By now I think we’ve all heard about the idea that it takes the body 20 minutes to know if it’s full. Well, I have recently learned, by this awesome food psychology guy Marc David, that it isn’t simply about knowing that the body is full, but something far greater than that.
This twenty minute time frame is not just about knowing that we are full,
it allows the body to “scan the food”, as Marc describes. We literally scan the food and measure up its nutrient content on a macro and micro level. Fast eating disrupts this process. It causes a stressor on the body, and triggers some form of stress response. This in turn makes it so that our digestive functioning is out of whack or completely shut down. We end up not absorbing the nutrients (most of them) from the food and expelling nutrients at a faster rate too. (Basically, we are screwing ourselves on several levels here). It also leads to overeating. So we are not getting nutrients, expelling nutrients, eating too much and stressing out our bodies. Yikes.
Overeating and Willpower
An important thing to remember is that overeating is not a question of willpower, but a question of letting the body’s natural appetite regulating mechanism kick in. While eating slow, you allow yourself the time it takes to scan the food and let your body say when is when. You up the nutrients you are taking in from your food. You are more likely to be in a relaxation response (instead of fight-or-flight) and your digestion will be on track. Get this – you even up the amount of calories you burn in day-to-day life.
Marc called this the simplest hack you can perform that will yield the greatest results. Try it, eat slowly, chew, enjoy. Your relationship to food may just transform. You just might be able to throw out any digestive-problem meds (they usually worsen the issues anyway). You will bring greater awareness to such an important part of your life. Instead of mindlessly scarfing down that meal or snack (that will end up hurting you anyway), you can take your time and do it right.
Do you eat slow? Eat fast? Tell me about it.
Marc David’s Web Presence:
The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
Bulletproof Executive Podcast with Marc David
The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss
Nourishing Wisdom: A Mind-Body Approach to Nutrition and Well-Being