HEALTH

3 Bad Eating Habits That We Willfully Ignore

Eating fast doesn’t mean eating right.

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

If you’re the slowest eater in your socials, there is nothing shameful about it.

I take around 30 minutes to eat my food, even when I am single-tasking. That’s because once I asked my dad how he always finished food sooner than me every damn time, and I was the only one left to take the empty plates to the sink.

His answer was simple yet profound:

“Eating fast is not the same as eating right.”

He left me with an army of unanswered questions. Without washing my hands, I searched the internet to verify his advice.

You have to enjoy the food and be present with it. My dad has other essential events to attend. So, he is generally thrifty with words, but I looked on the internet to reproduce what he said.

Below are the three truths I discovered that support his subtle advice, and if you follow them in your next eating session, you’ll find them helpful too.

#1. Eating fast is not healthy.

Eating fast is the single problem responsible for the domino effect of many issues.

It leads to emotional eating. You eat more than required. It’s because the brain takes up to 20 minutes to understand when your stomach is full.

If you devour in a flash, you eat way too much by the time your brain signals you to stop.

Take time to eat. It satisfies your appetite without inflating your belly.

#2. Don’t multitask.

I’m still guilty of multitasking because of surrendering to Netflix whenever I sit for food.

We already know the attention diversion that happens while multitasking anywhere, but here is the exact problem we face when eating. Sometimes even when the food is delicious, our mouth doesn’t generate enough saliva because our attention disproportionately shifts elsewhere.

Ever wondered why we drink water to replace saliva when it is hard to swallow food? It happens when we are not completely present with our food — even when it is delicious!

Factor in your phone with your computer. And if you’re doing WFH, join my club.

#3. Differentiate between thirst and hunger.

Most people confuse thirst with hunger. I was one of those people until two years ago.

A colleague reminded me to carefully analyse if food is what I need every time I feel short on energy.

While researching, I found the signals of thirst are similar to hunger but relatively weak. Hence, we often misinterpret thirst as binge-time.

Try drinking water when you feel hungry at an unexpected time.

In most cases, the craving stops. If it doesn’t, there is no guilt in occasional munching.

Final words

Slow-eating is the one habit that goes unappreciated because people perceive it as a sign of laziness.

But if you see how your brain processes the fullness of the stomach, slow eating will become your preferred method.

Even if you feel like it can take a lot of your time, single-tasking has made me appreciate my time with my food.

I hope I can single-task during every meal. But, for now, one focused meal daily is a good start.

What steps are you taking to improve your eating habits?

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Sanjeev is a mentor, writer, and fitness enthusiast from India. He writes about lifelong learning, personal growth, and positive psychology. When he’s not engaging with students in solving their doubts or busy writing, he’s sweating either in a workout, PC gaming, or playing 8-ball pool. You can also find him on Instagram.

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Sanjeev Yadav

Sanjeev Yadav

Writer • Mentor • Recovering Shopaholic • IITR 2019 • ✍🏼 Personal Growth, Positive Psychology & Lifelong Learning• IG: sanjeevai • List: sanjeevai.ck.page