This blog was written by Mechelle Meadows. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
With a culture that is on the go constantly, and whose entertainment consists of watching hot dog speed-eating contests, how do we reinforce the truth that eating more slowly can fend off obesity?
The Benefits of Eating Slowly
The benefits of slower eating are twofold:
- Firstly, it takes around 20 minutes for the brain to signal to the stomach that it’s full. If we’re eating our entire meal in five minutes, the stomach doesn’t get that signal until it’s too late to stop eating.
- Secondly, the more time we take eating our meal, the more conscious we are of what and how much food is going into our bodies.
Slowing down the pace of eating ties into the concept of mindful eating. By this, we mean that we are eating with the intention of fueling the body as well as finding some enjoyment in the foods. Gulping down meals doesn’t leave a lot of room for the satisfaction of actually tasting the food and enjoying the flavors. It’s not healthy to leave a meal so full that you feel sick and are uncomfortable in your clothes. When you slow down, you can better gauge the point of “satisfied” and avoid crossing the line to “stuffed.”
How Corporate Wellness Programs Can Help
One thing corporate health and wellness programs can do to assist in the matter is to make sure employees don’t always have rushed lunches. Sure, there may be days where a meeting-booked employee has to eat on the run, but companies should take a look to see whether rushed eating is the norm in their workplace.
Stress to your corporate wellness clients to use the full hour lunch break and avoid working and eating simultaneously if avoidable. Even taking a few minutes to breathe and de-clutter the mind before eating can remind someone to slow down and savor meals—thus putting thought into eating, saving money in healthcare, and sparing extra pounds on the body.