What Happens When You Eat Too Fast?

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?

Related:
4 Ways to Relieve Indigestion, Naturally

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201 comments

Christine Jones
Christine Jones9 months ago

I am the slowest eater I know, and always have been. I don't try to be; I just am naturally. If I eat out with others I have to order first and I'm still usually the last to finish eating. It's great. You get to really savour your food, and I'm sure it helps to prevent too much weight gain.

Bea W.
Bea Wilson1 years ago

I have heard from several people that jobs giving only a half hour lunch break contributes to "wolfing" foods, even when they're not on the job. Should there be a petition started that all jobs give a full hour for lunch?

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe1 years ago

My husband eats really fast. I always tell him "no one is going to take it away from you, so you can slow down." He said when he was a kid, he would get 'seconds' if he ate faster than his brother or sister! And he has eaten that way ever since!

Summerannie Moon
Summerannie M.1 years ago

I think I'm normal pace to a bit slower But OMG, you should see my trainer EAT!

He ate three dishes to my one. I nearly died of shock. He said sorry.........I'm hungry! Three minutes and it was over. What did he taste or enjoy? I have no idea but I have to say it went thru my mind........I hope nobody is watching.
I remember my younger brother eating continuously but not where he was stuffing food in and just couldn't speak. I thought as a trainer these things might be for the person to get fit not the fitter of the two.
yikes, it was, I have to say really gross watching on.

Shawn P.
Shawn P.1 years ago

I've always known this, but I still tend to bolt my food!! I like my food warm, and hate it to cool off before I eat it..........must slow down, hard to do :-)

Kristen Belue
Kristen belue2 years ago

thats me

Kat Lover
Wonder G2 years ago

Not a good idea to eat fast.

Bill Eagle
Bill Eagle2 years ago

My wife tells me all of this, every time that I eat too fast.

Oleg Kobetz
Oleg Kobetz2 years ago

Thank you

Amy Sutley
Amy Sutley2 years ago

thanks