You may read this and think this entire post was inspired by this cute little sign. However, the importance of eating slow is actually one of the first things that I teach my nutrition clients. I always ask them to focus on eating slowly and stopping when they are 80% full. There are so many benefits to eating slow. A few are, greater satisfaction with our meals, easier weight loss or maintenance, better digestion, and better hydration. Details on each of these are listed below.
-Greater satisfaction: Everything in our world is fast paced. It’s no wonder that we feel that same way at meal time. However, this should be the one time that you can slow down and enjoy. Most meals should last about 20 minutes, I would bet that most our meals don’t even last 5. If you rush a meal you may feel like it is over too quickly and will end up wanting more food and feel unsatisfied. Try to slow yourself down by tasting the flavors and feeling the textures of the food you are eating and enjoy the company that you are with.
-Easier weight loss or maintenance: As mentioned above, most meals should be about 20 minutes long. That is also about how long it takes your body to realize that it is full and send signals to the brain to stop eating. If you eat all of your food in 5 minutes think about how many extra calories you may have unnecessarily consumed. Women who eat quickly consume 646 calories in 9 min. Women who eat slowly consumed 579 calories in 29 minutes. That doesn’t seem like a lot but think about how the calories can add up over 3-5 meals a day. Try to set your utensils down in between each bite to try to slow yourself down.
-Better Digestion: When you eat quickly you take larger bites which are harder to digest. Conversely when you eat slowly and chew your food throughly you are aiding in the digestion process. Try setting a minimum number of chews per bite. This will help slow you down and again help with digestion.
-Better Hydration: Studies have shown that people who eat slower consume more water during meal times. This leads to better hydration. There is also a correlation between drinking water and feeling full longer. Try taking a sip of water in between each bite.
Learning to eat slowly is one of the most important things you can do to improve your over all health. Take time to stop and TASTE the roses.
*All statistics and studies came from Precision Nutrition
Madison Murray is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, certified functional strength coach, and a certified sports and exercise nutrition coach. For more information visit www.MadFitAz.com or check her out on instagram @mmmadisonmurray