Remember how our elders would always tell us to chew our food slowly? Well, it turns out that nutritional experts agree with their point of view. While the food you consume is of paramount importance, the speed at which you eat it can have a major influence on your health too. This news may come as a surprise to you so keep reading on to understand why researchers say that eating slow is the best way to go.
Slow Down, What’s the Rush?
Did you know that you facilitate your weight maintenance and weight loss efforts by eating slowly? That’s right. After numerous experiments researchers found that slow eaters were more likely to consume fewer calories because the act of chewing food in a leisurely manner makes the eater feel full much faster. In comparison, a fast eater tends to chew food in a hurried fashion and ends up consuming a high number of calories. A fast eater also feels the need to eat more than a slow eater to get that same feeling of satiation.
Experts explain that it takes 20 minutes from the time you start eating for the brain to send out signals of fullness. If you are someone who enjoys his/her meal in an unhurried fashion, you have ample time to react to the signals transmitted by the brain. If you tend to gobble your food, however, you will already have consumed much more than you require before you start feeling full.
Interestingly, the study found that slow eaters consumed up to 2 ounces per minute while fast eaters could eat an estimated 3 ounces per minute or more. The researchers also observed that the speed of eating varied considerably between the two genders. During the course of the study, the male participants consumed 80 calories per minute on average, while the female participants consumed only 50 calories per minute on average. Men, as suggested by this study, eat faster than women.
The study highlighted another interesting finding: it seems that the type of food being consumed also affects the speed of consumption. For instance, whole grain food products were consumed much more slowly than refined and processed food items. This trend is also attributed to the fact that whole grain foods are rich in fiber, which makes them chewier. You would tend to naturally slow down while eating chewy foods because it takes more effort to break them down into smaller, easy-to-swallow pieces.
You Can Become A Slow Eater Too!
Eating slowly can be quite challenging especially if you’re not accustomed to it. Your daily schedule may be booked completely and you may always be pressed for time, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to develop leisurely eating habits.
Make it a habit to have regular meals. While the trend is to have three main meals per day, experts suggest 5 smaller meals spaced out at regular intervals throughout the day. It takes four hours for your brain to start transmitting hunger signals after a meal. When you eat food to quell these hunger pangs you tend to eat faster and in a greater quantity than you require. Mini meals help to eradicate this problem. Another way to slow your pace down is to actually enjoy the flavor and texture of the meal instead of wolfing it down without relishing the taste.
Developing this habit may take time but if you’re concerned about staying physically fit or reducing your waistline, then slow is definitely the way to go.