How many of us catch our selves telling our children to "clean their plate" or "finish all your food if you want..dessert..to get up...you fill in the blank.. This bad habit we teach our children daily is leading to the obesity epidemic in our country.
How long does it take you to finish a meal? Is it 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or more? According to health experts, eating slowly can accelerate weight loss and improve digestion. It also increases satiety and keeps hunger at bay for longer. People who eat quickly find it hard to slim down and feel hungry shortly after finishing their meal.
Still have doubts? Let's find out more about the benefits of eating slowly!
How Eating More Slowly Can Benefit Your Health
In today's fast-paced world, most people eat their food quickly and then get back to work or go out. This mistake can ruin your metabolism and cause weight gain in the long run. A growing body of research indicates that slower eating is the key to a healthy body weight. It appears that fast eaters tend to be heavier than those who take the time to enjoy their meal. They are actually up to 115 percent more likely to become obese later in life.
A recent study conducted on 4,000 middle-aged people has found that those who ate fast gained the most weight since age 20. This bad habit increases stress, triggers weight gain, and affects digestion. Eating slowly, on the other hand, makes it easier to control your appetite and keeps your digestive system running smoothly.
The explanation is quite simple. Research shows that it takes the brain about 20 minutes to realize that your stomach is full. If you eat too quickly, your brain won't receive satiety signals from the gut. As a result, you'll feel hungry despite eating well. Additionally, fast eating puts stress on your digestive system.
Other studies have shown that people with a normal body mass index (BMI) tend to chew their food more slowly than who are obese or overweight. Prolonged chewing keeps your blood sugar levels stable, prevents diabetes, and makes it easier for your body to absorb and break down the nutrients in food. The more you chew, the fewer nutrients are lost. Eating slowly also helps regulate satiety hormones and decrease overall food intake. Fast eating and eating until full triples your risk of becoming obese and can mess up the regulation of your hormones.
Learn to Enjoy Your Food
The benefits of eating slowly go beyond better health. After all, eating is an enjoyable activity that allows you to socialize, and interact, and spend time with your friends. Food and social interaction are strongly connected. Research indicates that both men and women tend to eat less in social situations. Women consume fewer calories when they're eating with men. Additionally, most people tend to consume as much food as they see others eating.
When you eat slowly, you enjoy your food more. This allows you to experience new flavors and turn every meal into a pleasant activity. Prolonged chewing also keeps bacteria and other pathogens from entering your gut on large food particles. On top of that, it helps prevent plaque buildup, strengthens your teeth and jaw, and activates taste receptors allowing for a more enjoyable experience. If you want to stay fit and healthy, take the time to enjoy every bite. Food, when approached with a healthy mind set, is your friend!