Mindful Eating Monday: The Benefits of Slowing Down


This just in: People who wolf down their food are two and a half times more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes than those who take their time according to new research presented at the joint International Congress of Endocrinology and European Congress of Endocrinology in Florence, Italy.

This, mind you (no pun intended), was independent of what a person weighs.  How fat a person was had no impact on the risk of developing type 2 diabetes; it was purely about behavior.  And a simple one at that.

In my Healing with Food class, I’ve long talked about how mindful eating sets the stage for the optimal digestion, absorption and metabolism of our food.  This study appears to confirm that.  If it helps reduce risk for diabetes, then what’s it doing otherwise?  Gotta be good.

Check out this post from Mark Hyman, MD, who draws from Marc David of The Slow Down Diet & Institute for the Psychology of Eating, to provide some great insight into why slowing down works to help us reach our natural, healthy weights.  Here are the high points from the post. (And thanks to Beth Mazur for the heads up re the post.)

  • Stress can put weight on — relaxation can take it off.
  • Happiness is the best digestive aid.
  • Overeating is easier to do than you might think.
  • Slower eating means faster metabolism.
  • Make sure you have enough vitamin P – Pleasure!
  • Emotional eating isn’t the enemy.
  • Get rid of toxic nutritional beliefs.

I’ll just add one point.  Eating balanced meals regularly — every 3-5 hours on average — goes a long way towards helping us slow down.  We’re not ravenous when we eat; getting too hungry sets up a normal physiological response of eating quickly.  We need energy!

Would love to hear from any of our alumnae — have you seen a difference in how you feel as a result of slowing down, eating more mindfully?  Would love to hear from you if you aren’t an alum, too!

2 responses to “Mindful Eating Monday: The Benefits of Slowing Down”

  1. jbunny says:

    I have found that it is impossible to slow down eating, unless I stop eating in front of the TV. Sitting down with the spouse to have a conversation during dinner, makes such a difference. I end up getting full faster too! This helped me start limiting my food portion size. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Susan Bewley says:

    Many people don’t realize the benefits of slowing down when they eat. Its one of those fights I have with my husband when it comes to weight loss and eating healthy. He can inhale food in three minutes when it takes me half hour to sometimes finish a meal…

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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