How to... eat more slowly

January 30, 2009 By Alison Johnson, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)

People who wolf down their food are more likely to be overweight and suffer from digestive problems.

Here are tips from local nutritionists on setting a healthier pace:

Stop eating before you feel full. It takes 15 to 20 minutes for your digestive system to tell your brain that you've had enough. If you keep eating until that feeling registers, you pack in lots of extra calories. Instead, put down your fork when you start to feel satisfied.

Turn utensils into allies. Make a habit of putting down your fork or spoon after each bite; don't pick it up again until you've swallowed. If you're eating hand-held foods, place them on your plate between bites. Note: To really slow yourself down, try eating with chopsticks.

Chew well. Take small bites of food and chew each one about four or five times before swallowing. Don't take the next bite until your mouth is empty. You also can take a sip of water between mouthfuls.

Take breaks. Once or twice during a meal, stop eating for about a minute. Talk, drink some water and take note of how full you're getting.

Relax. Try to schedule mealtimes when you can sit down and not rush. If you can, play soft background music _ studies have shown it makes people slow down.

Concentrate on your meal. Distractions such as TV can keep you from noticing how quickly you're eating. Take the time to enjoy the flavors, smells and textures of foods.

Try different dishes. If you have the same meals all the time, you're more likely to eat quickly and mindlessly.

Time yourself. As you adjust to a slower pace, a watch or timer can help you set goals.


(c) 2009, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.).
Visit, the World Wide Web site of the Daily Press at and on America Online at keyword "dailypress."
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Eat a paleo peach—first fossil peaches discovered in southwest China

Related Stories

Japan fleet sets sail for Antarctic whale hunt

December 1, 2015

A Japanese whaling fleet set sail for the Antarctic on Tuesday, on a mission to resume the slaughter after a one-year pause, with environmentalists slamming the move as a "crime against nature".

Meat and bone meal as a source of phosphorus

December 1, 2015

Slaughterhouse waste is processed into meat and bone meal and subsequently fed to livestock or incinerated. This meal could be put to better use, though. It contains phosphorus, a scarce mineral used as fertilizer. A new ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.