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Slow but sure

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I love to 'savor the flavor' so, consequently, I eat rather slowly whereas others at the table seem to snarf their food so quickly in comparison. At home, it doesn't bother me that I wind up still eating when others have finished but if I'm out with other family members or friends, either at their home or a restaurant, I get embarrassed when they've finished and I'm still stuffing it down. Usually I'll try to speed it up or just not finish what's on my plate. What do you folks do if you're the fast or slow eater?

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  1. Strive to be the next to last person done.

    1. I'm a fast eater.

      1. True to my nickname, I am usually the last one done. Friends and family understand and let me finish my plate without comment. If I'm at a business meal, however, I choose a dish that isn't too much food and will leave some behind if it looks like I'm going to hold everyone else up. I will not, however, be forcibly rushed. I just never learned how to eat quickly.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sloth

          I don't want to learn to eat fast. I can't help but think fast eaters don't enjoy their food. Besides, if I'm not mistaken, eating slowly is better for digestion.

          1. re: mucho gordo

            Indeed it is. Plus, it takes about 15 minutes for the message "I'm full" to reach the brain once the stomach is sated, so eating slowly reduces the tendency to overeat.

        2. My wife is an extremely slow eater, and there's nothing to be done about it, she's a small person with a small mouth who will not be rushed. But she also has a very limited capacity, so when we go out she will frequently order an appetizer as her main course, which gives her the chance to finish eating about the same time as everyone else since she gets less to eat in the first place.

          And I am not about to complain - the gal is flirting with retirement age and still a very shapely size 4.

          1 Reply
          1. re: BobB

            Like your wife, I can manage only so much at one time. Once or twice it has become embarassing, and my solution was probably not the best: I asked to have my plate removed with the rest of the other diners' plates, and wasn't at all comfortable asking to have it wrapped, so a. went hungry, b. wasted some nice food.

          2. My husband's a fast eater and I'm a slow one. Neither one of us feels embarrassed and when we are in a group there seems to be people across the spectrum. I would bet the fast eaters are the ones "stuffing it down" not you so enjoy yourself and don't worry about it.

            1. Around 10 years ago my dh and I decided to rethink our individual portions each meal to keep a healthy balance on our weight and food choices. We started sharing, ie: one entree, one order and it works like a charm but the surprise that came with this approach to food included eating slower; not only to enjoy it but to help the dining experience last longer. We've kept this routine going about 80% of the time we eat together. Excluding our breakfast routines which vary due to work schedules. Eating slower made us both much happier and we enjoy all sorts of great cuisine. We're both fit and close to what some call retirement age (although we'll work til we drop).

              1. In our family, we are fans of the slow food movement both at home and in public. Nobody really scarfs down food. If others we are dining with finish first or quickly, we just keep enjoying our food leisurely. I don't try to catch up and it doesn't embarrass me at all. They were the ones making pigs of themselves... I'd be more inclined to be embarrassed for them. If one is to eat with manners, it doesn't include shoveling it down in huge bites or putting in another bite before the last has been swallowed.

                1. I come from a family of VERY slow eaters! My pace eventually retrained itself while I was in college and either didn't have a lot of time in which to eat or was continually lagging far behind my fellow diners. Now I eat very quickly by my family's standards and, while I'm often still the last person finished among normal people, it's not by that much.

                  When husband and I go out to eat with my mom and sister (rarely, we don't live close), it's like a slow eating contest with them, but especially Sis. I don't mind, we don't have somewhere to be, but she is the slowest eater I have ever witnessed (with the possible exception of my late grandfather). Very precise, every bite very carefully chosen and arranged, very neat and tidy. Still eating her salad when everyone else is halfway through their entree. Then she goes into the restaurant bathroom to brush and floss. Slowly. :-)

                  Maybe we all have OCD or crushing self-awareness issues. I remember a time I wouldn't eat anything that seemed messy or gluttonous in public - fried chicken, say - for fear of creating a spectacle: everyone would gawk at the fat person stuffing their face. Of course, nobody was looking and I wasn't fat. :/ My brother and I in particular used to shun drive-throughs - I still hate them, honestly - and my brother was too introverted to eat in restaurants until his late 20s. freak family.

                  What do we DO if we're the fast or slow eater? As a slowie, I try to be aware at social events that talking slows me down a great deal, and if I find I've been talking a lot and have fallen behind, I try to hush up and make up lost ground so everyone doesn't have to wait for me. When I'm with family, so it's the other side of the coin, I eat at more or less my normal pace, then wait, and am free to converse more freely. no bigs. I feel really self-conscious when I'm the last, but when I'm on the flip side, I don't think anything of it really, except when it's my sister, because she's such an extreme case. Nothing to feel self-conscious about in most cases.

                  1. Slow eater here from a family of,married into a family of wolverines at the table.MIL hated to cook,just wanted meals to go away ASAP with 6 kids.It was a long process to just get DH to slow down to fast or normal.40 years later he's still fast compared to me.It's OK.I poke and still don't hurry.
                    Most of our friends are slow and savor the food eaters,so the out or in the home table is never a challenge.

                    1. i'm a fast eater and despite what people may think, I do enjoy my food. i like to say I'm efficient at eating.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: mljones99

                        And on the flip side, not every slow eater is savouring every bite. I have encountered slow eaters that are slow because they talk and talk and talk and don't take enough breaks from talking to actually eat.

                        I find I'm not usually the first or the last done, so I guess I'm middle speed,

                        1. re: Sooeygun

                          In my experience, that's the most common problem for slowest eaters (talking). Not universal, by far, but most common.

                          1. re: Karl S

                            The slow eaters I know fall into two categories: people who talk more than they eat and people who are former anorexics (years in the past) who learned to eat slowly and enjoy their food as part of their treatment. I have no idea how common this is, though.

                            1. re: Isolda

                              Neither category applies to me, Isolda. I can't stand people who talk with a mouthful of food and spew pieces into my plate. As for anorexic, well, I've been overweight most of my life; probably because I enjoy eating and want each meal to last as long as possible.

                          2. re: Sooeygun

                            Thank you for finally calling attention to the elephant in the room, or the Emperor's New Clothes. The Slow Eaters I know, mostly in my wife's family, are all Passive Aggressive types who like to dominate the flow of the meal by making us all wait for them to finish. I can never understand how they can eat cold food, but if they don't mind, I guess I shouldn't either.

                        2. My husband is a fast eater, I'm normal to slow, I guess. At home, he will scarf it down and leave me in the dust (last weekend, I was halfway thru the first half of my bagel, he was done). Eating out, he will watch my pace and literally put his fork down at times to slow his pace so I don't feel weird eating while his place is cleared. I'm not going to speed up to get his indigestion.
                          Interesting observation, I can't remember a time when I was at a business meal when a man was the last one to finish their food...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: BeeZee

                            Lingering effects of cultural norms where men worked outside the home, ate in shifts, and had to rush to get back to work.

                          2. I think I am an average speed eater. My roommate eats like a dog (very fast with no chewing). My BF eats slow. I'm usually done sometime between the two of them. I only mock the BF when his 95 yr old grandma clears her plate before him.

                            I've just learned that if I want a bite off a fast eater's plate to strike fast.