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Why Do I Eat So Fast?

If you live in a big city or have a busy routine, it’s common to find yourself in a rush, anxiousness, and timelessness. Having a busy routine can lead you to treat your primary needs as secondary and time-consuming baggage, such as sleep, eating and resting. Trying to spare time for multiple roles, such as a successful business person, a mom/dad, a partner, someone with hobbies, a friend and more, the first things we cut the time from are, unfortunately, usually the most crucial ones.

As complex as our lives get and as far we are driven away from our actual natural way of living as developed animals, we more and more fail to cope with the demands of modern life and eating too fast is one of the most important outcomes. But of course, we cannot explain this difficulty of coping with our lives and neglecting our vital needs as it is solely about time management. Our daily mood, relationship with food, and emotional and mental state can highly affect our eating behaviour.

Causes of Eating Fast

1. Being in a Rush

This is probably the most innocent and reasonable reason for eating fast. Simply, if you are short of time – it is highly likely that you will try to fit your meals or snacks in between tasks and places to be – causing you to eat while driving, getting ready or walking.

You scarf down food during a rush, it can cause picking easily accessible fast foods or processed/packaged snacks, and it makes portion control and mindful eating impossible.

2. Your Primal Hunger Kicked In

If you have waited for long hours before eating or skipped your usual meal time, it is possible that you feel the urge to eat fast and more. Even though this can be considered as a normal reaction, remember that to eat quickly on an empty stomach can cause more inflammation and irritation. Eating fast can cause feeling hungry after eating, too.

3. Psychological Factors

Screens distract us from everything. If you got used to watching movies and videos or just scrolling on social media while eating, it is impossible to slow down, as you are in a mindless state. If you ask, “Why do I eat so fast when I am alone and watching TV?” you are not eating to eat but to accompany yourself while consuming content. You get absolute pleasure from the crunch, the sweetness or the saltiness of the food rather than eating and feeding yourself, and you end up eating unhealthily.

4. Emotional Factors

Emotions can significantly impact your eating behaviours through emotional eating, hormonal responses, self-perception, motivation and lack of awareness.

If you feel shame around food, meaning that you tend to eat faster and more when no one is watching, and if this shame-eating starts when you feel uncomfortable, such as loneliness, anger, or stress, you are probably experiencing emotional eating.

The use of food as a tool of confrontation rather than a source of physical nourishment can lead to emotional eating. Emotional eating can both lead to eating disorders and weight gain and also avoid truly solving your emotional shifts.

Health Consequences of Eating Fast

Gaining a few kilos can be a harmless consequence of eating fast. However, long-term weight gain can increase certain chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cholesterol and hypertension. If eating too fast becomes an unhealthy habit, it can increase the risk of having cardiac disease as well. It can also cause metabolic and digestive dysfunctions, and gastritis can occur at an early age.
why do I eat so fast

Benefits of Eating Slower

By stopping the habit of quick eating and starting chewing slower, applying mindful eating techniques and avoiding distractions during eating times, it is possible to have control over your portions and food choices.

1. Improved Digestion

Digestion starts with your mouth. To leave less work to your stomach and digestive system, you have to chew more and, therefore, eat slower. Stopping for a couple of seconds between your bites can give your stomach some time to process the food. The less you tire your digestive system, the less likely you will develop digestive issues.

2. Weight Loss and Management

Eating slower will help with your weight management, decrease inflammation and feeling uncomfortable after eating, help you set a healthier relationship with food, and protect you from possible encounters with eating disorders. Eating slower and calmer is the best answer if you wonder how to stop eating so much.

How to Eat Slower

If you searched for how to eat slowly, the good news is you have already done half the work by noticing your quick eating habit and deciding to fix it. There are several tips recommended for slower eating; let’s explore!

Practical Tips and Strategies

First, you should treat eating times as eating times and avoid eating without sitting. Using utensils will slow down your eating. In between every few bites, put the fork or spoon down and pause for a short moment. You may also push the plate away, let your digestive system work, and then take the plate back. If you like snacking, you can set a time limit for the snack time. For example, if you decide 15 minutes is the best, avoid finishing your snack after 15 minutes.

Mindfulness Techniques

Mindful eating handles eating not as stuffing food in our bodies but as a new experience every time. You should first smell, touch, and look at the food you eat and fully understand the pleasure and energy it will give you. By taking small bites and chewing at least 40 times, you will use all of your taste buds and slowly produce serotonin rather than a high rush. You can easily find guided meditations for mindful eating, and they will introduce you to the technique in detail.

Portion Control and Meal Planning

Many of us experience weight gain or no loss while on a diet of only healthy food options. But we should remember that labels such as low fat, diet, healthy and organic do not make any food zero calorie. Some healthy, natural food sources such as nuts, fruit, and whole grains can contain high calories in small portions.

Weight gain is inevitable if you skip portion control and chew fast on high-calorie healthy snacks all day. Therefore, portion control and planning meals and snacks by calculating the macros and calories are necessary. Knowing how much you can eat will automatically slow down because you will not want to run out of food in seconds.

FAQs - Why Do I Eat So Fast

What does it mean if I eat fast?

When you eat fast, there isn’t much chewing involved, which can lead to difficulty digesting food. Additionally, not allowing time for digestion when eating quickly can result in not feeling full, leading you to overeat.
Due to their distractibility, individuals with ADHD may not only struggle to focus solely on eating while they are dining but also engage in multiple activities simultaneously. For example, they may need to watch something, use their phone, continue talking, etc., which can lead to eating faster and more mindlessly.
There can be many underlying reasons for eating quickly. Among these, the fast pace of life and constantly being on the go, along with distractibility, eating habits, environmental factors, and lifestyle, are often cited.
When we feel hungry, we may experience sudden drops in blood sugar levels, tremors in the hands and feet, weakness, and other problems. These symptoms can prompt us to dive into eating quickly. The desire for instant gratification and time constraints can also play a role.
Eating fast is a common behaviour today, which can lead to health problems, especially concerning digestion. That’s why we recommend you practise slow eating if you are a fast eater.
We can say that eating quickly is unhealthy. Since there is not much chewing, digestion of the food becomes difficult, the feeling of satiety decreases, and overeating may occur.