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Eating Fast to Save Time Is Shortening Your Life

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Eating Fast to Save Time Is Shortening Your Life

Brits only spend 41 minutes of their day, total, to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. To break that down, that means an average eating time of 8 minutes for breakfast, 13 minutes 45 seconds for lunch, and 19 minutes 27 seconds for breakfast.[1]

Americans take just a bit more time, with an average of one hour and 14 minutes a day spent eating the three major meals.[2]

While any one of us could easily justify the need for speed when it comes to eating (after all, there are always so many more things to get done in a day!), people who eat too quickly are likely to become obese, or develop metabolic syndrome, both of which increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke – all of which can be deadly.[3]

Your Body on Eating Fast

When you rush through a meal, no matter what time of day it is, your digestive system can’t keep up. When that happens, it can’t trigger the little flags in your brain that let you know you’re full. Inevitably, you overeat.

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    When you’ve ingested something, it takes a while for your stomach to catch up anyway – about 20 minutes, in fact. The process doesn’t start until your stomach begins to stretch. So if you slow down and give yourself a little more time, you may find that if you stop eating sooner, you won’t eat excess foods.

    Eating slower gives your stomach more time to start working on the food

      Think about the last time you were really hungry. Once you got your hands on food, you probably found yourself capable of eating just about everything in sight, and doing it quickly! You also probably suffered from serious heartburn later on. This is due to your stomach trying to catch up with the pace at which you were sending all that food down.

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      Eating slower and taking at least 20 minutes to eat at a time, allows your digestive tract to get a head start in the process of digesting the food.

      Additionally, when you eat too quickly, air gets into your stomach and overloads it. While this can produce more acid leading to heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it can also make you embarrassingly gassy.

      Eating at a slower pace can help you enjoy your meal

      Granted, you’ll already enjoy your food more if you don’t have heartburn, GERD, gas and bloating, but slowing down when you’re enjoying a meal can help you savor whatever it is you’re eating, as it allows you to be more aware.

      You’ll find that you’re more aware of the texture, flavor and smell of the food, making the meal more interesting and memorable. This is especially great if you’re eating at a restaurant and you want to enjoy the moment.

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      How to Adapt the 20 Minute Eating Rule

        If you have a habit of eating a lot, and doing so quickly, you won’t change that overnight. However, there are plenty of tips you can use to improve the time you take to eat a meal and eat as slow as 20 minutes for each meal.

        1. Choose high-fiber foods that take more time to chew

        What could you eat faster, raw broccoli or a breadstick? The high fiber, fresh veggie will take you longer to eat, simply because of its texture. Plus, the nutrients will fill you up faster! While you’re learning to slow down your eating habits, you’ll also be building some really healthy ones!

        2. Put down your utensils between bites

        This tip can feel daunting, but it isn’t as bad as you might think. In between bites, set down your utensil. It’s a small move, but the action forces you to slow down, even the smallest amount, and really focus on checking in with your body to determine if you’re full or not yet.

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        3. Try setting a minimum number of chews per bite

        When you aren’t breaking down your food into tiny pieces, it can be very challenging to digest later on. Try to set a minimum number of chews per bite. This can be five or thirty-five, whatever feels best to you. Once you get into the habit, you won’t even have to count anymore.

        4. Find another slow eater and pace yourselves to them

        If you are aware you eat quickly, it’s probably because someone you dine with has pointed it out to you. The next time you eat with them, focus on the pace in which they consume their meal and match up to them. You don’t have to mirror them to the point they are uncomfortable, just find some self-awareness.

        5. Talk with people who eat with you and slow down your eating pace

        Be sociable. When you’re dining with someone, carry on a conversation. You’ll be amazed at how much less you need to eat to feel full.

        Slow and Steady Wins

        As you approach your next meal, and every meal thereafter, try to treat the experience like a memory to be made. If you go into the experience aware of the need to make it memorable, you may find yourself having an easier time slowing down to eat.

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        No matter how you have to train yourself to slow down, you’ll be grateful you took the time to do so. No meal and no rushed timeline is worth losing your health.

        Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

        Reference

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        Jolie Choi

        Having experienced her own extreme transformation process, Jolie strongly believes that staying healthy takes determined and consistent action.

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        Last Updated on November 22, 2021

        Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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        Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

        Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

        During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

        But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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        Simplify

        I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

        Absolutely.

        And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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        If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

        • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
        • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
        • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

        Be Mindful

        You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

        Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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        Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

        Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

        Reflect

        As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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        Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

        But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

        So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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        Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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