Eat Slowly!

Eat Slowly!

Did you know? Rushing through your meal may prevent you from reaching your weight loss goals and possibly increase your risk of some diseases.

Recent research suggests that individuals who eat their meals at a slower pace may lose more weight in comparison to those who eat at a faster pace.1 Additionally, eating fast has been associated with a greater risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome.2 Research that supports slow eating has found that slower paced eating encourages mindfulness which promotes a greater awareness of one’s satiety thus reducing the potential to overeat.2

In 2014 the BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care journal published a study conducted on group of adults with type 2 diabetes. Study participants consumed 300 milliliters (approximately 1 ¼ cup) of ice cream over 5 minutes or 30 minutes. Results of the study indicated that those who consumed ice-cream over 30 minutes had greater ratings of fullness at 90 minutes, 120 minutes, 150 minutes, and 180 minutes (post ice-cream consumption) in comparison to those who consumed ice-cream in just 5 minutes. Researchers of this study concluded that, “Slow paced eating increased fullness and decreased hunger ratings in overweight and obese participants with T2DM." 3

If you’re in a time crunch, it may be hard to slow down so that you can truly enjoy your meal. You may want to start off by timing yourself. How long does it take you to finish a typical meal? For example, if you’re finishing your meal in under 10 minutes, is it possible to increase that time to 15 or 20 minutes?

How to eat more slowly

The following is a list of tips that may help you eat your meal at a more leisurely pace:

  • If you are eating with others, take time to enjoy the conversation
  • Take a sip of water between each bite of food
  • Put down your fork or spoon between each bite of food
  • Chew your food well.
    • How many times should you chew before swallowing?  “According to the experts at Ohio State University, you should chew softer foods 5-10 times, and more dense foods (meats/vegetables) up to 30 times before swallowing.” 4
  • Take a break (if possible) between courses. For example, eat your salad and then clean up those dishes before moving on to the main course.
  • Set a timerAvoid screen time (i.e. television, computer, cell phones) while eating
  • Eat your calories, don’t drink them. Consuming liquids takes far less time than chewing solid food.
  • Fill your plate with a large volume of low-energy, nutrient-dense foods such a fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Work on the art of mindful eating.

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