Eating while standing up may have some benefits such as faster digestion and some loss of fat over time. However, it may also cause bloating and increase your hunger, which may lead to weight gain.

The trends of eating while standing, sitting, and lying down have all had their moments in the spotlight.

For instance, eating while lying down was particularly fashionable in ancient Rome and Greece. Since then, sitting down to eat has become the most encouraged posture.

More recently, some people have started standing while eating, either as a way to save time or counter a sedentary office job. However, others insist that standing while eating may be harmful to digestion and lead to overeating.

So is it good to eat while standing up? The answer is that it depends. This article investigates the available evidence on whether eating while standing up is harmful or beneficial

Standing up may speed up digestion

The posture you adopt while eating can influence your ability to digest food. That’s because food empties from the stomach more slowly when a person is sitting or lying down, compared to when they are standing.

The exact reasons why are not fully known, but gravity seems to play a role.

A 2017 study also found that eating foods containing protein while sitting upright as opposed to lying down helps the stomach empty faster, helps the body digest protein better, and helps increase the availability of important amino acids in the blood.


Your posture can affect how quickly you digest food. Digestion is slowest when you’re lying down
and quickest when you’re standing up and moving.

Some people believe that standing while eating can help you lose more weight than sitting while eating.

According to a 2018 meta-analysis, standing for six hours burns about 54 more calories than when sitting, which may seem small but could lead to a 10-kilogram (kg) or 22 pounds (lb) loss of body fat over 4 years in a 65-kg or 143 lb weighing person.

If you were to combine standing with eating, you could potentially lose some weight over time while also speeding up your body’s metabolism of food.

Another way eating while standing might help you lose weight is by affecting how you perceive the taste of food. A 2019 study found that standing while eating caused participants to prefer fewer foods that are normally pleasant tasting and more foods that they normally find less appealing.

While the aim of the study was to investigate taste in terms of how it can be used in marketing, the findings could also suggest that standing while eating might make it easier to make healthy food choices. This could be something like vegetables, which some may find less appealing taste-wise, as opposed to fatty, processed foods, which are popular in the standard American diet. That said, there is no conclusive evidence in this regard.


Eating while standing may promote increased metabolism, and may help with a small amount of fat loss. It may also help you prefer typically appealing, but unhealthy, foods less.

On the other hand, there is some evidence that eating while standing might actually make you hungrier.

Your body has several different ways to determine whether you’re hungry or full. One of them is sensing how much food is present in the stomach. The degree to which your stomach stretches after a meal can let your brain know whether you have eaten enough.

The more your stomach stretches and the longer it remains full, the less hungry you’re likely to feel. That’s why foods that are digested quickly, such as processed carbs, tend to leave you feeling hungrier than those that take longer to digest, such as fiber and protein.


Eating while standing can speed up digestion, which may lead to increased hunger.

Acid reflux happens when the contents of the stomach come back up into the esophagus. It is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and can lead to a burning feeling in the middle of the chest, commonly recognized as heartburn.

Those with reflux are often advised to stand upright and avoid reclining or slouching while eating, as well as for several hours after a meal.

That’s because reclining or slouching increases pressure in the stomach, making it more likely that food will be pushed back up into the esophagus. In addition, gravity while standing up helps the food move faster through your digestive system.

In addition, if you must lie down, such as when you go to sleep, it’s better to lie on your left side as opposed to on your right side, which can make reflux worse.


Individuals with reflux or heartburn may benefit from standing upright while eating to allow food to digest faster. When lying down, it is better to lie on the left side.

Although eating while standing can speed up digestion, this can also lead to poor digestion in some cases, especially when it comes to carbohydrates.

Anyone can experience gas and bloating from undigested carbohydrates.

However, two groups of people are particularly likely to experience such discomforts — those who are lactose intolerant or sensitive to FODMAPs. FODMAPs are a group of foods that can cause gas.


People who are lactose or FODMAP intolerant may have difficulty digesting carbohydrates if they eat too fast while standing up.

Why do I always want to lay down after eating?

Feeling sleepy and wanting to lie down after eating, especially after a big meal, is known as a food coma. There isn’t a lot of research explaining why it happens, but it may have to do with the type of food you eat such as high carbs and fat. Recent research suggests that certain proteins involved in cell signaling might play a role as well.

Learn more about the potential causes of food coma.

How long does it take for your stomach to empty after eating?

Generally, it takes about 1.5-2 hours for food to move from the stomach to the small intestines.

Is it bad to eat while walking

Walking while or after eating may interfere with digestion and could lead to an upset stomach in some cases. That said, walking after eating could also speed up digestion. In addition, it may also help support healthy blood sugar levels and help protect you from heart disease.

Learn more about walking after eating.

Does eating standing up make you gain weight?

The way eating while standing could lead to weight gain is by making you hungrier. This occurs because your body digests your food faster. In addition, eating while walking could lead to distraction, which might cause you to eat more even if you’re already full.

What are the best positions to eat food?

Generally being upright while eating is better for your digestion as it allows gravity to push food through the stomach to your intestines. In addition, sitting upright while eating and eating slowly also reduces the chance of accidentally choking while swallowing.

Research shows that standing while eating may help break down the food you eat quicker, and may even lead to some fat loss over time.

However, it can also cause bloating or worsen hunger, which could ultimately result in added pounds.

People with acid reflux or food sensitivities like FODMAP or Lactose are particularly susceptible to digestion problems while standing, especially from carbohydrates.