Are You a Fast Eater? Here’s a Trick to Slow Down

I’m a fast eater. I often say that I’m the ‘dog’ in the house while the rest of my family are ‘cats’. I can inhale food and have a clean plate while the rest of my family’s plates look like they’ve yet begun to eat.

The problem with this, of course, is the notion that it takes some time – I’ve heard 20 minutes or so – for the stomach to tell the brain that ‘I’ve had enough, thank you.’ In that time, food you don’t really need has been gobbled down, and any weight loss chance is lessened.

Portion control helps – but only so much. If you wolf down your portions, you still need to deal with the hunger window between the inhalation of your meal and your stomach telling your brain that you’re full.

You can try to slow yourself down, but this requires presence of mind as well as the willpower to overcome a lifelong pattern and a natural personal tendency – not always easy.

I have found a way to slow down the speed of my eating that works for me: chopsticks.

Unlike a fork, chopsticks typically don’t allow for the shoveling of food into one’s gullet. The quantity per transfer from bowl to mouth is less, which means it takes longer to eat – which is exactly what we’re gunning for here.

If you’ve never used chopsticks, you can probably pick up the technique in a few meals – it’s not that hard.

I’ve been using this technique with a mix of vegetables and chicken, both diced small. Yes – toward the end of the meal, a certain dexterity is needed to get the remaining bits – but it is a skill that you’ll pick up after some practice.

As a result, your eating will slow down, helping to make you feel fuller on less.

And as an added benefit, you learn to use chopsticks so you can avoid looking like a clueless rube the next time you go to an asian restaurant.

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3 thoughts on “Are You a Fast Eater? Here’s a Trick to Slow Down

  1. Thats a good idea. Like you I tend to gulp my meals down so quickly. I have tried chewing slowly but I end up getting frustrated and bored. I guess this would be the signal to stop but I still want that ‘hit’.

  2. Love it, yes I’m a “wolfer” – it became really apparent to me with my Mom visiting. She’s into portion control and with my big plate of food I STILL finished before her.

    I’m going back on Induction this week, thinking some slow eating of food might help me get through it. I’ve read a few of your blogs and I’m glad to hear I’m not alone.

    JLO

    • Hi Jen,

      Check out the book ‘Mindless Eating’ (http://amzn.com/0553804340) – it’s written by a researcher into the cues we have for eating and he describes his experiments in a test restaurant where the patrons are guinea pigs. It’s actually an entertaining read as well as insightful about why we can pack away way more than we should.

      The fellow also has a website – http://www.mindlesseating.org/ – maybe there’s something in all this that can be of help.

      Regards,

      LCC

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