There was this day I took lunch together with my aunt at her house. Over the meal, we had small talks and blah blah blah. Then out of a sudden, she asked why I eat so slowly. I looked at her and realized that she had finished her food while I still had nearly half of my plate full. She said, "Young man, you should eat fast so that you can compete with others in this dog-eat-dog world!" I told her that I am enjoying the food... (and my job doesn't require me to rush over lunch too!)
All the while I've realized that I eat relatively slow compared to other people. At home, I'm always the last one who leaves the dining table. When I'm eating out with other people, I'm never the first person who finishes the food. Last time when I was employed, it was never a good experience to do lunch with my colleagues. As lunch hour was short, I always had to rush and eat fast. Not only I felt really pressurized when eating, I was fat X3 then. Later years when I started my diet program, I made and brought my own food to office and thus no longer need to rush for lunch.
Why do I eat slow? Well, first of all, because I'm fat, and eating fast can cause obesity (more details on upcoming paragraph), so I eat slow. (Oh oh oh! I know I'm fat, but I don't want to be obese!) Fast eating can cause digestive problems too. And, in many cases, fast eating results in not tasting or enjoying our food or even knowing what we have just eaten. By eating food too fast, we eat more than we might even want or definitely more than we might need. It takes about twenty (20) minutes from the time we begin eating to the time our stomach signals our brain that we might have had enough (our brain's appetite regulator is called the appestat). If we continue to eat too fast, we tend to overfill our stomachs, thus causing possible indigestion and discomfort. This, too, pushes food through our digestive system too fast and may result in improper digestion. As a result, problems such as constipation, heartburn, or diarrhea may occur.
An interesting study from Japan suggests that eating fast is a risk factor for diabetes. Researchers at Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine in Aichi studied middle-aged men and women and found that the faster a person ate, the more likely he or she was to be fat (Preventive Medicine, February 2008). Furthermore, both insulin levels and blood sugar levels were higher in people who ate faster. High insulin and blood sugar levels are markers for being diabetic or at risk for developing type II diabetes. (Source: Eating Fast Leads to Obesity)
You see, one of the problems in our daily lives is that many of us rush through the day, with no time for anything. And when we have time to get a bite to eat, we gobble it down. That leads to stressful, unhealthy living, and causes chronic diseases in the future. And with the simple but powerful act of eating slower, we can begin to reverse that lifestyle immediately. How hard is it? We take smaller bites, we chew each bite slower and longer (I know this is hard! I'm still working hard to chew my food for at least 15 times before I shallow it.), and we enjoy our meal longer. It takes a few minutes extra each meal, and yet it can have profound effects.
Eat slower, enjoy the food and stay healthier. Or, eat faster and let the waistline go wider. You decide!
In a nutshell:
We are more likely to be overweight if we eat fast. Eating fast can lead us to obesity. Slow down our eating speed. Enjoy and savour the food more. Eat slowly and we are on our way to have better health and better life.
(Words Count: Approximately 667)