In our busy lifestyles, we tend to associate fast with efficiency, getting things done. When it comes to eating, we might also think that because we’re not dedicating much time to food or eating, we’re somehow aiding our weight loss. Unfortunately, all of this is far from reality.
As a matter of fact, eating fast or distractingly does the exact opposite. Our human bodies are not wired to eat on the run.
When we eat fast, our digestion decreases, and so does the nutrient assimilation; as a consequence, we see an increase of nutrient excretion. All of this finally translates into a bigger appetite, which makes us eat more than we need and put on weight.
A similar thing happens when we’re eating and doing something else at the same time, like watching tv, looking at the phone, working on the computer, or driving. It might sound strange, but you have to know that 30 to 40% of our digestive response begins in the brain
as chemical and mechanical receptors on the tongue and in the oral and nasal cavities are stimulated by smelling food, tasting it, chewing it, and noticing it.
This means that if you’re not fully aware of the food you’re eating because you’re scrolling on your phone, your digestive response will only be 60 to 70% accurate. The brain must experience taste, pleasure, aroma, and satisfaction so it can accurately assess a meal and catalyze our most efficient digestive force. When we eat too fast or overlook our food, the brain seems to interpret this missed experience as hunger. What this means in practical terms is that your brain cannot notify to your body that you’re eating (not enough at least), and you will end up eating much more than you would if you were paying attention.
So if we’re serious about losing weight, we can definitely start by slowing down, taking our time to eat calmly, with no distraction, and by savoring each bite. Bringing senses into the equation will help us with the task of eating slower, as this can be quite tricky at the beginning. For this reason, it is also important that we avoid eating food we don’t like. If we are not enjoying it, the last thing we will want to do is to slow down to savor it!
If we apply these simple changes, we will not only end up losing weight but will also feel calmer and less stressed!