Some people are fast eaters; some are slow. In many cultures, while it’s considered a virtue for boys to eat fast; it’s the other way round for the girls (they are advised and sometimes reprimanded to slow down a bit).
Although science doesn’t attribute any particular gender distinction on the eating speed; it does connect fast eating speed to weight gain.
In short studies say “People who eat fast or people who empty their plates fast or who finish their meals quickly normally eat more”.
Now if eating quickly is bad; eating slowly is bad too; as taking too much time is wastage of one important resource the “Time”.
So How much time should a person take to Finish his/her Meal ?
Grammy Award winning vocalist Sandi Patty in her new book(that I finished reading yesterday), The Edge Of The Divine, which is a very readable account ” of her decision to opt for surgical intervention to lose excessive weight (Lap band procedure) and then making many changes in her lifestyle to make the weight loss permanent” says this regarding the time one should take to finish a meal, I quote:
“it takes most of us twenty minutes to feel full. If I ate slowly and reduced the amount I was eating, that pleasant feeling of fullness would most likely occur while I still had food on my plate.”
This is what has been told to her during her pre procedure counseling sessions.
Taking inference from above snippet from the book, page 65, 4th para:
It can be safely assumed that,
A person should take around 20 minutes to finish a meal.
Taking into consideration that he/she should eat at a slow pace and should eat small quantities in a small size plate.
Although it is important to eat that quantity of balanced meal which is in conformance to a person’s activity requirements; but if one consciously notes that he/she chews the food well at a comfortable pace; he/she will have a feeling of fullness after 20 minutes. Like Sandi, if even after 20 minutes, your plate still has food on it; but if you have the feeling of fullness; leave whatever is left on the plate.
If leaving food on plate is not in conformance with your culture. Take note of the quantity still on plate and put that much less on your plate in the next meal.