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Do you take your time eating and savor every bite, or do you tend to quickly gobble down your food while doing other things?

Results of new research showed that the people in the study who ate faster usually ate more and were more likely to gain weight.

Eating quickly makes you more inclined to eat more because it takes time for your body to recognize that you’re feeling full.

Satiety (the feeling of fullness) happens due to a number of bodily signals starting when a food or drink is consumed and continuing as it enters the gut and is digested and absorbed. These satiety signals, which feed into your brain, are produced in response to:

· beliefs about how filling the food or drink will be

· the sensory experience (appearance, smell, taste, texture etc.) of the food or drink

· the expansion of the stomach

· hormones released during the digestion and absorption

Although we feel the stomach filling up as we eat, it takes some time after food is first eaten (approximately 20 minutes) for the full range of satiety signals to reach the brain. By this time and for some time afterwards we experience feelings of satiety.

Society’s Influence

There are a lot of ways that our society promotes fast eating.

· Drive-through food

· Busy schedules

· Eating quickly to get back to work or at your desk while working

· 15-minute lunches at school

· Distracted eating

Recommendations

Simply put, eat slower, but for some of us it may take more guidance to help us get there. Many people find the key to eating slower is to be more mindful (paying attention to food/eating process) when eating.

· Avoid extreme hunger. It’s hard to eat slowly when you’re very hungry. To prevent extreme hunger, keep some healthy snacks on hand.

· Chew thoroughly. Some people gulp down their food without chewing very much. Take time to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.

· Set your utensils down. Put down your fork between bites of food to eat slower and enjoy each bite.

· Eat foods that need chewing. Focus on fibrous foods that require a lot of chewing, such as vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

· Drink water. Make sure to drink plenty of water or other zero-calorie beverages with meals.

· Use a timer. Set your kitchen timer for 20 minutes and do your best not to finish before the buzzer goes off. Aim for a slow, consistent pace throughout the meal.

· Turn off your screens. Try to avoid electronic devices (television, smartphones, etc.) and other distractions while eating.

· Take deep breaths. If you begin to eat too quickly, take some deep breaths. This will help you refocus and get back on track.

· Use all of your senses. Notice the color, textures, temperature and taste of the food you are eating. Take time in between bites to focus on the changing sensations of hunger and fullness while you eat.

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