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Why are you eating so fast?


By Irene Rubaum Keller for

IntentblogI eat fast. I admit it. There is anxiety associated with eating if you have a weight problem and sometimes you just want to get the eating over with so you can reduce that anxiety. It’s stress, and guilt, and fear all rolled into one strange feeling when sitting down, or in many cases, standing up to eat. It’s almost like if I eat it quickly, it doesn’t count.

For me, I grew up with four younger brothers and so meal times were often frenzied. With five of us and me being the only girl, they would often be done before me and start eyeing my plate. “Are you going to eat that?” I get the same feeling at restaurants when the busboy starts coming around again and again to see if you’re done yet. It makes me want to protect my plate and eat faster so I can finally say YES, I’m done.

Several studies have shown that eating fast causes us to take in more calories and feel less satisfied after eating than eating slowly.

In this small study using ice cream, researchers measured the amount consumed in 5 minutes vs. 30 minutes and also measured the gut hormones that tell the brain we are full and satisfied. The sensors that tell us we are full come from the intestines and not the stomach. This is important to know and why it takes up to twenty minutes for your brain to understand that you are full and satisfied. It’s an odd design nature. You will feel pressure from your stomach when it’s full, and/or too full, but that is different than feeling sated.

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