Most people eat too fast – which is not only bad for digestion, but also leads to weight gain. A study published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that fast eating blocks the production of hormones that tell the body to stop chowing down – not a good thing if you’re trying to slip into a size six pair of jeans. The good news is you can break this bad habit with a little practice and self control. Here’s how to eat slowly – and enjoy your food more.
How to Eat Slower: Listen to Music
Listening to music will help to slow down your eating pace – but only if you choose the right kind. Classical music and new age music relax the mind and naturally slow down the pace of a meal; whereas fast, lively music and rock-and-roll could cause you to shovel the food in faster. Listen to music when you eat, but make it Kenny G, not the Rolling Stones.
Eat More Slowly by Reducing Portion Size
If you put less food on your plate, it can slow down how fast you eat. Choosing a smaller plate and bowls helps too – and makes your feel like you’re eating more than you actually are. Resist the urge to pile your plate high with food the first time. If it’s not enough, you can get up to get seconds which will give your satiety hormones a chance to kick in.
Eat with Chopsticks
It’s a challenge to eat fast when you’re using chopsticks. Could this be why Japanese people are so thin? If you can’t get the hang of manipulating chopsticks, train yourself to put your fork down on the plate after each bite to slow down the pace. It’ll become second nature with a little practice.
Eat More Slowly by Eating Mindfully
Learn to focus in on the tastes and textures of the food you’re eating. Too many people eat their food without really tasting it. When you concentrate on what you’re eating, you’ll be satisfied with less. Try new foods that you’ve never tasted before and focus in on the messages your taste buds are sending you – instead of what’s on your to do list tomorrow.
Eat with Interesting People
To eat more slowly, enjoy a meal with people you like talking to. You’ll eat more slowly if you’re engaged in pleasant conversation – but limit yourself to one plate of food. Otherwise, you may be tempted to overeat as you talk.
The Bottom Line?
It takes practice, but there are rewards to eating more slowly. Slow down and enjoy.