It’s been clichéd diet advice for years, but a new study from Japan backs it up: Eating slowly is correlated with lower instances of obesity. The CBC reports researchers found that individuals who report themselves as “normal” or “slow” eaters were less likely to meet the Japanese standards for obesity.
Studies like this trip our “no shit” switch: We know we should eat more mindfully, taking time to think about the flavors of the instant ramen cup we’re shoveling into our face while standing over the sink and simultaneously sending work emails. I’ve recently found myself absorbed in a Netflix show and Instagram scrolling and looked down 15 minutes later to realize my entire box of cookies has vaporized.
Why does this happen? Some speculate that eating slowly allows our brains’ “I’m full” receptors time to kick in, reducing the chance of overeating. And as my astute friend Carly once said, this is part of why salads are such good health foods: The raw veggies take forever to chew, and halfway through the bowl, you just say “screw it, this is taking too long” and stop eating.
We’d love to slow down our meals, but yeah, who has the time? We’d also like to cook everything from scratch, grow our own produce, and never eat sad desk lunch again, but we know it’s not happening. Okay though, the Japanese study is a kick in the pants to try to change our frenzied eating habits at least a couple times a week. Valentine’s Day seems as good an evening as any to put the phone down and really take the time to look at what’s on my plate, which won’t be lobster.