Most of us eat faster than we should. Blame it on upbringing and habit, but the speed with which we eat doesn’t allow our taste buds to get the full benefits of the food.
Experts say the satiety factor is a complex process involving the stomach, hormones in the small intestine, chemicals in the brain and other factors. This process takes 20 minutes. Eating fast prevents this mechanism from kicking in, and you end up eating much more than you need.
To slow down your eating rate, try putting down your spoon or fork in between bites, to give yourself enough time to chew the food completely and swallow before taking another bite. If you are eating with your hands, put the food down between bites.
Another way to do this is to take a break in the middle of eating. You could start with a break as little as 30 seconds, and gradually increase this to one, two and then three minutes.
Eating slowly has another benefit for people looking to lose weight – if you are satisfied with your meal, you are far less likely to think of, and be attracted by food in between mealtimes.