Even if you are not elderly, taking the time to eat slowly is a positive habit. When someone finishes a meal within just a few minutes, chances are he/she is eating too quickly! Indigestion is just one negative effect from eating too quickly. Read on for some additional signs that you or someone you know is eating too quickly, and learn how to help slow down a bit while eating. This is especially important for seniors.
Healthier & Tastier Foods
When people slow their eating down a little during meals, they taste and savor their food more. Mealtime should be a pleasant, relaxing experience. When fully able to savor foods, people are more open to trying healthier foods, as well, including fiber like vegetables and fruits. Not being full of unhealthy foods means more room for healthier choices. As people get healthier meals, their bodies begin to naturally want those healthy types instead of junk foods.
Overeating & Weight
When eating more slowly, people are more aware of their body’s response to the food. It is very easy to overeat when you are eating quickly, because it takes a few minutes for your body to catch up with the cues from ingesting food. Eating more slowly and simply being conscious of your body’s fullness level may help someone lose a little weight and feel healthier.
When someone eats a meal, his/her body responds to the food that eventually heads to the stomach. Eating slowly gives the body time to send and respond to those cues. A large result of doing this is that the body can keep up with digestion, which can solve heartburn, nausea, and diarrhea trouble, among other physical problems.
When people eat too quickly, they miss out on the social engagement that can be beneficial during mealtime. Getting used to eating meals around other people, such as a home care provider, and eating more slowly allows for people to enjoy their companionship. It’s always important for one’s mental health to be socially engaged at times. Laughter, companionship, and conversational exchange can help one reduce their stress level, as well.
It may take time for your senior loved one to learn to actually enjoy eating more slowly, but remember all the benefits.