Not Taking time to Eat Properly



As people are getting increasingly busy, many of us do not take time to eat properly. Eating quickly can result in poor digestion, lower satisfaction, and increased weight gain. On the other hand, eating slowly has benefits including better hydration, better digestion, easier weight maintenance and greater satisfaction with your meals. Taking time to eat properly can help enjoy improved health and well-being. Eating quickly can deprive you of numerous health benefits. Following are the benefits of taking time while eating.


Sensing Satisfaction


Eating slowly allows your body to have the time that it needs to recognize that you are full. Brain can produce signal of satiety about twenty minutes after you start eating your meal. Most of us do not even eat that long. Because of eating fast, we end up eating more than what we need to feel full before brain sends signal of satiety. The extra food that we eat has extra calories, which enhances weight gain. Eating slowly is important to be able to sense satisfaction, which can help avoid overeating and is beneficial for health.


Improved Digestion


Eating slowly facilitates digestion. Digestion involves subsequent steps. When we smell or see food, we start salivating. Saliva has enzyme that helps break down food and moistens the mouth to make swallowing easier. When we start eating, subsequent digestive steps, need to be ready to function. For instance, stomach starts to release more acid and small intestine gets ready for some peristalsis and so on. When we eat quickly, subsequent digestive steps get to deal with food before they are fully prepared.


Eating quickly does not allow the food to get well processed. Digestion begins in the mouth. Foods get inadequately chewed due to large bites. It is harder for stomach to turn inadequately chewed foods into chyme. Chyme is the mixture of partially digested food, digestive enzyme, hydrochloric acid and water, which passes through the pyloric valve on its way to exit. When foods do not convert into chyme properly, it leads to indigestion and other potential GI problems.


Better Hydration


Eating slowly seems to enhance water consumption. Good hydration is important for bodily functions. It helps balance body’s fluids, improves the appearance of the skin and energizes muscles. It also helps bowels and kidneys work more efficiently. University of Rhode Island conducted a study comparing the amount of water drunk by women who ate slowly and women who ate quickly. Those who ate slowly drank more water than those who ate quickly.


Preventing Weight Gain


Slow eaters gain less weight over time than quick eaters, as found out in research on small groups and large-scale population studies. If you are trying to lose weight, it is obviously a good idea to eat slowly.


Avoiding Binge Eating


Research reveals that eating quickly is associated with binge eating. Those who eat quickly can often feel out of control of their eating behavior. Eating slowly can avoid binge eating. It can help you be in control of your eating behavior.

Following are some tips that can help you eat slowly.


Helpful Tips


  • High-fiber foods like vegetables and fruits take longer to chew. Choosing high-fiber foods can help eat slowly.
  • It’s helpful to eat in a calm environment to avoid distraction. This can help pay attention to your food. Don’t eat while watching TV, driving, texting, all of which can cause distraction and facilitate eating quickly.
  • Between bites, you can put down your utensils, take a moment and breathe. This can slow down your eating.
  • Chew foods adequately. You can set a minimum number of chews per bite. It may not feel right in the beginning, but it’ll be helpful if you give it a try.
  • Using smaller plates is helpful.
  • It may take time and practice to get used to eating slowly. So, keep on practicing rather than giving up. When you tend to rush, put your utensils down and take a minute to re-focus.
  • Take at least 20-30 minutes for each meal. Taking enough time facilitates slow eating.


Given the health benefits, it’s worth trying to eat slowly. It’s not difficult to get used to it if you try patiently and persistently.