To Avoid Diabetes, Slow Down

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Filed Under: Diabetes
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

To Avoid Diabetes, Slow Down

If you have a tendency to wolf down your food, here’s an incentive to slow down. A recent study suggests eating quickly can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

To reach these findings, researchers in Lithuania studied the eating habits of 702 people: 234 with type 2 diabetes and 468 without. Results showed that those people who eat more quickly were 2.5 times more likely to have diabetes than those who eat their food more leisurely.

Although the researchers were quick to point out that this doesn’t prove a causal relationship, I would venture to say there is. It takes about 20 minutes for the signal of fullness to reach your brain. If you’re gobbling down your food in half that time you’re more likely to overeat. In fact, the researchers found that those with diabetes tended to have a higher body mass index (BMI) than those without diabetes.

What can you do to slow down and eat less?

  • When it’s time to eat, stop whatever you’re doing. Don’t take your meals on the run, and avoid eating while driving, working, watching TV, or talking on the phone.
  • Before each meal, take a few deep breaths and relax for 60 seconds—mentally reminding yourself to slow down.
  • Put down your fork between bites, take a sip of water, and talk with your dining companions. Your goal is to make your meal last for at least 20 minutes, which is how long it takes for satiety signals to reach your brain.
  • Finally, don’t eat when you’re angry or upset—since you’ll be more likely to wolf down your food. Instead, wait a few minutes, calm down, and enjoy your food.

Now it’s your turn: Do you have a secret that’s helped you to eat more slowly?

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