Slow it down-Eating quickly can lead to weight gain.

Think about what you ate last night for dinner? Do you remember the texture or temperature of the food? Was it sweet, salty or a combination of both? Was it dry or moist? Did you notice you were full before you cleaned your plate? If recalling any of these details is difficult for you, perhaps you ate a bit too quickly. With the rise of non-communicable diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers, medical researchers are racking their brains trying to discover ways to prevent and treat the weight management issues causing the problems. Studies have reported that the regulation of body weight can be effective in lowering these health risks.

Modifying lifestyle habits and behaviors surrounding the ingestion of food are proving to be an effective strategy in the management and treatment of obesity. Currently, people are simply eating too much and moving less. Researchers, who published their findings in BMJ open, looked at specific behaviors that are directly linked to the ingestion of too many calories. Eating speed was shown to be directly correlated to obesity. Those that ate to quickly tended to have a greater BMI (body mass index) and waist circumference. Eating quickly is associated with impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance and is a known risk factor for diabetes through increases in body weight. Researchers suggested that those who eat too quickly continue to eat until they feel full despite having already consumed an adequate number of calories, and the combined effect of eating quickly and overeating may contribute to weight gain. It takes approximately 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to send out signals of fullness.
In addition, the researchers found that people who did not snack after dinner and , avoided eating within two hours of bedtime also tended to see some weight loss. With behavior modification and lifestyle changes you can regulate your body weight and lessen your risk for non-communicable diseases.

Tips to slow down when eating:

1. Sit for meals
2. Eat with someone if possible, and have a good chat
3. Drink water between bites
4. Chew your bites 10 times before you swallow
5. Push away from the table
6. Avoid screens when eating
7. Don’t let yourself get too hungry
8. Say a prayer or set an intention before you eat
9. Take the time to enjoy the flavor and texture of your food
10. Take three big breaths before you begin to dig in
11. Time yourself, set a timer for 20mins
12. Wait 20 mins before you reach for seconds to allow yourself to feel full
13. Plan time for meals

If you or a loved one is struggling with a weight related issue, find comfort in knowing that there are things you can do about it. Something as simple as slowing down a bit when eating is a great first step at gaining some control over your calorie ingestion. For more tips and strategies for behavior change, contact us at We are committed to empowering you to be the change you want to see in your life.