Sitting at your favorite restaurant in anticipation of a delectable dish is torture when you're starving. When it arrives, all succulent and piping hot, it takes all of your Emily Post-manners to not dive in fork first and start flinging food into your mouth as quickly as possible. But taking a minute to enjoy your meal may actually prevent you from eating too much of it.
Harvard Health Publications explains that when you consume food and water, stretch receptors are triggered in your stomach to send a signal through the vagus nerve, which connects the gut and brainstem. As partially digested foods enter the small intestine, hormones like leptin (produced by fat cells) signal the brain about long-range needs and satiety, based on that food amount. Researchers argue that eating too quickly, without allowing food to settle, messes with the brain's ability to receive the message that the body actually has enough food. Hence, prolonged eating and bloated evenings.