Here's Why Eating More Slowly May Help You Lose Weight

Weight loss

Eating slowly could be the key to losing weight, with people who take time over their meals less likely to become obese, a new study shows.Cutting out after-dinner snacks and avoiding eating two hours before bedtime are also linked to people shedding the kilos (pounds), researchers found. Next, the participants answered a set of questions about their eating speed ('fast", "normal' and "slow'), whether they had dinner within 2 hours of sleeping, but also habits concerning after-dinner snacking, skipping breakfast, alcohol consumption frequency, sleep adequacy and tobacco consumption".

However, very few people changed their eating speed during the course of the study.

Previous research has linked eating quickly to impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.

According to that data, eating faster had an impact on people's weight compared to the people who ate at a normal speed. The World Health Organization (WHO) has demarcated the BMI 25 as overweight and 30 or above as obese.

They believe that fast eaters weigh in higher than their slow counterparts as it takes around 20 minutes for the brain to receive the message is the stomach is full.

This is an observational study because researchers did not measure calory intake and physical activity, which could have affected the results in an unknown manner.

A research team in Japan set out to analyze the effects of eating speed on obesity - defined as BMI greater than 25 in Japan - by asking over 59,000 Japanese men and women with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes to rate their own eating speed as fast, normal or slow.

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Metabolic physiology professor, Ian MacDonald from the University of Nottingham described the findings obtained in the research as a few people changed their eating speed while being followed in research, but such changes didn't support so much to the change in their BMI.

The research also found that "changes in eating habits can affect obesity, BMI and waist circumference".

"When you tend to eat quickly, you may miss out on your body's cues for satiety, or fullness, and end up eating more". People who ate slowly were 42% less likely to be obese.

Referring to the study's methods, however, he warned that relying on the participants themselves to score whether they eat slowly or quickly was "considerably subjective" and may skew the data.

If you tend to be a fast eater, Crowley suggests trying to practice mindful eating, in which you consciously pay attention to each bite of food you put into your mouth and notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

Eating slowly, eating breakfast, and not eating midnight snacks are not the only things that people need to do to lose weight though.

When people eat too fast, hormones in the gut that relay the "I'm full" signal to the brain aren't given enough time to work. Interventions and education initiatives aimed at altering eating habits "may be useful in preventing obesity and reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases", they concluded.

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