Hey, sometimes it's difficult to slow down and enjoy a meal. As someone who routinely eats like a starving dog, I totally get it. Unfortunately, gulping down your food at lightening speed is not always great for your digestion. Watching out for the physical signs you're eating too fast can make sure you don't routinely overdo it when you're chowing down.
Really, unless you're training for an eating competition or something, there's no reason to bolt your food on the regular. Eating your meals too quickly can cause all sorts of health problems, in fact. "When people eat fast they tend not to feel full and are more likely to overeat. Eating fast causes bigger glucose fluctuation, which can lead to insulin resistance," said cardiologist Takayuki Yamaji in the American Heart Association. All sorts of metabolic issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke risk factors may be associated with eating too fast, as Yamaji's study of eating speed and metabolic syndrome found. In other words, wolfing down your food may be associated with all sorts of serious health conditions later on in life.
Thankfully, your body has some clever ways of reminding you to slow down at mealtimes. If any of the physical signs of eating too fast show up, then you know it's time to chill out a little bit and maybe savor your food a little more.
1. Your Digestion Is Painful
If you get a stomachache after every meal, it may be time to reassess your eating speed. Experiencing pain while digesting food means you're eating too fast in some cases, as nutritionist nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert explained in The Telegraph. Chewing each bite thoroughly, and just slowing down the mealtime in general, are good ways to make sure your digestive tract has an easier time.
2. You Don't Wait To Feel Full
Bolting your meals could mean missing your body's signal that it's content. In general, it takes about 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to register feelings of fullness, according to WebMD. If you inhale your entire meal in 5 minutes, however, it's easy to overeat. Taking more leisurely meals allows you to pay attention to and notice your body's signals more clearly.
3. You Get Bloated
If you get that super uncomfortable feeling of bloat in your stomach after a meal, your eating speed may be to blame. Taking in food too quickly can mean swallowing more air with each bite. "The air bubbles in your stomach can cause bloating, gas, and just make you feel uncomfortable,” explained registered dietitian Brigitte Zeitlin, in Self.
4. You Get Gassy
Yeah, I went there. But it's true. Most belching is caused by swallowing excess air by doing things like eating too fast, chewing gum, or drinking carbonated beverages, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you get super burpy after every meal, then slowing down might help.
5. You Feel Super-Full After Each Meal
It's one thing to feel satiated. But feeling straight-up stuffed is another matter entirely. Eating too quickly can cause you to lose touch with your body's signals of fullness and hunger, making it easy to eat to the point of discomfort, according to LiveStrong. As anyone who's overdone it on a big meal can attest, that feeling of over-fullness is very uncomfortable.
6. You Deal With Acid Reflux On The Regular
If you've ever dealt with acid reflux, then you know it's wildly unpleasant. And eating quickly can increase the risk of acid reflux after a meal, according to WebMD. Chill out while chowing down to lower your odds of getting heartburn.
7. You Get Nauseous
If you're feeling nauseous after a meal, then check your speed. Experiencing nausea after eating can be caused by something as simple as inhaling your food too fast, according to WebMD. Enjoy your meal at the most relaxed pace possible. No one's going to take it away from you.
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