Discover 4 tips from a psychologist to eat less

An American psychologist shared some easy-to-practice tips to try to eat more slowly, promote satiety, and, ultimately , eat less.

To achieve the feeling of satiety more quickly , for better digestion and to limit weight gain by eating less, it is advisable to eat slowly , chewing each mouthful conscientiously. Unfortunately, in practice, our busy and rushed lives push us to eat our lunch in less time than it takes to say it.

However, for the brain to send a satiety signal to the body, the meal would need to last 20 to 30 minutes, and include breaks between bites. At least that's what Leslie Heinberg, psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic (Ohio, United States), points out in a dedicated article (Source 1).

While recalling the risks associated with eating too quickly (increased food intake, poor digestion, stomach aches, risk of weight gain and metabolic syndrome), the psychologist listed some tips to help us slow down. .

Provide a dedicated slot

To be sure to eat slowly, and therefore eat less, the psychologist advises planning a dedicated time slot for your meal, far from external demands. So no more hastily eaten meals in front of the computer . Also no more “takeaway” meals. We eat on site, in a dedicated place , even if it means setting a timer or watching the clock.

Chewing fork placed

To be sure to chew sufficiently before swallowing a mouthful, the psychologist advises, for example, to put your fork down between each mouthful. This way, we will be less tempted to eat one more bite after another. She suggests chewing each bite 15 to 30 times before swallowing. If you feel a large piece passing into your esophagus, it means that the mouthful has not been chewed enough.

Water between bites

The psychologist also advises staying hydrated while eating: that is, drink one or two small sips of water between bites , so as to take a break between each bite. This can also help to ensure that food is softened in the mouth during the chewing process.

Eat mindfully

Finally, his last recommendation, and not the least, is to ignore possible distractions during the meal. Because eating in front of the television or computer does not encourage eating slowly, being aware of what you are eating.

The psychologist therefore recommends eating mindfully  : taking the time to understand each food, first in terms of its external appearance, its smell, then in the mouth, with its texture and taste. In short, use all your senses during a meal, rather than eating without really realizing what's on your plate.

Small behavioral changes – whether it's just slowing down, not snacking as much, not eating in front of the TV – all of those little things are small steps people can take to address this problem ”, concluded Dr. Heinberg.

Source 1: “ Eating Too Fast? Here Are 4 Ways To Slow Down ,” Cleveland Clinic, 04/10/24.