In today’s modern age, a lot of people eat their food at a fast pace. However, according to research, eating more slowly can help you to feel fuller and lose weight.
Fast Eating Can Cause Weight Gain
Research has shown that if you are a fast eater you are 115% more likely to be obese, in comparison to slower eaters. Fast eaters also tend to put on weight over time, perhaps due to their habits.
Slower Eating Helps You Eat Less
Your hormones largely dictate how hungry you feel and your overall calorie intake.
After eating a good meal, your body suppresses a hormone known as ghrelin, which controls hunger. Other anti-hunger hormones are released including, cholecystokinin (CCK), glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY).
This combination of hormones send a message to the brain to say that you’ve eaten and that the digestion process has begun. In turn your appetite is reduced, and you feel fuller.
This entire process takes approximately 20 minutes, so it makes sense to slow down when eating in order to give your brain time to respond to these signals.
Slower Eating Can Increase Satiety Hormones
Regularly eating at a fast pace can cause you to overeat, as your brain lacks sufficient time to receive the fullness signals.
On top of this, it has been shown that eating slowly results in less food being consumed at mealtimes. This is due in part to the release of hunger suppressing hormones that happens when you take your time eating.
In a 2010 study, 300 ml of ice cream was given to 17 healthy participants of normal weight on two different occasions. On the first session they were instructed to eat the ice cream within 5 minutes and during the second session, they were told to eat it within 30 minutes.
Participants reported a feeling of fullness and their satiety hormones were also significantly increased after the 30 minute eating period.
Further research conducted in 2012 supports this, with obese youngsters aged between 9 and 17 experiencing increased levels of satiety hormones when food is consumed at a slow pace.
Slower Eating Can Decrease Calorie Intake
A 2014 study analyzed both average and overweight people as they ate lunch at different paces. It was noted that fewer calories were eaten by both groups during the slow paced meal in comparison to the fast paced meal.
In addition, participants from both groups reported feeling fuller for longer after the slower paced lunch.
Over time eating at a slower pace should lead to a reduced calorie intake and therefore weight loss.
Tips On How To Slow Down And Lose Weight
Here are some tips on how to start eating more slowly:
- Chew more: For our first tip, try counting the amount of times you chew a bite of food and then double it. This will be your new slow eating target.
- Put the cutlery down: By simply putting down your knife and fork between mouthfuls of food, you will naturally begin to eat more slowly and enjoy your food more.
- Turn off all distractions: Avoid all electronic screens whilst eating. If you can’t go without the TV then choose a half an hour show and try eating more slowly to make your meal last until the end.
- Take deep breaths between mouthfuls: If you notice yourself eating too quickly, refocus by taking some deep breaths.
- Patience is key: Research has shown that it takes on average roughly 66 days for a new behavior to become a habit, so take it slowly!