When was the last time you enjoyed a quiet meal, without any distractions?
If you can’t remember, you’re not alone. It’s pretty hard to find the time to eat in silence, without checking your phone, watching tv, or socializing with others. Sadly, for many, eating on-the-go has become the norm. As a result, people are barely chewing their food, and eating way too fast.
What is mindful eating? It’s the idea of focusing fully on your food as you eat.
I always say mindful eating is healthy eating. What you eat, how you eat, your portions, and even understanding why you eat can all play a significant part in your health and body goals. Of course, eating mindfully can lead to weight loss as well.
Did you know, the speed of eating is a contributor to obesity and weight gain? It’s true, swallowing down your food and finishing a meal within 5 minutes can lead you to overeat and consume way more calories than you actually need.
I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before, but it takes the brain 20 minutes to realize it’s full.
Let me explain to you why:
When you eat and drink, your stomach begins to fill up. As this happens, stretch receptors in the stomach get activated, sending satiety (fullness) signals to the brain via the vagus nerve, a nerve connecting the brain and stomach. As the food enters the small intestine, appetite hormones are released which sends more satiety signals to the brain.
This process takes time though, approximately 20 minutes. Hence, the notion of the brain needing 20 minutes to realize you’re full. Eating too quickly doesn’t allow this process to come into effect, which may cause you to overeat without you even realizing it.
So, the slower you eat, the quicker you’ll feel full, allowing you to consume less food and ultimately less calories.
If your goal is weight loss, or simply to feel healthy, your eating speed can play a big role in helping you achieve your health and body goals.
It’s the simple things in nutrition that can lead to the biggest changes.
With that, slow down…and eat more mindfully.
P.s. If you’re looking to eat more mindfully, I have the perfect solution for you! I recently launched Nourish by Believe Nutrition, which is a no-dieting nutrition coaching app to help you eat more mindfully, create positive eating habits, and improve your relationship with food. Take the quiz to see how mindfully you’re eating and then get started on your Nourish journey working 1-1 with a Nourish coach.