Have you ever thought about how fast you might be eating?
Seem like a strange question?!!
Well, the reason I ask is because according to a study published in the British Medical Journal (2018), eating speed was shown to affect obesity, BMI and weight circumference of subjects.
This is because eating quickly is associated with impaired glucose and insulin resistance, a known risk factor for diabetes – which is a condition prevalent in many who work 24/7.
Eating quickly can also lead to an increase in BMI and obesity because fast eaters may continue to eat despite having consumed sufficient amounts of calories.
When we’re running on reduced sleep (like most shift workers!!) we also don’t always receive a signal telling us that we’re feeling full because sleep deprivation suppresses an appetite regulating hormone called leptin.
So whilst we often have to inhale our food at a rate of knots thanks to time restraints around our meal breaks, being mindful of the speed at which you are eating can be a simple (and free) strategy for minimising weight gain whilst working irregular shift rotations.
Hurst, Y & Fukuda, H 2018, ‘Effects of changes in eating speed on obesity in patients with diabetes: a secondary analysis of longitudinal health check-up data’, British Medical Journal, vol. 8, no. 1.
Paz-Graniel, I, Babio, N, Mendez, I & Salas-Salvado, J 2019, ‘Association between eating speed and classical cardiovascular risk factors: A cross-sectional study’, Nutrients, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 1-10.