Making healthy eating choices with so many unhealthy and tempting options around is a tough task. Dieting and mindful eating are two popular ways of keeping a check on what you eat. However, studies have shown that waiting before eating can actually help you make better food choices. This, in turn, keeps you from putting on those extra pounds or aids you in losing some.
Below are the reasons why you should consider waiting before eating for a better health.
How Waiting Before Eating Improves Your Food Choices
1. Keep Healthy Foods Easily Reachable
When hungry, you often lose track of the calories you are eating and end up gorging on the quickest available snack or meal. Fast foods, sugary drinks, and sodas come handy when you are hungry, putting you at the risk of obesity and various diseases.
Piling up healthy food options like fruits, vegetables, high-fiber carbs, and lean proteins at home help. And, waiting to eat until you get home, when hungry, is the key. While this works best for dinner time, packing a healthy lunch to your workplace helps during day time. Healthy snacks like vegetable fingers, nuts, and berries are easy to carry and keep you full for a long time.
2. Eat Slowly And Steadily
We know it is difficult to eat slowly when hungry, and all you want to do is to finish your meal in a quick span. However, studies show that eating fast actually pushes you towards eating larger portions.
Once you start eating, the brain requires 20 minutes to receive a signal from your stomach that it is full. Eating slowly helps send accurate signals. In people with normal BMI, eating slowly reduces their intake, promotes fullness, and lowers hunger ratings 60 minutes after the meals.1
3. Order Food Well Before Mealtime
A study revealed that when there was a considerable gap between the time a person ordered his food and actually ate it, he chose lower-calorie meals. Surprisingly, the person was totally unaware that he opted for lower calories, as the choice was not a conscious one. This was due to two reasons. 1 – Being less hungry when the person ordered the food, 2 – improved self-control when one orders food for a later time.2
4. Sip Water Before Meals
Water though gets eliminated out of the body quickly, keeps you hydrated and temporarily full. Sipping a glass or two of water an hour before the meal reduces calorie intake significantly. Research indicates that sipping 500 ml of water, 30 minutes before the meals, results in weight loss in overweight and obese individuals.3 Wait before you land on your lunch table and enjoy sipping some H2O!
5. Eat High-calorie Food At The End
Organizing your meal to accommodate low-calorie foods in the beginning followed by high-calorie foods help you eat healthily. This also aids weight-loss. It is attributed to feeling full 20 minutes after you start eating. As you start with low-calorie foods, your brain receives a signal that your stomach is already filling up. So, by the end of the meal, you end up eating a lesser amount of high-calorie foods.
6. Avoid Multitasking While Eating
Studies show that multitasking while eating increases your calorie intake and leads to poor food choices. Since you are not very vigilant of what you are eating, you end up eating every possible item on the menu. Be it watching TV, working on your laptop, or simply being engrossed in social media, multitasking negatively impacts the way you eat.
In addition to all these, taking an advice of a health coach helps you plan your meal and keep a track of what you eat. This will inculcate the habit of making healthy food choices in a long run.
|↑1||Shah, Meena, Jennifer Copeland, Lyn Dart, Beverley Adams-Huet, Ashlei James, and Debbie Rhea. “Slower eating speed lowers energy intake in normal-weight but not overweight/obese subjects.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 114, no. 3 (2014): 393-402.|
|↑2||VanEpps, Eric M., Julie S. Downs, and George Loewenstein. “Advance Ordering for Healthier Eating? Field Experiments on the Relationship Between the Meal Order–Consumption Time Delay and Meal Content.” Journal of Marketing Research 53, no. 3 (2016): 369-380.|
|↑3||Handbook of Non Drug Intervention (HANDI) Project Team. “Pre-meal water consumption for weight loss.” Australian family physician 42, no. 7 (2013): 478.|