What determines your eating pace? Do you eat fast or slow? How do you feel after you’ve eaten fast? Whether you know the answers or not all these are great questions to explore.
Eating fast is linked to overeating and could be the one thing that holds you back from reaching your health goals. If you finish your meals within 5, 10, or even 15 minutes, your eating pace is too fast.
Things that may lead to eating too fast …
- Going into the meal feeling overly hungry.
- Distractions or multitasking while eating – watching TV, talking on the phone, working on the computer.
- Standing while eating.
- Eating while driving.
- Eating during intense or emotional conversations.
- Eating when you’re in a hurry to leave the house or get another task done.
- Not leaving enough time to prepare and eat meals (poor planning, sleeping in, procrastinating about cooking, etc.).
- Eating with others who eat fast.
The results of eating fast …
- Feeling bloated and overly full.
- Guilt or regret.
- Missing out on the taste and enjoyment of the food…and wanting more!
- Not remembering what you ate.
Here’s what you can do …
1. Tune in to your body cues and see if you can feel the differences between varying degrees of hunger, satisfaction, and fullness while you eat.
2. Allow at least 20 minutes to eat your meals – this gives your body time to receive the signal from your brain that you’re full!
3. Put your utensils down between each bite.
4. Hydrate yourself well by taking a sip of water between each bite.
5. Push your plate away halfway through the meal and take a break before continuing to eat.
6. Create an environment that makes you want to stay put and enjoy the meal…perhaps decorative place settings, candlelight, or music.
7. Chew well and savor each bite.
8. Set a timer or watch the clock to make sure you’re pacing your meal.
9. If you typically eat your meals with a spouse, family member, roommate or friend, ask them to pace their eating too so you’ll have a role model to follow.
10. Limit distractions.
11. Practice, practice, practice!
Are you up for the challenge? Slow your eating pace so you can truly savor each bite, stop when you’re comfortably satisfied rather than overeating, and achieve success with your health goals!