Eating Fast: Does It Cause Weight Gain?

Does eating fast cause weight gain? This would be a question on the lips of many.

Many people eat fast. Most people don’t eat their foods mindfully.

Eating fast is a bad habit. It has some consequences on health, including obesity, weight gain, and overeating.

This article will explain in detail whether eating fast may cause weight gain or not.

Eating fast
Photo Credit: The Independent

EATING FAST MAKES ONE TO OVEREAT

We live in a very busy world. Everyone’s in a hurry to accomplish the day’s task. And so, eating along with other activities, are done quickly and in a hurry.

The fact is, our brains need time to detect and process the signals of satiety (1).

As a matter of fact, the human brain may need at least 20 minutes to realize that you’ve eaten to your fill.

If a person eats too fast, he or she will eat much more than the body really needs. This leads to excessive calorie intake and weight gain.

A study involving children showed that those 60 percent of the subjects who ate their foods fast also overate. Those who ate fast had their risk of being overweight tripled (2).

EATING FAST INCREASES THE RISK OF OBESITY

Obesity is a chronic health disorder. It is quite complex, meaning that a lot of factors contributes to it, and not just the well-known sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, or lack of will power.

As a matter of fact, complex lifestyle and environmental factors contribute to obesity (3).

For instance, studies have shown that fast eating contributes to obesity and overweight (4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

A study review involving 23 pieces of research showed that people who ate fast had their risk of being obese increased by two, compared with those who ate slowly (9).

EATING FAST CAUSES MANY HEALTH PROBLEMS

Obesity and overweight are not the only demerits of eating fast. Fast eating is also linked to a host of health issues, such as:

  • Insulin resistance. Fast eating increases the risk of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is characterized by extremely high levels of insulin and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Of course, these are hallmarks of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes (10, 11, 12).
  • Type 2 diabetes. The risk of type 2 diabetes is increased when a person consistently eats fast. A study showed that those who ate their foods fast had their risk of type 2 diabetes increased by 2.5 times compared with those who took their time while eating (13, 14).
  • Metabolic syndrome. People who eat fast have a higher risk of going down with metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes (15, 16).
  • Poor digestion. Poor digestion is common among fast eater. Fast eaters take very large bites and do not chew their foods properly. This may have negative effects on digestion.
  • Less satisfaction. People who eat fast do not take time to enjoy their meals, compared with those who eat slowly. This is not a health problem but it is important (17).

HOW NOT TO EAT FAST

Eating slow has a number of health benefits.

It may raise the level of satiety hormones. This makes you feel more satisfied, and also reduces your intake of calories (1, 17).

Eating slowly enhances digestion. You also take the time to savor and enjoy your food.

If you’d like to eat more slowly, then read the following tips. They might be of help:

  • Don’t eat while watching TV. If you eat with your phone in your hand, in front of your TV, computer, or any other device, you may end up eating fast and mindlessly. You’ll also be oblivious of the amount of food that you have eaten.
  • Put your cutleries down between each mouthful. With this, you can eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful.
  • Don’t starve. Do not allow yourself to get too hungry before you eat. This may cause you to eat fast and eat wrong! Always have some healthy snacks around you.
  • Sip some water while eating. Drinking water while eating helps you feel full and encourages slow eating.
  • Chew well before swallowing. You should masticate properly before swallowing. It is important. Food that is chewed properly before swallowing digests faster.
  • Eat fiber-rich foods. Fiber-rich foods like vegetables and fruits are very filling. They also have a long-chewing time.
  • Take small bites. Don’t eat large mouthfuls. Take smaller bites at intervals. With this, you can eat slowly and your meals will last longer.
  • Practice mindful eating. It is a very effective tool. Mindful eating involves paying attention to what you are eating.

Like most new habits, learning how to eat slowly requires patience and some practice. You can begin with any of the above-listed tips and develop from there.

THE SUMMARY

Eating fast is very common in today’s world, and a fast-paced world it is.

While eating fast may save you some time, it can also raise your risk of health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity.

If you aim to lose weight, then try to eat slowly. Eating slowly also has other health benefits as we’ve mentioned above. So during your next meal, try to eat more slowly.

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