Being  a patient person will benefit your eating decisions too.    Weight watching, diet and nutrition is important also.

Today’s busy lifestyle can make eating together a challenge, but it’s worth the effort it takes. There are nutrition, health, social, and mental benefits to eating with others. Here are some tips and strategies to help you get started.

  • Eating together can happen at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Choose the meal that gives you the most time to talk and connect.

  • If you don’t usually eat together, start by scheduling one meal per week and increase the number as you are able.

  • Circle your friends and family around healthy foods as often as you can. The more you eat together, the more you benefit.

  • Try to schedule activities so that they don’t interfere with mealtimes. If that’s not possible, create a meal together around a picnic table in a park on the way to piano lessons or rink-side before hockey.

Tip: Once you decide what meal you are going to eat together, mark it on your calendar like you would any other event. If you have a plan, it is more likely to happen.

  • Eating together is more likely to happen when everyone helps.

  • Involve kids of all ages in planning, shopping for and preparing meals. These are important life skills that can help us eat well.

  • Children and others new to the kitchen can help in the following ways: take foods out of the fridge or cupboard, tear up lettuce for a salad, sprinkle cheese on a pizza, help wash fruits and vegetables, layer fixings in a sandwich, or put muffin liners in the pan.

  • Kids with more experience in the kitchen can do the following: crack eggs, toss a salad, measure ingredients, stir ingredients in a bowl, put batter into muffin tins, roll balls of cookie dough and put them on the baking sheet, or pick herbs from the garden.

  • Children are more likely to eat the foods they help you to prepare.

  • Cooking together is a great way to connect with each other and have fun!

  • Use a combination of fresh ingredients and ready-made foods to make fast, easy meals. Over time, make more from scratch. Remember, the meal doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s the time together that’s important.

  • Cooking is a great time to teach about food safety. Remind children to wash their hands before and after preparing food, to wash vegetables and fruit before eating, and not to mix ready-to-eat foods with foods that need to be cooked.

  • Cooking together is also a great way to teach kids about kitchen safety. Always supervise their activities. Getting burned or cut puts an end to the fun fast!

 

Tip: If you aren’t confident in the kitchen, choose simple and familiar recipes. This will help you enjoy your time together instead of trying to figure out the next step in the recipe.

  • Eating together provides a time to be connected. This helps children feel loved, safe and secure.

  • Focus on enjoying each other’s company, not on what or how much each child is eating.

  • Use meal times to teach children about family values and traditions.

  • Keep mealtime conversations positive. Encourage children to talk about their day. This helps to develop more communication between family members.

  • Schedule difficult or disciplinary conversations for some time other than meals.

 

Tip: Turn off distractions like the TV, computer, tablets and phones during mealtimes. Keep toys and books off the table.

  • You are an important role model for good table manners, trying new foods, and enjoying mealtimes. Children and youth are more likely to eat foods their parents and family also enjoy eating.

  • Make offering new foods part of your regular mealtime routine. Children often need to see, smell, and touch a food many times before trying it. Offer new foods with familiar foods and include foods your child has refused in the past.

  • Not everyone likes every food, and that’s okay. Encourage kids to say “no, thank you,” or teach them what you would like them to do or say if they don’t want to eat something.

  • Trust children to show or tell you how much they want to eat and when they are finished eating. An important part of healthy eating is learning to stop when they are full. Being forced or pressured to finish food can make your child ignore their internal hunger and fullness cues.

  • Try not to rush children through a meal. Children often take longer to eat than adults. Remind children to eat slowly, chew their food well and enjoy what they are eating.

  • People of all ages eat better when they share a meal with others. They tend to eat more fruits and vegetables and other nutrient-rich foods. They also eat less pop and fried foods.

  • Eating together gives young children the chance to learn more words and how to communicate better.

  • Other benefits for kids and teens include:

    • healthier eating into adulthood

    • healthier body weight

    • lower risk of disordered eating

    • less use of cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol

    • fewer behaviour problems and decreased early sexual activity

    • better self-esteem and less depression

    • better grades and higher scores on achievement tests at school

  • The benefits of eating together are greatest if you don’t eat in front of the TV and other screens.

There are local and national resources to help you get started:

Many people eat their food quickly and carelessly.

This may lead to weight gain and other health issues.

Eating slowly may be a much smarter approach, as it could provide a number of benefits.

This article explores the benefits of eating slowly.

 

Eating too fast can cause weight gain.

People who eat quickly tend to weigh more than those who don’t .

In fact, fast eaters are up to 115% more likely than slower eaters to be obese .

They also tend to gain weight over time, which may be partially due to eating too fast.

In one study in over 4,000 middle-aged adults, those who said they ate very fast tended to be heavier and had gained the most body weight since age 20.

Another study examined weight change in 529 men over 8 years. Those who reported being fast eaters gained more than twice as much weight as self-described slow or medium-paced eaters .

