Nearly everyone is guilty of it at one point or another. Whether it is a rushed morning or a late night after a long day, most of us have sat down and devoured a meal a lot faster than we needed to. But in our fast-paced society, this habit of speed-eating might not seem like such a rarity to you. People eat while driving, while working and while watching TV. While eating, people are often distracted, in a rush and not in a mindset to think about how their body is responding to the food.
In addition to making changes to the foods that you eat, your medical weight loss program will encourage a variety of behavioral changes. The pace at which you eat is one behavioral element of your diet worth addressing.
Why Slow Down?
A 2011 study from the University of Rhode Island reported that eating slower may result in reduced food intake. The faster you eat, the bigger the bites you are prone to take and the less likely you are to chew thoroughly. As you rapidly eat your meal, it is possible you might clear your plate before your body even registers you are full. If you aren’t careful, fast eating can quickly lead to overeating.
Instead of quickly eating a meal, try slowing down the pace at which you eat. Here are a few tips to help you with this:
- Eat with company: There is a difference between distracted eating and eating with others. Dining with friends or your family is a great way to slow down your eating habits. With one serving on your plate, focus on the conversation at the table and eat your meal gradually.
- Put your fork down: In between bites, put your fork down onto the table. This will give you an opportunity to appreciate the food that is in your mouth, instead of immediately averting your attention to the next bite you plan to take.
- Chew thoroughly: Consider counting how many times you chew every bite you take. Researchers have found that those who eat fast tend to chew less. Be deliberate with your chewing motion. The longer you chew, the more you can appreciate the flavors of the food in your mouth and the slower you’ll eat.
It takes the body between 10 and 20 minutes to recognize feelings of satiety. That means that when you stop eating, it may take up to 20 minutes for your body to fully realize how full you are. While it is tempting to eat until you feel full, this habit could be causing you to consume more than your body needs. Use some of the tips above to slow down your eating habits. Making a few simple changes in your eating habits may encourage further weight loss.