We eat too quickly, and it’s causing weight gain

eating-fast_1

Eating too quickly overrides the Leptin signals sent to the brain, tricking the body into thinking it’s still hungry.

We eat too quickly, and it’s causing weight gain.

It’s easy to scarf down a meal when life gets hectic and you have to move on to the next task. Unfortunately, if you eat too quickly, your brain won’t be able to recognize the protein hormone, Leptin, which lets you know when you’re full.

I recently spent an evening walking down the narrow, cobbled streets near Notre Dame. Dimly lit tables overflowed into the thoroughfare, filled with the locals and tourists, eating, drinking, and enjoying the Paris nightlife.

They weren’t in a hurry! The causal talk before dinner was the same during dinner.  Back home, we’re used to the witty banter before dinner as we impatiently wait for our order to arrive. Then, it gets eerily silent as we focus on the mission in front of our faces.

Based on my personal observations, we spend about 15 to 20 minutes eating our main course, a stark contrast when compared to the 90 minutes it takes an average French native to dine.

Why does it matter how fast I eat?

leptin-chart

Try taking lunch with a friend and strike up a conversation. Talking in-between bites will slow down food intake, allowing Leptin to do its job.

The key ingredient in all of this is the Leptin protein hormone. Leptin acts on receptors in the brain’s hypothalamus, inhibiting appetite and producing a feeling of satiety. In other words, Leptin signals the brain that you’ve had enough food. However, it takes 20 to 30 minutes for Leptin to take effect.

What I saw in Paris was people eating at a pace to allow the Leptin to do its work. Contrarily, we eat much, much faster.  As we’re finishing our meals in record-breaking time, we don’t realize just how full we are, until it’s too late.

So, what should I do?

Try putting your fork down in between bites.  Maybe even socialize a bit during the meal.  You’ll eat less (less calories), perhaps chew a bit longer (better digestion and nutritional value) and maybe even enjoy a richer experience with your company. It worked for me, hopefully it works for you!

[menshealth.com]

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