 

SUMMARY

Studies show that people who eat quickly tend to be heavier and gain more weight over time, compared with slower eaters.

 

Eating slowly helps you eat less.

Your appetite and calorie intake is largely controlled by hormones.

After a meal, your gut suppresses a hormone called ghrelin, which controls hunger, while also releasing fullness hormones .

These hormones tell your brain that you have eaten, reducing appetite, making you feel full, and helping you stop eating.

This process takes about 20 minutes, so slowing down gives your brain the time it needs to receive these signals.

Eating slowly can increase fullness hormones.

Eating too quickly often leads to overeating, as your brain doesn’t have enough time to receive fullness signals.

Additionally, eating slowly has been shown to decrease the amount of food consumed during the meal due to an increase in fullness hormones .

In one study, 17 healthy people with a normal weight ate 10.5 ounces (300 grams) of ice cream on 2 occasions. During the first, they at the ice cream within 5 minutes, but during the second, they took 30 minutes

.

Their reported fullness and levels of fullness hormones increased significantly more after eating the ice cream slowly.

In a follow-up study, this time in people with diabetes, as well as overweight or obesity, slowing down did not increase fullness hormones.

 

However, it significantly increased rates of fullness .

Other research shows that young people with obesity experience higher levels of fullness hormones when they eat slowly .

 

Eating slowly can decrease calorie intake.

In one study, people with normal weight or overweight ate at different paces. Both groups ate fewer calories during the slowest-paced meal, although the difference was only statistically significant in the normal-weight group (10Trusted Source).

All participants also felt fuller for longer after eating more slowly, reporting less hunger 60 minutes after the slow meal than after the fast one.

This spontaneous reduction in calorie intake should lead to weight loss over time.

SUMMARY

Eating slowly increases the levels of gut hormones responsible for feeling full, which may help reduce calorie intake.

 

Eating slowly promotes thorough chewing

To eat slowly, you need to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.

This can help you reduce calorie intake and lose weight.

In fact, several studies have found that people with weight problems tend to chew their food less than people with normal weight do (14Trusted Source15Trusted Source).

In one study, researchers asked 45 people to eat pizza until full while chewing at different rates — normal, 1.5 times more than normal, and twice the normal rate (16Trusted Source).

The average calorie intake decreased by 9.5% when people chewed 1.5 times more than normal and nearly 15% when they chewed twice as much as usual.

Another small study noted that calorie intake decreased and fullness hormone levels increased when the number of chews per bite increased from 15 to 40 (17Trusted Source).

However, there may be a limit to how much chewing you can do and still enjoy a meal. One study found that chewing each bite for 30 seconds reduced snacking later on — but also significantly reduced meal enjoyment (18Trusted Source).

 

SUMMARY

Chewing food thoroughly slows down your eating pace and reduces the number of calories you take in, which can lead to weight loss.

 

Other benefits of eating slowly

Eating slowly may also improve your health and quality of life in other ways, including:

  • increasing your enjoyment of food

  • improving your digestion

  • helping you better absorb nutrients

  • making you feel calmer and more in control

  • reducing your levels of stress

SUMMARY

There are many other good reasons to eat more slowly, including improved digestion and reduced stress.

 

How to slow down and lose weight

Here’s some advice to help you start eating more slowly:

  • Avoid extreme hunger. It’s hard to eat slowly when you’re very hungry. To prevent extreme hunger, keep some healthy snacks on hand.

  • Chew more. Count how many times you normally chew a bite of food, then double that amount. You may be surprised at how little you usually chew.

  • Set your utensils down. Putting down your fork between bites of food will help you eat more slowly and savor each bite.

  • Eat foods that need chewing. Focus on fibrous foods that require a lot of chewing, such as vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Fiber can also promote weight loss.

  • Drink water. Make sure to drink plenty of water or other zero-calorie beverages with your meals.

  • Use a timer. Set your kitchen timer for 20 minutes and do your best not to finish before the buzzer goes off. Aim for a slow, consistent pace throughout the meal.

  • Turn off your screens. Try to avoid electronic devices, such as television and smartphones, while eating.

  • Take deep breaths. If you begin to eat too quickly, take some deep breaths. This will help you refocus and get back on track.

  • Practice mindful eating. Mindful eating techniques help you pay more attention to what you’re eating and gain control of your cravings.

  • Be patient. Change takes time, as it takes about 66 days for a new behavior to become a habit .

 

SUMMARY

With practice and a few tried-and-true techniques, eating slowly will become easier and more sustainable.

 

The bottom line

Eating too quickly can lead to weight gain and decreased enjoyment of food.

However, slowing down can increase fullness and promote weight loss. It also provides other health benefits.

If you minimize your screen time, chew more, and focus on high-fiber foods, you’ll be well on your way to slower eating.