FOODS     TOOLS     ABOUT        

How Eating Slowly Might Help You Lose Weight

Eating Slowly and Weight Loss

For years, self-proclaimed weight loss gurus have been advising people to eat slowly and savor every bite. But is there any truth to the claims that eating slowly can help you lose weight and keep those unwanted pounds from coming back? While little research has been done directly on the weight loss benefits of slow-paced vs fast-paced meals, there is quite a bit of scientific evidence suggesting that eating slowly can make people feel fuller and reduce the amount of calories consumed, which, at least in theory, could lead to weight loss in the long term. Below, we take a look at one of the most prominent studies that have investigated the impact of eating speed on calorie intake and feelings of hunger and fullness.

Eating Slowly Linked to Reduced Calorie Intake in Normal-Weight Adults

A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that normal-weight people may consume fewer calories over the course of a meal when they eat slowly. However, it is not clear if the same is true for people who are overweight or obese.

Led by Meena Shah from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, this randomized, crossover study involved 35 normal-weight volunteers and 35 volunteers who were overweight or obese. All of the volunteers were asked to eat the same test pasta-based meal on two different occasions. On both occasions, the meal consisted of pasta, olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, green onions, parsley, basil, sugar, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Women were served 900 grams and men were served 1,200 grams, corresponding to 1,300 calories and 1,734 calories, respectively. The study participants were also given 355 mL (12 fl oz) water with each meal and allowed more water if they wished.

On the first study day, volunteers were randomly assigned to eat the test meal either quickly or slowly. On the second study day, which was separated from the first one by a washout period of at least four days, they were given the opposite instructions.

For the hastily-eaten meal, the researchers asked the study participants to eat as quickly as possible without feeling uncomfortable. The participants were instructed to imagine they were in a hurry, take large bites, chew quickly, and not put the utensils down between bites. During the slow-paced meal, they were asked to eat as if they had no time constraints, take small bites, chew each bite thoroughly and put the utensils down between bites.

The researchers found that normal-weight participants consumed, on average, 88 fewer calories when they ate the test meal slowly (805 calories versus 893 calories consumed during the hastily-eaten meal). Overweight and obese study participants consumed 58 fewer calories during the slow meal (667 calories compared with 725 calories), a difference that the researchers deemed statistically not significant. In both groups – the non-obese and the overweight/obese – water intake was higher during the slowly-eaten meal than the fast-paced meal. Also ratings of hunger were lower after the slow-paced meal in both groups. In the normal-weight group, eating slowly also increased fullness ratings at 60 minutes from when the meal began.

Book You May Like
Eating Slowly - Book If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of savoring your meals, you might want to check out Marc David's The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy and Weight Loss. David is a nutritionist with a master's degree in the psychology of eating and a leading voice in establishing the connection between stress, metabolism, weight and health. Drawing on cutting-edge research on body biochemistry as well as David's more than 30 years of experience in nutritional medicine, The Slow Down Diet presents a holistic approach to enhancing metabolism that enables lasting weight loss and facilitates spiritual well-being. To learn more, or to order a copy, head to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.ca.
Sponsored Links / Ads

More to Explore