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Is It True That Eating Slower Can Help in Weight Control?

February 11th, 2011 · 11 Comments ·
 
 

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I tend to eat very fast.  I typically finished eating my meal within 5 minutes.  I remembered what I was small, my mum always nagged me to finish my meal faster when I was taking my own sweet time.  I was told to it was always better to eat faster while the dishes were still warm.  Without realizing, I grew up eating faster and faster, partly because of the culture, partly because of the hectic schedule, and partly because my guys friends are eating fast too!

I have read several articles advising people to slow down their eating because when you eat slower, you feel full sooner and end up eating less.  Some studies say that our brains take about 20 minutes to receive the signal that we have had enough to eat.

Several ways to get yourself to eat slower:

  • Put knife and fork down between each bite and not picking them up again to cut your next bit of food until you have completely finished eating your previous mouthful.
  • If you like to “wash down” your food with water during meal, then consider not drinking during your meal.  By doing this, you will pace each bite, chew, and swallow each bite.
  • Some advise people to try eating with non-dominate hand.  In other words, if you are right handed, then, you can try eating with only your left hand.
  • Go have your meal with people who tend to eat slower.  If you always eat together with people who always eat faster than you, you may end up eating faster and faster.

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Having said eating slower may get people to eat less, I have seen people, who eat slower, are still huge in size and can eat much more food. I believe that one may be full for one specific sensory experience.  For instance, if you eat spaghetti for half an hour, you may feel “full” for that pasta, but may still have desire to enjoy food with a difference taste, such as sweet ice cream.  Serving meals with various sensory experience actually prolong eating and probably has more influence on how much you eat than how fast.

I do not plan to consciously pause or put down my fork and spoon between bites, but I will try to eat at a pace which allows me enjoy my food.  Nowadays, my eating time is be more than 5 minutes, but definitely will not be 20 minutes.  It is more important to choose foods that are low in calorie density and with nutritional value than focusing purely on the eating rate.  What is the point to eat slower when I am eating the oily French fries and burger in the fast food restaurant?

How about you, have you tried to eat slower and have great success in weight control?

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11 responses so far ↓
  • blackhuff // Feb 12, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    I surely tried eating slower and I have to say, this work for me. I feel fuller faster and more satisfied after eating a meal slowly. I think this differs from one person to another though.

  • Erik // Feb 12, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    It’s consider bad manners putting down your flatware while eating, however, I definitely try to eat slower :)

  • keith // Feb 14, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    I think that you feel fuller faster and thus you eat less. I would say, yes, I think it’s true.

  • Simon // Feb 15, 2011 at 12:58 AM

    I have tried this but find it very difficult, i’ve never been a slow eater and don’t suffer from indigestion like a lot of others who eat a little to fast. I found that if i drink water with my meal as a replacement for a carbonated drink i feel fuller, not sure if this would be the same with everyone.

  • ms // Feb 15, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    i have a friend who eats irritatingly slow, and he is thin. i think most of my friends who are thin eat slow and stingy. as for me, i eat quite fast. i’m quite overweight. -.-

  • andy // Feb 20, 2011 at 3:45 AM

    There is a delay between eating and feeling full, so it makes sense that eating slowly could make you feel full before you finish a meal. I have seen this recommended to people wishing to bulk up – but the other way around; eating quick so the body can take in more calories per serving.

  • George // Feb 21, 2011 at 5:53 AM

    This is something i definately need to do. I have a bad habit of scarfing food down that’s put in front of my face especially now that i’m trying to lose weight.

  • thmuscle // Feb 23, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    Yes, it for sure true when I was a kid I used to eat fast and gained weight by doign so, when I slowed down I ate less but felt full and lost weight.

  • Best Weight Gain Supplements // Feb 24, 2011 at 3:26 AM

    As prescribed by doctors of chewing your food 32 times before swallowing, it takes a really long time to do that and that automatically results in slower eating..lol..Unique thing you mentioned, I had never thought of it. Keep up the good work.

  • Albert // Feb 25, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    Nice post. According to my opinion, eating slowly helps you in portion control and is good for your digestive system as well. It allows you to relish your food and savor every flavor and texture. Eating slowly prevents you from overeating and thus helps you to lose weight.

  • Victor // Mar 1, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    Hi Mun, I actually read a post in other blog regarding a study about eating rates and they have found very interesting results about eating slower.

    A much more scientific reason than the “time to feel fool” we always hear about, since they could relate higher amounts of insulin in faster eaters.

    The entry is in Portuguese, but maybe you can find something looking for the authors., Here’s their font:

    R. Otsuka et al., “Eating fast leads to insulin resistance: Findings in middle-aged Japanese men and women,” Preventive Medicine, 46(2):154-59, 2008; S. Sasaki et al., “Self-reported rate of eating correlates with body mass index in 18-year-old Japanese women,” International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 27(11):1405-10, 2003.

    Hope you enjoy

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