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Eating Fast to Save Time Is Shortening Your Life

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.

        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 15, 2019

        10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

        10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

        Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, these bad habits are difficult to break because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

        Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental and emotional health.

        Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

        If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

        Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

        1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

        Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

        Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

        Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

        2. No Motivation

        Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academics and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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        This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family and life in general.

        If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

        3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

        Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to break bad habits.

        A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to eventually become a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

        A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

        The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

        4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

        One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

        We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

        Over-eating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of crisps, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are needed by us. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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        You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

        5. Upward Comparisons

        Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

        The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

        These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

        6. No Alternative

        This is a real and valid reason why bad habits are hard to break. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

        Someone who has physical or psychological limitations such as a disability or social anxiety may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

        Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

        Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

        7. Stress

        As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing bad habits.

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        When a person is stressed about something, it is easy to give in to a bad habit because the mental resources required to fight them are not available.

        Stress plays such a huge role in this that we commonly find a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

        8. Sense of Failure

        People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

        Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

        Over-eaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store.

        Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

        If such people slip even once with a glass of wine or a smoke or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

        9. The Need to Be All-New

        People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

        These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit.

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        10. Force of Habit

        Humans are creatures of habit and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

        Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or munching on crisps when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

        These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

        Final Thoughts

        These are the main reasons why bad habits may be difficult to break but it is important to remember that the task is not impossible.

        Do you have bad habits you want to kick? My article How to Break a Bad Habit (and Replace It With a Good One) gives you tips on well, how to kick bad habits while my other article How Long Does It Take to Break a Habit? Science Will Tell You gives realistic information on what to expect while you’re trying to quit them.

        There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

        Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?

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