Many people have busy schedules that don’t allow them the luxury of sitting down to a leisurely meal. Instead, they grab something fast from a drive-through window – or scarf down a brown bag lunch before returning to their to-do list. Not only does eating too fast lead to indigestion, it also contributes to weight gain – and the growing problem of obesity. Is speed eating causing you to gain weight?
Does Eating Too Fast Really Cause Weight Gain?
Eating too quickly leads to weight gain, mainly by causing you to overeat. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, men who devoured a large serving of ice cream in five minutes had lower levels of hormones that cause satiety than men who took thirty minutes to finish their treat. Despite eating a big bowl of ice cream, the men who ate in only five minutes weren’t full.
When you eat too fast, you don’t give the stomach time to tell the brain that it’s had enough – so you keep on eating. It takes twenty minutes for brain-signaling hormones to signal the brain that it no longer needs food. The key is not to eat too much during that twenty minute time period.
Eating Too Quickly is an Unconscious Habit for Some
Some people aren’t aware that they’re eating too fast – so ingrained is the speed-eating habit. They’re so used to wolfing down food that the experience of tasting what they’re eating no longer registers. This type of mindless eating is sure-fire recipe for weight gain – as well as indigestion and heartburn. The health consequences of eating too quickly go beyond simple weight control.
How to Stop Eating Too Fast
Make a conscious effort to slow down the pace of a meal until it becomes second nature.
Train yourself to set down your fork after each bite, and pick it up again only when your mouth is empty.
Focus on the taste and smell of what you’re eating and describe the flavors in your mind.
Cut back on the size of each bite or use chopsticks instead of a fork to train yourself to put smaller portions in your mouth.
Pay attention to signals that indicate you’re full, and don’t eat past that point.
If you’re eating with someone, focus on the conversation rather than on what’s on your plate.
Play slow, new age music in the background during a meal to set the pace. It’s hard to speed-eat when Yanni is playing in the background.
Eating Too Fast: The Bottom Line?
Learn how to take it slow at meal time. You’ll consume fewer calories – and actually taste your food again.
Men’s Health. “6 Mistakes That Keep You Fat”