In our fast-paced world, life seems to move at super speed.  And since the dawn of fast food, many spend less time purchasing, preparing, eating and enjoying food.  How is all this fast-paced eating affecting us? Unfortunately, eating quickly may lead to being overweight.

A study published in the British Medical Journal and completed by researchers at Osaka University in Japan evaluated the eating styles of more than 3,000 Japanese volunteers aged 30-69 years old.  Participants who reported eating eating quickly were three times more likely to be overweight than those who reported not eating quickly.

The time has come for a move to slow food.  You may be pleasantly surprised to find that as you slow down you slim down and save money too.  

Here are 5 reasons to eat slowly:

1. Eating slowly increases meal satisfaction. It helps focus attention on the food.  The more you focus on what you're eating, the more fully you enjoy each bite, sensing its flavors and textures, and you become satisfied with less.  

2. Eating slowly helps improve digestion.  Have you ever eaten really fast and ended up with an upset stomach? Chewing each bite thoroughly and eating at a slower pace allows more time for your stomach to digest smaller amounts of food at a time which helps you feel better.

3. Eating slowly promotes weight control. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the signal of what has been eaten.  Eating slowly allows you to feel your fullness.  You'll feel full after eating fewer calories. Overeating leads to weight gain. Remember, if you feel stuffed, then you've eaten more than your body needs, which leads to weight gain. Eat until you're satisfied or until you no longer feel hungry.  You may find you feel better by eating smaller amounts more frequently throughout the day instead of eating the typical larger amounts in 2 - 3 meals a day.  

4. Eating slowly promotes mindful eating. Drive-through eating has almost become a way of life.  Many eat while on the road or working or watching television or even while cooking.  Mindful eaters focus on their food while eating and eat less in the long run. To eat mindfully, take time to think about what you are eating.  Savor each bite and fully enjoy the flavor of the foods or beverages.  Chew foods slowly.  Allow your mind to think about the source of the food and pause to be thankful for the food.

5. Eating slowly helps you save money. When you eat slowly, you're satisfied with less, spend less and stretch your food dollars.