Should I Eat Slowly To Lose Weight?

Regular exercise and mindful eating is the best way to lose weight. However, sometimes you fail to shed off that extra fat despite vigorous activity and a strict diet.

Are you missing something?

The way you eat your food might be the reason.

Research studies show that you are less hungry, feel full quickly and tend to eat less when you eat food slowly with water during a meal. Another study also showed that people who were not obese and ate slowly were less hungry and felt full after one hour of starting the meal.

Food in the stomach triggers hormones in the digestive tract that send signals to the brain, saying that you are full. When you eat fast, these signals get disturbed, and you eat more than what the body needs.

As a result, you gain weight because the excess food gets stored in your body in the form of fat. 

Food stays in the stomach for a longer time when you eat slowly, and this gives a sensation of fullness before you overeat. 

Dr Heinberg, from Cleveland Clinic in USA, says that ‘People should take more than 20 minutes to eat a meal – ideally about 30 minutes – so that you have an opportunity for your brain to catch up with your stomach.’

Several studies have shown various benefits of eating food at a slow pace.

  1. Slow eating reduces obesity – Health records of Japanese men and women with diabetes were studied over a period of 6 years. The basal metabolic index and lifestyle habits were looked at. Results showed that obesity was closely related to the speed at which the food is consumed.
  1. Slow eating decreases the risk of diabetes – Eating food at a slow speed lowered the risk of diabetes and obesity. Eating food at a fast pace raises sugar in the blood and disturbs the action of insulin, which increases the risk of diabetes.

Eating food slowly plays an important role in weight loss. Hence, introducing the habit of slow eating in your routine life can help you lose weight. Here are some tips to follow for improving your food habits:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends to avoid certain eating behaviours that cause weight gain:

  • eating without feeling hungry
  • eating fast
  • eating in a standing position
  • eating dessert always
  • skipping breakfast or other meals 
  • sleeping two hours before dinner 
  • eating snacks after dinner
Some tips by Dr Heinberg from Cleveland Clinic helps to cut down the food intake:
  • Extend your mealtime up to 30 minutes
  • Chew the food in the mouth 15 to 30 times for every bite
  • Drink a few sips of water during meals between the food bites. This gives a sensation of fullness
  • Place your hand down on the table away from the plate after every mouthful.
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