Choking isn’t the only health hazard to speed eating

By Ea Francisco

Rumor has it that one way to lose weight is to eat slow. In hindsight, you’d ask yourself, does it really matter how fast I eat? It all ends up in the same place anyway, right? Turns out that the pace matters, and it can actually affect your health.

While not all thin people eat slow, there’s a connection between eating fast and weight gain. When you’re eating, you don’t instantly feel full. It takes around 20 minutes after you’ve started eating for the brain to send signals of satiety. By then, you’ve likely already consumed more calories than you need. Studies show that overweight people who eat slower tend to consume less calories.

Another thing that could happen when you eat too fast is that you’ll experience indigestion. Bloating, gas, and acid reflux are likely to happen when you don’t chew your food properly. The point of properly chewing is to make sure food is cut into smaller pieces that are easier to digest. Eating too fast causes the stomach to be overloaded, so it causes stomach acid to reach your esophagus.

While not all thin people eat slow, there’s a connection between eating fast and weight gain. When you’re eating, you don’t instantly feel full. It takes around 20 minutes after you’ve started eating for the brain to send signals of satiety

This can also lead to a more serious problem called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If left untreated, it can cause the bleeding or narrowing of your esophagus. Of course, there are other factors that affect it too, but a study revealed that eating too fast in itself can increase GERD. The study had 10 healthy volunteers eat a normal 650-calorie meal in five minutes for some days and 30 minutes in others. Results showed that speedy meals caused 15 GERD episodes and 12.5 acid reflux episodes. In comparison, the 30-minute meal only had 11.5 GERD episodes and 8.5 acid reflux episodes.

Learning how to pace yourself while eating is going to be hard, especially if you’re always in a hurry, but you’re doing yourself a favor in the long run. You can practice eating slower by taking smaller bites or making sure you don’t let more than four hours pass between meals. This way, you won’t be too hungry and go overboard on your next meal.