Eat more slowly

Breakfast is being served on the way to work, lunch is being rushed down and dinner is being eaten in front of the TV: these days, fewer and fewer people are consciously taking time off for individual meals. Food is increasingly regarded as an activity that is best done quickly and casually. But who in the long run his food down, must fear negative consequences for his health. By contrast, slow food can have a positive effect on our body and even make it leaner. Slow food can be learned at any age.

Dr. Martin Hofmeister is an ecotrophologist and works in the Department of Nutrition and Food of the Consumer Center Bavaria. In an interview, he explains why slow food is healthy and what tricks are there to get used to slower eating habits.

What is typical of our current eating habits?

Hofmeister: "Nowadays it is customary to buy something for breakfast on the way to work, to have lunch in a nearby fast food restaurant and have dinner in a restaurant, or to buy something from the baker as a main or snack meal "Snacking" and "out-of-home" consumption are currently in vogue in Germany - eating in passing has become a matter of course, and we usually do not take enough time for each meal. "

What does that mean for health consequences?

Hofmeister: "Since we hardly have time to eat, the food is often hurriedly and in large bites down, which, however, is not good for the health.In the word meal, the term time is included - we should take our time for our meal. "

How can you tell that you are too fast?

Hofmeister: "If you regularly take less than fifteen minutes to eat a meal, then you should ask yourself questions such as:

  • Do I take time to eat?
  • How do I rate my eating speed myself (very fast, fast, normal, slow, very slow)?
  • Do I eat more quickly and devour the food or do I eat slowly and enjoy the food? "

What are the risks of eating too fast?

Hofmeister: "There is an association between excessive eating speed and obesity in both children and adults, and satiety does not start until 15 to 20 minutes after the onset of food intake - although many people have already stopped their meal at this time. That is why fast eaters do not even feel that they are already full or not and often eat more than necessary.

The control of the speed of eating is therefore an important factor for the perception of satiety and thus also for the limitation of the portion size. Obese people should therefore be advised to slow down eating habits as it can lead to greater weight loss. "

Are there any other disadvantages?

Hofmeister: "If you eat too fast, you suffer from heartburn more often than someone who eats slower, and digestion works better if you eat more slowly and chew more often, because the food is already better broken down There is also an association between eating too fast and the development of the metabolic syndrome. "

Is it true that the food tastes better if you eat more slowly?

Hofmeister: "Yes, that's right, the connection between slow eating speed and better taste has been known for a long time, and those who eat too fast can not really grasp the composition and flavorings of the food, and if the food is chewed enough by frequent chewing, The flavorings in combination with the saliva can spread better and we perceive the taste more intense. "

Is it possible to get used to slower eating habits as an adult?

Hofmeister: "Of course, adults can still get used to reducing their eating time, for example, if they only use smaller cutlery, they will take smaller portions per fork, avoiding unnecessary hiccups.

Children, however, find it easier to learn new habits. Since children learn by imitating other people, especially in the presence of children should be paid particular attention to a slow eating pace. "

How can I proceed if I want to learn to eat more slowly?

Hofmeister: "It is generally important to make only minimal changes in everyday eating habits and to increase them slowly, and for every change introduced, children and adults must be taught the principle that they will have to make the change over a trial period of six to eight weeks,

Most people who are willing to change do not go through this period of time - often because they have too many changes at the beginning - and then fall back into old behaviors. Therefore, it is important to stay realistic and set manageable intermediate goals. For every interim destination, the six to eight-week period must be met - only then can the next change come. "

What tips do you use to "train" slower eating habits?

Hofmeister: "First of all, you should allow enough time for each meal - at least 20 minutes should be reserved for the meal, and you should always eat at the set table instead of with your hands with knife, fork and spoon, but there are still some more tricks to lower your eating speed:

  • One should only take small bites and chew them well before swallowing - every bite should be chewed at least ten times. Only when the mouth is completely empty, you should eat the next bite.
  • During the meal, you should concentrate fully on the meal and do no other things on the side. For anyone who reads while eating or watches TV eats faster.
  • It is also important that you drink enough: Before and during each meal, a large glass of water should be drunk.
  • To eat slower, you can also use smaller cutlery, such as a cake fork. Because if less fits on the fork or the spoon, you eat automatically slower. Alternatively, one can also try to eat the meal with chopsticks.
  • If you eat too fast, you should try to take off the cutlery several times - in the extreme case after every bite - and only pick it up again when the mouth is completely empty. Likewise, you should talk to other people at the table only when nothing is in the mouth. "
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