Slowing Down

Overeating makes you overweight, and eating too fast is a big reason people overeat. When you eat, the food travels into your stomach fairly quickly. But it takes a full 20 minutes for your stomach to notice it’s full, and to send that signal to your brain. In that time you are still feeling hungry, and the tendency is to overeat.

Eating slower improves your health and happiness in several ways. It makes you less likely to dive in for seconds, and less food in your stomach makes digestion easier. Plus, when you eat slower you can actually taste the food.

If you are prone to speed eating, there are a few tips you can try to slow down.

  • Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals is a common precursor to eating too fast.

  • When you eat, sit at a table with a plate, napkin, and utensils. Don’t eat while watching TV, and don’t cram food into your mouth over the sink.

  • Eat one forkful at a time, and put the fork down until the food is swallowed.

  • Take sips of your beverage between each bite, and wipe with a napkin. Not only will you eat slower, but your improved manners will impress your friends and family.

  • Make meals, especially dinner, a social event to share. Enjoy a conversation.

Eating is refueling, but it is also an important communal activity. It is especially important to show this aspect of mealtime to children. Teaching them to slow down, use manners, and enjoy the company at the table is an important lesson that will benefit them as they get older.

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