woman eating healthy salad

16 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Eat Slowly (Bon Appétit)

woman eating healthy salad

If you are the type that likes to gobble up a meal and get on with life, now is the time to stop. Eating slowly offers you a wealth of benefits – believe me! There are many reasons why eating fast can have a negative impact on you and your life. If you are wondering what all the fuss is about and why you should eat slowly, here are several good reasons why!

Below are 16 simple ways in which eating slowly can be good for you. Once you have read and understood them, be prepared to never gobble down a meal again. 

16 reasons why eating slowly can improve your life:

1. Eating slowly will help you lose weight.

It can take the human body as long as 20 minutes to decide or know that it is full. If you quickly scoff down a meal, the chance that you are overeating is very high. If you eat slowly, you give your body time to respond to the meal, and it can give you a signal when it gets full. The theory that you eat less if you eat slower is absolutely true.

2. Practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is something that most people are interested in at the moment. To be mindful, you have to be 100% present in the current moment. You have to truly experience it. If you want to be more mindful, you can use meal times as a way to practice mindfulness. Instead of wolfing back your meal, pay attention to what you are eating, really taste it, look at it…truly experience it.

3. Get more enjoyment out of each meal.

While you might briefly taste what you are eating when you quickly eat a meal, you will not be able to really enjoy it. Eating is really about enjoying the flavors, fragrances, aromas, colors, and textures. Spend more time eating, and you will start to enjoy your meals more.

4. Avoid getting that bloated look and feeling.

There is absolutely no way around it; if you eat quickly, you will take in a lot more air than if you eat slowly. When you eat fast and take in excess air, you will feel bloated and uncomfortable. When you eat slowly, your risk of getting bloated and uncomfortable is greatly minimized. 

5. Minimize the risk of contracting food poisoning.

Pathogens found in food can cause nasty food poisoning. What most people do not know is that saliva has effective antibacterial properties. The more you bite and chew, the more saliva your mouth produces, and as you can guess, that means that you are better protected against the harmful effects of bacteria. By chewing your food more – thus eating slowly – you will have a lower chance of suffering from food poisoning.

6. Be kind to your digestive system.

Do you ever suffer from indigestion and constipation? It could be the way you eat. If you eat slowly, your food will be correctly broken down and absorbed. If you eat too fast, your food is not broken down correctly and can lead to bloating, belching, and even more serious conditions such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

7. Reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome.

Study findings indicate that people who eat too quickly are prone to developing metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a complex combination of various disorders that can lead to stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.

8. Say “no” to life in the fast lane.

woman is eating french fries

We live in a world where life is all about rush, rush, rush. While this can be productive, it can also be detrimental to your self-care and happiness. If you want to take care of yourself, take a few moments longer to eat your next meal. Just relax, enjoy, unwind, and take it easy. Saying no to a life of rushing and stressing is a great way to take care of yourself. 

9. Improve your oral health.

Many people mistakenly believe that tooth decay and gum disease are eventualities that we all have to deal with. That is not true. Gum disease and tooth decay are a direct cause of bacteria, and the body’s greatest oral defense against bacteria is saliva. Saliva has excellent antibacterial properties. The more you chew your food (which is what you do when you slow down eating), the more saliva you will produce, and this will provide more protection for both your teeth and gums.

10. Reduce your risk of choking.

The faster you eat your food, the greater your chance of choking is. If you want to minimize your risk of choking on bits of food, slow down your eating and chew your food correctly. You can also help your children with this technique. If your kids see you eating slowly, they will follow suit and have less chance of choking too. 

11. Make nutrient absorption easy for your body.

People eat for many reasons. For most of us, it is to quell the hunger pangs and to ensure that our body has the correct nutrition. We also eat for enjoyment. When you rush through a meal, you put your body at risk of having nutritional deficiencies.

Food needs to be effectively broken down in order for the small intestine and stomach to correctly absorb nutrients from the food. If you do not eat a bit slower and chew properly, you will simply pass your food, with its nutrients still intact. What a waste!

12. Avoid that “I’m stuffed” feeling.

Do you often finish a meal and feel completely over-full? That’s a problem lots of people face when they eat too much too quickly. It is hard to know when you are actually full if you rush through a meal. You may feel fine at the end of a meal if you rush through it, but give it around 20 minutes and you will feel “stuffed”. Eating slower can help you to know when to stop eating and avoiding feeling uncomfortable.

13. Reduce occurrences of heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux.

Acid forming in the digestive system is what leads to indigestion, acid reflux, and heartburn. The only thing that can quell those feelings is to introduce more alkalinity to the system. What if eating slowly meant that you could kick your need to take medication for acid reflux, heartburn, and indigestion? The more you chew, the more alkalinity is introduced to the food, which helps to avoid acid formation being triggered in the digestive system.

14. Improve on your personal image (be more polite).

Quickly scoffing up a meal is not considered very polite, especially if you are sharing a meal with other people. If you are enjoying a social meal, take the time to slow down your eating speed to improve your personal image and ensure that you appear more polite (actually, you will be more polite by eating slowly).

15. Promote physical feelings of wellbeing.

healthy breakfast

When you take the time to be calm and gentle in your approach to all things in life, you will generally feel a lot better about yourself. Promoting a sense of wellbeing in your life is essential for your self-care and promoting a happier and more positive approach to life.

16. Feel light after meals. 

Have you ever eaten a meal and felt like you immediately need a nap or feel overly lethargic? Many people do, and it is because they eat too much too quickly. What if you could eat a feast but still feel light and comfortable afterward? Well, you can. Pacing yourself when you eat and taking your time will leave you feeling light and relaxed after a meal instead of uncomfortable and bloated. 

Last Word

Who knew that how quickly or slowly you eat could have such a big impact on your life, right? If you were not aware of the benefits of eating slowly before, now you have 16 compelling reasons why you should eat your next meal as slowly as possible. Add value to your life and make eating a meal a matter of enjoyment instead of just another task to get done. Your body will thank you for it!