Does eating fast gain weight and bring health problems? What happens exactly when we eat fast?
When we were a child, most of us had the habit of eating fast. Your mother or father probably told you that you should feed a little more slowly. And regardless of whether or not you have followed this guidance during your adult life, it is important to know that anyone who finishes their meals very fast can suffer from flatulence, gas in the stomach, bloating and poor digestion.
Is eating fast lead to weight gain?
But what about weight? Does eating fast gain weight or is it just a myth? Well, according to research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, the relation between eating fast and excess pounds is really true.
The study in question identified that people who ate at a higher rate were more likely to be obese than those who ate slowly. Researchers found that the higher the rate at which someone eats their food, the higher their Body Mass Index (BMI).
And look, this is not the first study to have such conclusions. A Japanese experiment done in 2008 showed that people who eat fast are three times more likely to suffer from being overweight than others.
Why eating fast makes you fat?
This evidence brought by scientists indicates that actually eating fast make you fatter. But why does this happen? The explanation is related to peptides, also called gut hormones, which are responsible for sending message to the brain that the body is already satisfied and that it is time to stop eating.
A study by the researcher at Laiko General Hospital in Greece, Alexander Kokkinos, showed that people who had ice cream quickly had lower levels of the hormone in the gut than people who tasted the candy more slowly. In addition, the former were not as satisfied as the latter after consuming the ice cream.
So the three scientific papers that we have just seen tell us that eating too fast does not help the body much to feel satisfied. This means that anyone who has this habit will certainly have more appetite during the meal and throughout the day, will be at greater risk of eating beyond what they should and, consequently, have a great chance of accumulating fat.
Other reasons not to eat fast
We understand that eating slowly can help to lose weight, since the custom makes the brain have time to realize that the stomach is already full and that it is not necessary to continue consuming calories. And it is also worth knowing that the ideal is to chew your food 30 to 40 times before being swallowed.
However, this is not the only reason you should give up the habit of eating too fast. There are also other reasons such as:
It is foolish to believe that digestion begins in the stomach. In fact, its beginning is in the mouth. It is in saliva that there is an enzyme called amylase, which breaks down the carbohydrates present in food. There is yet another enzyme, lipase, which is found in the tongue and helps in the digestion of fats. So, if the food passes very quickly through the mouth, these processes will probably not be well done, which may cause problems of indigestion.
In relation to protein digestion, it is important to take special care. It is that when eat very fast, this group of nutrients is not digested. With that, what happens is that they can rot in the large intestine, causing gas and flatulence.
So, if you need to provide high protein content to your body, especially if you are struggling to achieve muscle growth, it is vital to make sure you eat slowly as they are digested faster.
Enjoy the moment
More than just a need or obligation, the act of eating can also be something pleasurable. So when it’s time to dine, forget about the rush of everyday life, and enjoy the taste of food. If you can eat slowly, even a smaller amount of food, it will make the moment pleasant.
Take a break from stress
In the same sense of the previous reason, we need relief from the stress brought by the pressures, obligations and commitments of the day to day. One understands that there are so many tasks to be accomplished that it seems unfeasible to stop for a few minutes or an hour to eat and relax.
But be sure to do this, as it is very difficult to eat slowly at the same time you take care of children, work or study. By not allowing yourself a quiet time to eat, you stop taking a rest where you could relax your mind, rest a little and come back with more energy for the rest of your day.
You can also use the meal period, to have a quality time with the family, savoring a tasty and healthy dish and talking, something that has become rare amidst the rush of the world we live in.
Tips for eating slowly
But, I’ve eaten fast my whole life, how do I slow down my meals? Of course the change might take some time; we have to start slowly, until it becomes a habit. The tips below may help:
Put the fork on the side while chewing: When you put the food in your mouth, will you cut the next piece while chewing? To eat more slowly, it is best to put the fork or spoon aside while chewing and to use them again only when you have already swallowed.
The environment and people: The pace of the place where you dine and the people who accompany you can influence the way you eat. To feed more slowly, it is recommended to get away from noisy places with fast-paced music.
You can talk while you have a meal, but it’s important not to talk while you are chewing. Also, chat about fun and enjoyable subjects that will help you have a pleasant time.
Music and lighting: Slow and relaxing music and a low light with candles can help create a good mood for a slow and calm meal.
Program the meal: To get accustomed to spending more time eating, put an alarm on the cell phone to indicate when you should leave the table. You can start slowly by adding the minutes progressively over the course of a day, until you become accustomed to devoting more time to your food.
Beware of television: Television can distract you and prevent you from paying attention to how you are eating. If you do not want to switch off, watch more quiet programs that contribute to creating a calm environment.
Do not remain for long: This is a mistake because when you are really hungry, it is difficult not to eat everything too fast, to fill that hole in the stomach at once. So try to eat several meals a day and eat every three hours so you do not risk extrapolating from one meal to another and eating very fast.
Wait before repeating: Sometimes when we are on the first plate, we think about repeating, when not always this is necessary and only one portion would be enough to satisfy. So instead of eating fast, eat slowly, and when it’s done, stop for a few seconds and think about whether you really need to eat again.
Keep an eye on dessert: The same is for dessert. Looking at an appetizing candy can bring the craving and get to it soon and make you want to end it at once with your main course. The trick is to hide the treat at lunch or dinner, stop for a while after eating, and then decide whether or not to have dessert.