Why should I focus on my food and eat slower?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Research shows that eating food in front of the TV leads you to overeat. The same goes for being on your computer, listening to the radio, or reading a magazine. Instead, focus on the food and the process of eating it. Studies have shown that when people slow their eating speed, put their fork and knife down, and chew each bite about 20 times, they eat significantly less. Being aware of how you eat and taking your time will help you enjoy food more, digest better, and eat less.  

Shoveling bites of pecan pie into our mouths floods our brain with happy chemicals that override the signal from our stomach that says we are full. By eating slower, you will be able to receive the message. Listen to it.

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Doreen Rodo
Nutrition & Dietetics

Eating should be an enjoyable experience, however, if you are wolfing your food down and barely tasting it, it is no longer enjoyable. Foods have specific tastes that can only be savored when you slow down. Also, if you eat too quickly then you have no time to realize that you are full and are more likely to overeat.

Enas Shakkour
Nutrition & Dietetics
Eating slower will allow you to enjoy every bite of food in your meal. You will also end up satisfied with a smaller portion of food than if you devoured the meal in a few minutes. It takes time for the brain to receive the message that you are "not hungry". Give yourself at least 20 minutes to eat a meal. This allows your brain to recognize that you have had enough to eat. Another reason to slow down and focus on your food is that chewing aids in digestion. Chewing is the first step in digestion. Chew your food really well before swallowing it. You will avoid bloating and overeating. You will also cut down your portion sizes, which is key to weight management.
If you want to lose weight, beware of "unconscious eating." It's easy to overeat if you're watching television or doing some other distracting activity at the same time. Turn off the TV during meals or snacks -- and slow down as you eat. Be aware of each bite you take -- and enjoy it!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.