How to slow down while eating
DON’T FEEL BAD ABOUT A LONG LUNCH – IT COULD BE THE HEALTHIEST WAY TO EAT
Eat slowly, get thin – it sounds so simple but chewing food properly is something we tend to neglect. A number of studies have now been done on the topic and the message is clear, we need to take our time.
Researchers at Japan’s Kyushu University found slow eaters were 42 per cent less likely to be overweight than fast eaters and normal speed eaters had a 29 per cent lower risk of being overweight.
University of Rhode Island researchers found slow eaters consumed 57g of food per minute, medium speed eaters consumed 71g, and fast eaters consumed 88g. Fast eaters also took larger bites and chewed less before swallowing.
A 2011 study suggested pistachio eaters who ate unshelled nuts consumed 41 per cent less than those who ate shelled ones, but felt just as full.
In short, those who savour their food are less likely to be overweight than fast eaters.
So how do we break the habit and mindfully regard what’s on our fork? It’s all to do with signals to the brain – studies show it takes up to 20 minutes for us to register we’re full, so people who overeat tend to eat too quickly. By chewing we also increase blood flow to the brain and therefore stimulate it.
Your dentist will thank you for it, too – chewing produces saliva, which washes away food and bacteria left in our mouths. Food particles that aren’t broken down properly can cause bacterial overgrowth in the colon – which leads to bloating, indigestion and constipation.
So rather than guzzling our food as fast as we can, it’s suggested hard foods such as meats and vegetables should be chewed 20 to 30 times while soft fruits can be chewed around five to 10 times.
Try our ‘go slow’ tricks in the toolkit below.