In short: it does not directly, but people who eat faster tends to get fat more easily.
Overeating, that is why.
Research has revealed that eating a lot of food quickly, restrain the release of some gut hormones that make you feel full. Basically, your body doesn’t get the signal to stop eating and that increases the likelihood to overeat! (hello, weight gain.)
Another study, reported by WebMD, showed that it takes at least 12 minutes for the satiety signals to reach the brain of an average individual and at least 20 minutes for an obese person. So, if you are one of those people who gobble down food in less than 5 minutes, you’re likely to find the food not enough. (Sounds familiar eh?)
How to Slow Down?!
Okay, this might seem funny to some, but slowing down when eating is NOT easy for everyone; especially not when you’re famished. It’s alright, I’ve been there, I get it.
So here’s what you can do:
- Grab a (healthy) snack in between meals. That helps to curb your hunger and allows you to make more rational food decisions. Contrary to popular beliefs, snacking is actually good diet practice! (read more here)
- Don’t talk when you chew! Firstly, thats a little… unglam. Secondly, this will force you to slow down, and you’ll be full before you know it.
- Have regular mealtimes. That will help to regulate your body and for it to send fullness signals before you overeat!
- As soon as you feel the first stirrings of fullness, remove your plate or cover it with a napkin. This deliberate act is a way to send message to your brain that nom nom time is over!
How long should I take to consume a meal?
Of course, most of the time it depends on what you’re eating — you can’t possibly take an hour to eat an ice cream.
But here’s a rule of thumb: if you’re always the first to finish regardless of what you’re eating, then try to extend your mealtime by at least 5 minutes.
However, note that it’s not so much of how long you take to finish a single meal, but rather how long between courses that matters more. We’d say wait about 20 minutes before you choose to have more!