One effective way to lose weight is to slow down the rate at which you consume your food. If you are leading a busy lifestyle, you will try to save time whenever you can, and you may be compelled to finish your meals in as little time as possible. The habit of eating fast can contribute to weight gain and other health problems, and you should try to make a conscious effort to eat slower.
Eating Slow Means Eating Less
If you slow down your eating speed, you will eventually consume less food. Contrary to common belief, satiety does not come from the stomach; instead, it is a feeling that originates in the brain. When you have taken enough food, the brain will receive a signal from the body, and it will create a feeling of satiety to make you stop eating. However, it takes some time for this communication to be completed.
If you are eating fast, you will be consuming more food at the time when your body and brain are working to activate a satiety response. This is the reason why you need to slow down your eating speed. If you consume a little less food every meal, it will eventually lead to significant weight loss.
Research on Eating Speed and Satiety
In a study that was conducted by the North American Association for the Study of Obesity in 2004, subjects were told to consume as much food as they wanted, but at different speeds. The first meal was a free-form meal, which allowed them to eat at their normal speeds. For half of the second meal, they were only allowed to take a bite when they heard a beep, and they could eat at any speed they wanted for the remainder of the meal. Beeps were used to time their bites throughout the last meal, but they could eat for an indefinite period of time. At the end of the study, the researchers found that the subjects consumed less food during the meals that were timed by beeps.
According to experts, it can take as long as 20 minutes for the body to let the brain know that it has received enough food. If the rate that you are consuming food is one bite a minute, you will overshoot the point of satiety by about 20 bites. However, if you take 5 bites a minute, you will be eating 100 bites more than the amount that is needed by your body.
How to Eat Slowly
There are a number of things that you can do to develop the good habit of eating slow. If you are preparing your own food, you should make smaller portions, since you will need less food when you are eating at a slower pace. Also, you should put your fork down after every bite, because you will be tempted to take more food if you have the fork in your hand all the time.
Another effective way to slow down your eating speed is to chew your food thoroughly. Taking time to chew your food will make eating more enjoyable, and it can also improve digestion. Lastly, you can drink water between bites to make yourself feel full.