If you eat fast, you may not enjoy your meals. And you may also put on weight faster. A review of 23 studies found that people who eat fast are around twice as likely to be obese.
However, obesity is a complex issue with multiple risk factors apart from eating habits. To better understand the association between eating fast and weight gain, it’s important to look at the effects of eating fast on your body.
This article will explain the link between eating fast and weight gain and show you how to slow down your eating. At the same time, it will draw attention to some important health problems fast eaters are more likely to develop.
Eating Fast and Weight Gain
When you’re in a hurry, or when you’re distracted by a screen or a conversation, you may not be paying full attention to your meal. You may eat fast while thinking of other things and, because of this, you may overeat.
Your brain needs up to 20 minutes to register the signal of fullness after a meal. That means that when you eat fast, you can take in more food than you actually need because your brain is not aware that your stomach is full.
This can easily lead to a higher calorie intake which, over time, can make you put on weight. Eating fast is a risk factor for becoming overweight as well, according to this study.
Furthermore, fast eaters are more likely to develop a number of serious health problems as a result of their eating habits. These can include:
Type 2 Diabetes
Fast eaters have a significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than slow eaters, according to this study.
Eating fast increases your risk of developing a combination of disorders known as metabolic syndrome, which causes high blood sugar levels and high blood pressure. This syndrome puts you at risk of developing cardiovascular problems and diabetes. It also increases the risk of stroke.
While not as serious as the conditions above, poor digestion can be another consequence of eating fast. When you eat fast, you don’t chew food well and may swallow larger bites. Symptoms may include diarrhea, constipation, and an upset stomach.
How to Eat Slower
You may eat fast without even being aware of it. But you can change your eating habits. Here’s how to slow down your eating and enjoy your meals more.
- Eat before you become very hungry. When you’re very hungry, you’re likely to eat faster.
- Chew your food 10-15 times on each side before swallowing.
- Eat high-fiber foods. Fruit, vegetables, or nuts take longer to chew than processed foods. They are also more filling.
- Avoid eating in front of a screen. When you’re distracted, you may take larger bites and chew your food less.
- Practice mindful eating. Mindful eating is a simple meditation technique that shifts the focus from your thoughts to the simple and pleasurable act of eating.
- Drink water or tea during your meal. This will bring a feeling of fullness sooner.
Say No to Rushed Meals
As you can see, there is a clear link between eating fast and weight gain. Not only that but eating fast puts you at risk of developing poor digestion, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. When you say no to eating fast, you improve your health and enjoy your meals more.