Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Can eating slowly actually help you lose weight?

Can eating slowly actually help you lose weight?

Eating more slowly, along with not eating within 2 hours of going to sleep, and cutting out after dinner snacks, could help with weight loss, researchers say.

People who didn't regularly skip breakfast were also slightly less likely to be obese (OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.87 to 0.97).

Snacking after dinner and eating within two hours of going to sleep also were linked to changes in weight.

The research team's findings came from analysis of health insurance data on almost 60,000 Japanese residents with diabetes who had made insurance claims and had regular checkups between 2008 and 2013.

Data captured included their age and gender, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, eating habits, alcohol consumption, and tobacco use.

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The research found that 22,070 people defined themselves as fast eaters.

One of those habits was eating speed, ranked on a scale of slow, medium to fast.

"My advice is slow down, chew your food thoroughly and wait before you go in for seconds until your body processes the food it has eaten".

After taking account of potentially influential factors, the results showed that compared with those who tended to gobble up their food, those who ate at a normal speed were 29 percent less likely to be obese, rising to 42 percent for those who ate slowly.

'It takes fast eaters longer to feel full simply because they don't allow time for the gut hormones to tell the brain to stop eating. And although absolute reductions in waist circumference over the course of the study were small, they were greater among slow and normal eaters.

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As part of the health checkup, participants were asked seven questions about their lifestyle, including whether their eating speed was fast, normal or slow, whether they snacked after dinner three times or more a week, and whether they skipped breakfast three times or more a week.

The key to weight loss could be slowing down and enjoying your food, a new study claims.

"The combined effect of eating quickly and overeating may contribute to weight gain".

In accordance with the Japanese Society for the Study of Obesity, a BMI of 25 was considered as obese for the research study conducted for the Japanese populations. In the US, obesity is defined as a BMI over 30, while 25 to 30 is considered overweight.

They also had their body mass index (BMI) calculated, their waist size measured, and were categorised as obese or not obese. "Interventions aimed at reducing eating speed may be effective in preventing obesity and lowering the associated health risks", the researchers added. It also suggested that slow and normal eaters were more likely to have a smaller stomach circumference.

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"Mindful eating can help you train yourself to identify your own cues for both hunger and fullness and connect with physical, psychological and environmental cues that affect food decisions", she said. Food choice is more conscious, and eating is appreciated for quality rather than just quantity, he said.

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