You've probably gulped down a meal or two when you've had more obligations than time. The occasional rushed meal won't cause many problems, aside from a stomachache now and then. But if you're the kind of person who looks up from your empty plate and notices everyone else is only half done, slowing down your consumption might do your body some favors.
Consider the common phrases we use for eating a rushed meal: wolfing down, shoveling, gobbling and such. Each of these seems to imply that a meal is an inconvenience. We need to finish eating in a hurry to reach somewhere or do something else.
Ever paused to think about what happens inside your body when you eat too fast? Here are three things:
You tend to overeat: It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to communicate to the brain that it has received enough food. The brain then tells you to stop eating. But when you are busy scarfing food down, the communication channel goes awry, because you tend to stuff yourself with a large amount in a small time frame. According to a Japanese study on 1700 women, one eats fewer calories when one eats slowly.
You can get indigestion: A study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology states that eating quickly can lead …
Because it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it's full, try to stretch your meals out for at least 20 minutes. This may seem difficult, especially if you're used to downing a burger in the car on your way to class, but it can be done. Put your fork down between each bite and chew thoroughly. Use the dinner table as a time to discuss your day with your family and friends. If you finish your meal before the 20-minute mark, wait until the whole 20 minutes have elapsed before deciding if you need more to eat.