Eating slower could help prevent obesity, researchers say

This Simple Trick Can Be The Key To Quick Weight Loss

Past studies have suggested you'll eat slower (and potentially lose weight) if you favour hard foods over soft ones; count every bite; wait 30 seconds between bites; chew everything you eat 40 times; and by actioning other tedious-sounding tricks.

The study, which surveyed almost 60,000 people, shows a link between the speed at which participants say they eat their meal and weight change.

The results showed that slower eating speeds were linked to reductions in obesity, BMI and waist circumference. At the beginning of the study, 22,070 people indulged in speed eating; 33,455 people had a normal eating speed; and 4192 ate slowly.

This study could not, however, prove that eating speed causes or prevents obesity, only that it appears to be associated, the researchers noted.

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When people eat too fast, hormones in the gut that relay the "I'm full" signal to the brain aren't given enough time to work.

People who said they don't usually snack after dinner and those who avoiding eating within two hours of bedtime also tended to see some weight loss, the researchers found.

Ian MacDonald, professor of metabolic physiology at the University of Nottingham, expressed doubt about the findings, pointing out that few people changed eating speed during the study, and that it was not clear that such changes were behind a change to BMI. The primary exposure of interest was eating speed.

The verdict: eat slow and enjoy your meals, stop living your life on fast forward and take your time to savor the delish in your dish. It was published in the peer-reviewed journal BMJ Open, which is available to read free online. The research also didn't take into account energy intake or physical activities, both of which could have influenced the results.

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The results showed that 21.5% of the slow-eating group was obese, compared to nearly 30% of the normal-speed eaters and 45% of the fast-eating group.

Obesity is associated with a higher risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.

The researchers used a variety of statistical models to look at how people's stated eating speed, and any change over the time of the study, influenced their chances of being obese at the end of the study.

Prof. MacDonald said in a statement that, "It is certainly not appropriate to extrapolate from these observations to conclude about eating speed and the development of obesity - however attractive the idea that fast eaters are likely to eat more, and that eating more leads to weight gain". Those who said they eat slowly fared even better.

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Eating slowly, eating breakfast, and not eating midnight snacks are not the only things that people need to do to lose weight though. Next time you consider a weight loss program make sure your brain doesn't hold you back.

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