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  • Megan Vogias, MA Ed

The 20-Minute Rule | Hormones & Hunger

Slow down. Take your time. Enjoy your meal. Savor all the flavors.

Taking the time to enjoy our meal is often lost in western cultures as we keep up with the hustle and bustle of our daily schedules. Although if we want to be intentional about only eating until we are full, it's essential for us to take our time, specifically at least 20 minutes to enjoy a meal.

In a recent article by MindBodyGreen, the 20-Minute Rule resurfaces with more signs pointing to how certain hormones in our bodies

require about 20 minutes of eating to signal to

our brains that we are full.

The hormones are leptin and cholecystokinin.

"Leptin is a hormone your body releases that helps it maintain your normal weight on a long-term basis. The level of leptin in your blood is directly related to how much body fat you have. Leptin resistance causes you to feel hungry and eat more even though your body has enough fat stores." [Cleveland Clinic 2022]
"Cholecystokinin is a hormone produced in your small intestine, that plays a fundamental role in the digestive process. When fats and proteins enter your small intestine, cholecystokinin triggers your gallbladder and pancreas to contract. They deliver bile and enzymes to your duodenum to help break down the food for absorption." [Cleveland Clinic 2022]

To further expand on this, consider this summary of the article from MindBodyGreen.

It takes the satiety hormones leptin and cholecystokinin about 20 minutes to signal your brain that you are full. It is highly recommended to take at least 20 minutes to eat your meal so that you cross this 20-minute window. This will help in improving digestion and will prevent overeating. The hormonal changes are more like volume knobs that gradually increase or decrease a signal over a period of time so taking your time to eat your meal will allow your brain to respond to the hormonal changes.

Full Story: MindBodyGreen (1/4)

Cholecystokinin: Hormone Function & Definition. Cleveland Clinic. Published 2022. Accessed January 18, 2023.

Leptin: What It Is, Function & Levels. Cleveland Clinic. Published 2022. Accessed January 18, 2023.

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