Eating slowly could help you win the battle of the bulge. A study of more than 3000 Japanese adults published in the British Medical Journal found that those who ate their meals quickly were about twice as likely to be obese as their slow-munching counterparts.
People who ate quickly and who ate until they were full were three times more likely to be obese. The research supports previous evidence that people tend to consume more kilojoules when they eat quickly, but also that eating quickly is linked to obesity regardless of how many kilojoules are eaten.
Dr. Elizabeth Denney-Wilson, an obesity expert from the University of New South Wales, says research suggests people can learn to eat more slowly and recognize their internal cues for fullness. She adds that while it is not known what drives us to eat quickly, behaviour such as eating while distracted and eating fast food on the go may be to blame.
How to Slow Down
Here are some tips for helping you to slow down:
- Don’t talk while you’re still chewing. Instead, put your fork down, chew, and swallow your food before you begin talking. This will force you to slow down while eating, and you’ll be full before you know it.
- Setting aside meal times can also help slow the rate of eating and allow your body to send fullness signals before you’ve overeaten.
- As soon as you feel the first stirrings of fullness, remove your plate from the table or, if you’re dining out, cover your plate with a napkin. This tells your brain that food time is over.
- If feasible, prepare your own meals. Avoid cans, instant meals, hamburgers and franchise pizzas. Taking time to cook your meals will also mean you slow down to eat them and enjoy the meal.
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