Eating too fast is a serious issue and has detrimental consequences to your digestive system! When you don’t take the time to fully swallow each bite before taking the next bite, that’s when you know you may be eating to fast! If you are a fast eater, you probably aren’t even aware that you are taking 4-5 fork fulls of food in the time it takes a normal paced eater to take one.
The whole digestion process starts in your mouth in the chewing phase. It is really important to actually chew! We should be chewing at least 20-25 times per forkful.
The following digestive problems occur when we eat too fast:
- We delay the feeling of fullness when we eat too fast. Therefore we tend to overeat.
- It is harder for our digestive system to function properly, resulting in poor digestion, including indigestion and heartburn.
- It increases the chances for experiencing indigestion and heartburn.
- Causes the gut to contract, sending you to the restroom almost immediately after eating, a sign of poor digestion, since it means you are not breaking down the foods enough to absorb the necessary nutrients.
- Weak digestion leads to a weak immune system, which leaves you susceptible to illnesses.
Improve your digestive health simply by eating slooowwweeeerrrrr.
Eating is supposed to be a mindful event. Fast eaters miss not only the nutrition in their food, but also the leisure of taking the time out to relax and improve their wellbeing. Perhaps not coincidentally, fast eaters are often guilty eaters, who feel that food is at fault for making them fat, and that they need to quickly sneak their meals because they are doing something wrong. Ironically, it may be the speed at which they eat it which is actually at fault!
Enjoy your food slowly and stay healthier. Here’s how:
- Stop and take a deep breath before eating a meal. Be mindful and remind yourself to pay attention to your breathing and the pace at which you eat.
- Eat at a table, away from the TV or computer (which tend to contribute to overeating.)
- Eat in a quiet, relaxing environment and never eat when you are upset or after (or during!) an argument.
- Make sure you chew and swallow your food before putting the next bite in your mouth. Set your fork down between each bite to train yourself.
- Make sure you are actually tasting the food. Try to notice how the taste changes during the eating process. What is the aftertaste? How is the initial taste? Focus.
- Take smaller bites. Try to count to 30 while chewing.
- Try to figure out why you speed eat and / or overeat. For example, many fast eaters grew up competing with a sibling for food. Eat it now, or it’s gone later. Many carry this with them into adulthood.
Some Benefits of eating slower:
- You will begin to enjoy and favor healthier, whole foods as most commercial and processed foods are engineered in such a way to only taste appealing in the first few bites.
- All the stomach aches and things that “didn’t agree” with you may disappear.
- A trimmer waistline.
- Stronger body from better absorbed nutrients
Eating slower is a simple, healthy habit that can be easily learned, improving health and disease prevention factors tenfold. If you are recovering from life as a fast eater or could use a little help in your digestion, Probiotics are a very valuable supplement for your digestive aid.