In today’s fast-paced, driven world, you may often find yourself eating while standing. To save time in the morning, you may eat your breakfast at the kitchen counter or drink your protein shake while commuting to work. While some think that this may help to aid digestion and burn calories, it can lead to issues such as increased appetite and bloating.


Why Standing While Eating May Lead to Weight Gain

Studies on the issue have been conducted by University of Surrey professor, Jane Ogden, Ph.D.  These studies indicated that those who consumed their meals while standing up had increased appetites later in the day and therefore consumed more calories. 


The reason for this is that most people tend to consume their found more quickly while standing than sitting. While it is true that you may burn more calories while eating standing up, you will find yourself eating faster, which leads to increased hunger later. This is because consuming food quickly makes you feel less full.  In most cases, you will tend to overeat later in the day and therefore consume more calories than you burned while standing while eating.


It is better to eat while sitting and then go for a brisk walk after finishing your meal. This way your stomach will stretch less and digest foods such as carbs much faster. Moving around straight away after a meal can help you to burn calories as well as digest your food up to thirty times faster than eating while standing up. Eating while standing up will make you feel hungry faster than sitting down and enjoying your meal and then engaging at the moment immediately after. 


Another finding from Dr. Ogden’s study is that eating on the go is not beneficial as you are not as likely to be mindful when eating. As well, you may not properly chew and swallow your food, which can lead to bloating and possible digestive issues. As well, mindful eating helps you to stay focused which helps you to realize that you are full. If you eat while on-the-go or standing, you are usually more distracted and your brain may not have time to process that you are full, which can lead you to consume more food. Or you may feel hungry later on, which leads to overeating and consuming a higher level of calories


Another study shows, however, that eating while standing may help aid with digestion. This may be especially helpful for those who suffer from issues such as GERD. The overall result indicates though, that there is little to no difference between eating sitting down or standing up for those who do not suffer from digestive issues.


Heartburn occurs when the food particles in the stomach back up into the esophagus. This is why it is helpful for those with gastric reflux to stand up straight while eating. However, this will not be effective you eat while slouching or recline or sit down immediately after eating. Movement after partaking in a meal will prevent food from rising into the esophagus. 


On the other hand, eating while standing can lead to other issues such as gas and bloating. Again, this is due to the tendency to eat faster which leads to a faster digestion process. While these sounds beneficial, it is actually not the case. This causes your body to have less time to absorb nutrients, which can lead to other health issues down the line, including vitamin deficiencies, low blood pressure, and even anemia. As well, when carbohydrates are not digested properly, it can lead to issues such as gas and bloating. 


Eating while standing can also cause you to enjoy your meal less. Sitting down while eating gives you time to relax and focus on the meal, thus savouring it and enjoying it more. Of course, it is beneficial to exercise after a meal to prevent weight gain. And of course, what you are eating affects your weight gain as well as your overall appetite, but that is another topic altogether. 


In summary, it is more beneficial to eat your meals while sitting down. This may not always be possible, given that we live in a fast-moving, always on-the-go society. However, you should take the time to sit down and enjoy your meals as much as possible. This will help prevent you from overeating later, as well as aid in helping with the digestive process. As such, you will also absorb your nutrients properly, which leads to better overall health.

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