we are hungry, smell something good, or are even thinking about food, we start to salivate, then the stomach begins to produce more acid in preparation, and so on. If we rush this process, we force our digestive system to deal with the food before it is ready. The digestive process requires a lot of energy so help it out by slowing down the process so it can efficiently do it’s job.
A study at the University of Rhode Island found that when the subjects ate slowly, they consumed more water. Those that ate quickly drank significantly less water. Water helps you to fill you up and feel satisfied longer.
When you take the time to just eat and enjoy your meal, it’s a relaxing experience. Being in the moment and taking pleasure in eating during your busy day is a good thing and can relieve some stress of the day.
I recommend taking at least one “sit-down” meal a day and enjoying it with your family. Enjoy some conversation and maybe play some soft music in the background. The whole family eating dinner together on a daily basis can be a time of bonding and is a lost pastime in our modern society.
So to sum up, you can “have your cake and eat it too”…just be sure to eat it slowly! 😉