Hi, my name is Heather Snively and I am a Registered Dietitian with Guckenheimer. Welcome to Food Myths Exposed where Guckenheimer’s dietitians deconstruct facts and debunk myths surrounding food, nutrition and health.
You may have heard experts recommend taking 20 minutes to finish a meal, but is that a good rule of thumb? Why would that be important?
When it comes to eating, being mindful and eating more slowly is linked to healthier weights and weight loss. In a 2008 study by the Journal of the American Dietetic association, slower eaters consumed fewer calories, drank more water and felt more satisfied than their quick-eating counter parts.
Why would that be?
The feeling of fullness – called satiety by experts – can be rather subtle. There are a few things that happen that help us register the feeling of fullness when we eat:
- The stomach expands and is sensed through stretch receptors
- Satiety hormones are released (cholecystokinin and leptin)
- Blood sugar goes up, and so does insulin. How much these go-up depends on what you eat, but we’ll have to talk about that another time.”
It takes our brain up to 20 minutes to register this information that’s why slow and steady wins the race.
Now that you know WHY to slow down at meals, here are some tips on HOW to take more time while eating:
- Cut out screens – being on a computer or watching TV reduces the amount of attention that you spend on your food.
- Set a timer
- Chew your food 20 times
- Take frequent sips of water
- Use chopsticks or eat with your non-dominant hand
- Eat with people – we tend to slow down when we’re socializing”
Need another reason to slow-down? In addition to taking time while eating, being mindful and doing mental check-ins throughout the day increases productivity and produces an overall sense of wellbeing.
Now you know – the statement is true! Take time to eat to stay happy and healthy!
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