Slow Eating Promotes Weight Loss, Reports New Study

15 February, 2018, 07:47 | Author: Clint Gray
  • Eating slowly

Specifically, eating more slowly, avoiding snacks after dinner, and not eating within two hours before going to bed were all linked to weight loss. Now, a study in BMJ Open sheds some light onto which of those strategies actually work: Based on data from almost 60,000 people, three behaviors-eating slowly, cutting out after-dinner snacks and not eating within two hours of going to bed-were linked to lower obesity rates and smaller waistlines.

The researchers did the analysis on the health insurance data of 59,717 individuals who are diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus-a disease that generally hits in adulthood because of being overweight. During the check-ups, the people answered questions on their eating and sleeping habits, including how fast they usually ate their meals.

In addition, slow eaters tended to be healthier and to have a healthier lifestyle than those who ate quickly or at a normal speed. These people were asked about their eating habits and were made to categorize the speed at which they consumed food.

"The main results indicated that decreases in eating speeds can lead to reductions in obesity and BMI", they found. Compared to fast eaters, the odds ratio for being obese was 0.58 for slow eaters and 0.71 for normal-speed eaters. Meanwhile for slow eaters, feelings of fullness might happen more quickly, helping to curb calorie intake.

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A possible reason? Fast eaters may continue to eat even after they are full, even when their bodies have an adequate amount of calories, since the brain takes a little time to interpret chemical signals from the stomach that say "enough".

This was an observational study, so no firm conclusions could be drawn about cause and effect.

Simon Cork of Imperial College London, who was not involved in the study, commented on the findings, saying that they "confirm what we already believe, that eating slowly is associated with less weight gain than eating quickly". "Those who naturally eat slowly may be attending to their body's cues for fullness, and eat a more appropriate portion during each eating occasion", Nina Crowley, Ph.D., a registered dietitian nutritionist and health psychologist working at the Medical University of SC, told CBS News. Among this population, obesity was defined as BMI of at least 25 kg/m.

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers someone with a BMI of 25 overweight, and 30 or higher obese.

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And they conclude, "Changes in eating habits can affect obesity, BMI, and waist circumference".

"Interventions aimed at reducing eating speed may be effective in preventing obesity and lowering the associated health risks", they added.

The slow eaters tended to be healthier and to have a healthier lifestyle than either the fast or normal speed eaters. Maybe you've been missing the secret ingredient: psychology.

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