Slow Down your Eating!
It is a matter of fact: nowadays our food-related habits are getting worse, not only as to the quality of food chosen, but also as to the ways in which we consume it. We do not devote enough time either cooking or consuming meals. The average meal takes only fifteen minutes to prepare and even less to eat. We rarely sit at the table for lunch, we have rushed snacks on the go or sitting at the desk while working: we consume food too quickly to be able to enjoy it.
Pressing commitments, demanding working, and fatigue encourage us to prefer fast snacks, sandwiches and convenience food. It is possible to buy a wide range of ready meals in supermarkets and we can find take-away and fast-food restaurants at every street corner. Junk food has never been so accessible at any time of day and night.
Thus, the progressive worsening of the problem of food overconsumption may be associated with more stressful pace of today's routine, which leads us to feed more quickly and to prefer less healthy menu than in the past. Our lifestyle may contribute to obesity more significantly than genetic predisposition. This information gives us responsibility of our weight problems, but also gives us a sense of control over them.
The physiological basis of the link between overweight and fast food-intake is that the latter is unable to stimulate the release of satiety hormones immediately. When the body does not get the chemical signal warning it has already eaten enough, it continues to feel a false sense of hunger and goes on eating. In other words, by eating quickly, we do not give the body time to control our appetite and we continue to assume unnecessary calories. In fact, it takes at least 12 minutes for the satiety signals to reach the brain in thin individuals, and it takes even 20 in obese people. This is the reason why, nutritionists stress the importance of chewing food for a long time before swallowing it.
The benefits of eating slowly are numerous. In addition to having a key role in helping us to limit portions, eating without haste can improve digestion, in fact, chewing can prevent the feeling of fullness after meals. A further advantage is that consuming food gradually extends the pleasure of savoring every bite.
Here are some tips to reduce the speed at which we eat:
* If you tend to bring food to the mouth as quickly as possible, always start using knife and fork.
* Eat meals sitting at the table, not on the couch.
* Put the cutlery on the table between a bite and another.
* Drink a sip of water during meals regularly.
* Do not eat while watching TV. It is better to share a meal with your familiy, making conversation with them: you cannot talk and eat at the same time!
* Give yourself time to eat with your mobile phone and your computer off.
* If you work during lunch, it becomes difficult to pay attention to the flavors and texture of foods. You should take a break to enjoy a relaxing meal.
Marzia Vaccaro – I Like Italy
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