Five Tips for Eating More Slowly

Photo credit: madlyinlovewithlife / Flickr
Photo credit: madlyinlovewithlife / Flickr

In this hurried day and age, most people eat too fast. Not only can eating too fast lead to a bad case of indigestion, it also promotes weight gain by increasing the number of calories you take in. Whether you do it to avoid intestinal upset or to trim down your waistline, take the time to eat more slowly. Here’s how.

1. Use chopsticks.

To eat more slowly, ditch the fork and knife and pick up a pair of chopsticks instead. It’s more difficult to eat fast with chopstick since you’re forced to pick up smaller bites. Have you ever noticed how slim the Japanese are? Maybe it’s because they use chopsticks instead of a fork. Maybe you should too.

2. Eliminate distractions when you eat.

Studies have shown that people take in more overall calories when they eat while reading or watching television. Set aside a quite place to dine and concentrate completely on eating rather than on what’s happening on your favorite soap opera. Enjoy the sight and smells of the food you’re taking in – engage all of your senses. It’s too easy to get caught up in a movie plot and lose track of how much you’re actually putting in your mouth.

3. Really chew your food.

To eat more slowly, concentrate on really chewing your food. Most people chew for less than fifteen seconds before swallowing. Put a timer in front of you and concentrate on chewing each bite for no less than thirty seconds. Do it until it becomes second nature. The reward? You’ll end up eating fewer calories.

4. Don’t eat on the run.

Many Americans are in the habit of eating while they drive. Not only does this create road menaces, but it leads to indigestion and weight gain. Eating on the road is almost never satisfying, so you end up eating again later. Make it a point not to dine until you have time to sit down and eat slowly.

5. Put down your utensils periodically.

To eat more slowly, stop periodically and place your fork (or chopsticks) on the table. Wait a few minutes and ask yourself if you’re still hungry. Most people eat long past the point of satiety because they don’t listen to their brain signals. Use rest breaks to decide whether or not you’re really still hungry.

Stop rushing through your meals and learn to eat more slowly. It’ll pay off with a slimmer waistline and less indigestion.

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