T Nation

Eating Too Fast?


I have for a long time been a very fast eater. Is this a bad thing that I should try to break myself of? If it is, what is bad about it?



The only bad thing I can think of is ingesting too much air. A person can get gaseous from eating too fast because they swallow too much air. Oh, make sure you chew your food too.


it gives me hiccups

but i did dig up this

"Fast eating, not just fast food, can increase the risk of acid reflux after meals, according to a new study. Researchers say people who eat their food quickly are more likely to suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

GERD occurs when stomach acids wash up into the esophagus and cause symptoms such as chest pain and heartburn. If left untreated, the condition can lead to more serious problems, such as narrowing of the esophagus, bleeding, or a precancerous condition known as Barrett's esophagus.

Several lifestyle factors are known to affect the risk of GERD, such as a person's weight and the type of foods they eat. But in this study, researchers looked at whether the speed alone with which a person eats a meal may contribute to the risk of acid reflux and GERD.

Researchers asked 10 healthy volunteers to eat a normal, 690-calorie meal in either five or 30 minutes on alternate days and then monitored them for two hours after the meals for signs of acid reflux and GERD.

The study showed that the speedy meals induced a total of 15 GERD episodes compared to 11.5 GERD episodes triggered by the more leisurely meal. Acid reflux episodes were reported a total of 12.5 times after the five-minute meal versus 8.5 times after the 30-minute meal."

Abstract, Digestive Disease Week, May 17-23, Orlando, Fla.


That's paranoid. If you don't have GERD, there is no real reason to believe that eating fast alone causes it. Eating faster may allow you to actually consume more food in one sitting. Your body gets its sense of nausia past fullness by the activation of stretch receptors in the stomach. This takes time to occur so eating fast may allow you to get more food down before you would normally become nauseated from being full.


When the upper part of the stomach stretches, it causes the vagus nerve to send a message to the brain, which then tells the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax

The LES is a mostly one-way valve that allows food to pass from the esophagus into the stomach. When it opens the opposite way ? from the stomach into the esophagus ? acid can seep up, leading to that familiar burning sensation in the chest that we know as heartburn

If you eat more slowly, the upper part of the stomach has more time to move the food along through the digestive tract

The purpose of these transient relaxations of the LES is probably to allow people to belch when there's too much air in the stomach

What the study doesn't show, is whether slower eating would be a big benefit to people who regularly suffer heartburn.


I heard something similar with sled dog teams. They feed them larger chucks so as to keep more food in them for longer periods of time. I guess one 6oz chunk digests longer than three 2oz chunks.


I don't have GERD and that never happens to me, but the theory about getting more food down with out the full feeling is a thought that I have had. Im really trying to bail on the belly and I've been working out for 2 months now and I'm eating well. No more fast food and Im shopping for good food. One thing I have thought of is how much I eat when I was eating crapy was that I eat fast and keep eating till I felt full. Now that Im counting and keeping track, my meals are smaller and I don't go back for seconds at dinner. Im on about 5 meals per day (this is still new and im working on it) but I do think that contributed to my gut because I was over eating. I still catch myself eating fast but I'm eating less at one sitting. Thanks for all the replies.


Digestion begins in the mouth. If you're eating so quickly that you're not thoroughly chewing your food (particularly with foods that are a bit difficult to digest in the first place), you might want to slow down a bit.


No big deal, but I know if you're trying to cut fat, you definitely need to slow down, take sips of water, and chew your food fully.

If you're trying to gain muscle, why then, keep on keepin' on.

Dan "Chew your food, honey." McVicker


Don't worry about it. I am the World's fastest eater BTW, and about 8 years ago I figured out why: my parents would both light up cigarrettes after dinner, which disgusted me, so I learned how to eat fast so I could finish before they lit up.