The average American spends just 11 minutes on eating a meal… Let that number sink in… Most American’s spend more time picking their next Netflix series than they do eating.
It’s time we SLOW THE FORK DOWN and begin eating food more slowly. You don’t have to just shovel food in your face hole in a frenzy and then jump right back into your busy day… Learning to EAT MORE SLOWLY is actually one of the simplest yet most powerful things you can do to improve your overall health. So go ahead, put that phone down or turn that TV off for 30 minutes. Take the time to really appreciate the flavors of your meal and savor every bite.
It takes at least 20 minutes from the start a meal for the brain to recognize the sensation of “being full”. When we eat slowly, we are allowing our natural physiology to regulate the amount we eat, which prevents overconsumption and excess, unneeded calories. Numerous studies support that eating slowly can be an important factor in weight loss or weight maintenance. In addition, eating more slowly allows for better digestion and improved nutrient absorption, meaning what we eat can be used by our muscles and cells to a higher degree. Eating in slower fashion can even result in improved feelings of fullness and meal satisfaction for hours after eating
Meanwhile, the opposite is also true. Eating quickly leads to poor digestion, increased weight gain, and lower overall satisfaction with your meals.
Here are some tips to help you slow down during your meals:
- Sit down to eat in a calm environment with minimal distractions. Don’t eat while driving, while watching TV, while texting, etc. Pay attention to your food.
- Choose high-fiber foods that take more time to chew.
- Put down your utensils between bites. Take a moment. Breathe. If you’re eating with other people, enjoy making witty conversation for a few minutes.
- Try setting a minimum number of chews per bite. This will feel strange at first, but give it a try and see what you discover.
- Use smaller plates or different utensils (such as chopsticks).
- Set aside time to eat – at least 20-30 minutes for each meal, and preferably even longer at dinner. Don’t just eat “whenever you get around to it” or treat it as an inconvenience. You’re fueling your body and maybe spending quality time with friends and family. That’s important. It deserves an appointment
It’s simple: Slow down your eating and improve your health!