Before You Wolf Down Your Lunch, Consider This

woman eatingPeel back yogurt lid, lick lid, throw away lid, eat yogurt, throw away container. This morning it took me approximately 90 seconds to eat my breakfast, which isn't necessarily a good thing. I thought I was saving time, and money, by eating breakfast at my desk, but as it turns out, we're spending less and less time eating yet still managing to consume more and more calories.

A new study found that Brits are scarfing down their three meals a day in less than 40 total minutes. The average is 7 minutes for breakfast, 13 minutes for lunch, and 19 minutes for dinner -- a similar study done back in 2006 found that Americans spend about 67 minutes a day on our three squares.

Even though we're eating slower than those across the pond, we still need to take 'er easy when it comes to wolfing down our meals.


Guess Grandma was right to yell at me to slow down. But you know what? Sometimes I have to move fast and eat faster. Most meals are purely functional for me -- I try to stuff some mildly healthy grub down my throat at breakfast and lunch so I can keep working. Dinner, if I'm alone, doesn't take long either. I'll eat on the porch or on my couch, the meal maybe taking up 15 or 20 minutes.

They say the trouble is that we're not appreciating our food, that we're hardly noticing it, and that eating fast isn't great for our bodies or our minds. While I totally agree, I can't seem to find a solution. If I take time for lunch, I'll have to stay later at work to finish all my projects. And if I stay late, I lose part of my night. So I'd rather eat fast than lose time ... but isn't free time important to our health, too?

I don't know what's healthier here: pausing for lunch and staying late, or eating fast and enjoying the maximum amount of free time. Sigh.

Being present for meals is something I'll try to work on, but I don't think I'll necessarily be slowing down. It's bad for me, I get it, but I got to go with the lesser of two evils here. In our hectic lifestyles, it's hard to do everything right, but I suppose I'll give conscious eating a try. It'd make my grandmother happy.

And if you're reading this while eating, take a second to think about your food, then carry on. Lunch time!

Do you eat too fast? How many minutes do you spend eating your meals each day?

Photo via fergie_lancealot/Flickr

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