Slow Down!

The benefits of taking your time at your dining room table.

On your mark, get set, slow! If eating is a competitive sport at your house, it may be time to slow it down for your good health. Why should you consider reducing your speed at the dinner table? The perks are numerous!

Perk 1: Weight Loss

This is the first perk listed, because it is the single most exciting benefit of eating slowly. After being assumed for decades, it finally became scientific fact a few years ago when researchers discovered that study participants ingested fewer calories when told to chew their food a certain amount of times and drink water between bites. Some were so excited by the possibilities that they did the math and figured an individual could lose up to 20 pounds a year simply by eating slower. That’s right – all you have to do to lose a few pounds is eat slower! Add on some other lifestyle modifications and you could be well on your way to being the thinnest, fittest you you’ve ever been.

Perk 2: Enjoyment

Eating fast may seem to make sense. After all, you can cram a lot more food into your face if you move fast. But one study showed that slowing down actually helps you enjoy your meal more. And when you enjoy your food, you’re able to enjoy your company as well!

Perk 3: Satisfaction

One of the worst parts of filling up on food on the quick is the excessive fullness that often accompanies your binge eating. By slowing down the pace of your fork and spoon, you’ll feel properly filled without being stuffed like the turkey you’re eating.

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.
— Voltaire

Perk 4: Improved Digestion

As you know, the purpose of eating food is to give your body fuel to keep going strong. When you eat too fast, your body is unable to transform the food you eat into anything useful. Rather, it simply pushes many of the vitamins and nutrients you need out of your body without ever using them. When you eat slowly and chew your food plenty, you help your body break down your food and make your food immediately useful.

Perk 5: Reduced Stress

Eating on the run may seem like a good idea that will help you get more work done. However, if you’re sprinting through your meals, thinking only of the next thing you have to do, you’ll suffer the stressful consequences. Instead, eat slowly and put work out of your mind. Consider every bite carefully and you’ll have a restful lunch that will get you ready for all those work projects that need your attention

Making It Happen

Now that you know why you should be eating slowly, you may be wondering how to make it happen in your home. Though you may not be able to make your entire family eat slowly, here are some tips that will get you on the road to slow and healthy.

  • Chew as many times as you can. Go for 35 times each bite or take it a little further for even more enjoyment.
  • Talk with your tablemates. Between every bite, try to talk to someone at your table. And remember what mama told you – don’t talk with your mouth full!
  • Put down your fork after each bite. When no one is eating with you, putting down your fork between every bite is a great way to make sure you’re pacing yourself.
  • Top off your morsels with a hit of water. You can help your stomach fill up faster by drinking water after every bite of food.
  • Don’t fill your plate to the brim the first time around. By serving yourself small servings at the beginning of your meal, you’re less likely to eat too much. Before getting seconds, wait a few minutes to make sure you really want more.

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