When I sit down to eat a meal I tend to dive in and scarf the food on my plate. You would think I hadn’t eaten in weeks or that I was in a contest to see who can finish their meal first. It is a mindless habit. It was how I was brought up. Our dinner table was lively and animated. Meals were not lingered over, there was a TV show to watch, a baseball game to play or a friend to meet. Turns out this is pretty common for most of us. We are culturally conditioned to eat fast. Regrettably, it is not so good for our health.
Marc David in his book,The Slow Down Diet, describes the effect our mindless scarfing has on our bodies. It is probably obvious to us all that when we eat quickly we probably eat more than we need because we have the time to plow it in and yet our bodies haven’t had the time to feel full. As Marc David explains our fast eating confuses our metabolism and causes more of our food to go to fat rather than converting it to instant energy. We eat too many calories when we eat quickly and more of those calories automatically go to fat. No wonder we keep gaining weight, we are playing Double Jeopardy with our bodies at every meal.
It is amazing to think that just by taking a couple of extra minutes over a meal we can improve our health dramatically, even lose weight. Research shows that by taking time over a meal we will enjoy the food and moment more and we end up eating less. Slowing down increases the possibility of feeling satisfied at the end of our meal.
Don’t we all have a love/hate relationship with skinny people? Truth be told, we envy them. At a meal I watch them to see what they do that is different than what I do. On average I do think they take more time when they eat. One of my sons, a tall lean fellow, has the amazing habit of sitting in front of his plate of food and not even touching it for a couple of minutes at the beginning of a meal. He just talks to us. It seems so civilized. For me to do this it will take a very conscious act. I want to try it, though. It is good for my health. Looks like a key step in a healthier lifestyle is taking time over a meal and not scarfing what is on our plate.