Consider the common phrases we use for eating a rushed meal: “wolfing down,” “shoveling,” “gobbling” and such. Each of these seems to imply that a meal is an inconvenience. We need to finish eating in a hurry to reach somewhere or do something else.
Ever paused to think about what happens inside your body when you eat too fast? Here are three things:
You tend to overeat: It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to communicate to the brain that it has received enough food. The brain then tells you to stop eating. But when you are busy scarfing food down, the communication channel goes awry, because you tend to stuff yourself with a large amount in a small time frame. According to a Japanese study on 1700 women, one eats fewer calories when one eats slowly.
You can get indigestion: A study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology states that eating quickly can lead to a particular kind of indigestion called gastroesophagal reflux, which causes a burning pain in your chest. In severe cases, this can lead to the narrowing of the oesophagus, making it difficult for you to swallow. Other digestion-related issues such as hiccups and bloating can result because you swallow a lot of air while bolting your food.
You lose the pleasure of eating: A meal eaten in a hurry deprives you of the taste, texture, aroma and color that you should be enjoying while you eat. Most rushed meals are eaten while driving, working at the desk and such, when your mind is elsewhere. Why not make mealtime an opportunity to slow down and savor your food, have a few quiet moments, and share both food and good company?