Slow Down to Slim Down!


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

I know I'm guilty of it: I'm short on time, my 2-year old is pulling at my leg to go outside and play, so I'll scarf down my lunch as fast as I can chew instead of taking the time to sit down and eat at a reasonable pace. But did you know that how you eat your food could be just as important as how much you're eating?

A new study published in the British Medical Journal found that people who eat quickly until full are three times more likely to be overweight. Researchers asked 3,000 Japanese volunteers aged 30 to 69 about their eating. About half of the men and a little more than half of the women said they ate until full. About 45 percent of the men and 36 percent of the women said they ate quickly. Those who said they ate until full and ate quickly were three times more likely to be overweight than people in the "not eating until full and not eating quickly" group.

According to the study, until recently, most adults didn't have the opportunity to consume enough energy to enable the body to store fat. But eating behaviors have changed due to increased availability of inexpensive food in larger portions, fast food, fewer families eating together, and eating while distracted (such as watching TV).

Do you notice that it's easier to overeat if you eat too quickly? I find that when I eat too fast, after I'm done I realize I might not have needed so much. I also find that I feel more comfortable afterward if I slow down, but sometimes that's hard when you get caught in the rush of the day.

Do you try to make mealtime as distraction-free as possible, both for you and your family? What kinds of things have helped you do that?

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    This is why I try to take in a snack a few hours before dinner. Once I start starving, I crave a bunch of fatty take out. Then if we get it I make a pig of myself. - 10/30/2008   8:40:49 AM
  • 23
    I am a notorious 2-minute meal consumer. I work crazy hours, and rarely have a lunch break in which I am not answering a phone, and by the time I get off, go to teh gym, get home and make a meal, I'm starving and whoof down my meals. I do my best to try and eat slowly, but it seems as if the only time I am successful with that is on the weekends when times are a little less hectic. - 10/30/2008   8:29:04 AM
  • 22
    I'm usually on the PC, checking on my SP Class team, when I'm eating 'dinner' - which usually takes me 2 hours to consume - yep, getting a 'cold' dinner in the end! LOL - 10/30/2008   8:05:50 AM
  • 21
    I've read it's helpful to put your utensil down between bites or take a sip of water between bites. I need to work on this, though. I'm also guilty of eating too quickly. - 10/30/2008   7:42:43 AM
  • 20
    Turn off the TV. - 10/30/2008   3:05:04 AM
  • 19
    I agree completely, I eat slow that people get annoyed with this habit of mine. Nevertheless, I take my own sweet time and enjoy slow eating while my DH is just the opposite :). - 10/30/2008   1:48:43 AM
  • 18
    We don't do anything while eating, except talk. No cell phones, laptops, televisions, or newspapers. It helps us refocus our attention and reconnect with simplicity. - 10/30/2008   1:00:03 AM
  • 17
    Interesting article -- I have heard about the fact that if you eat slow and chew your food that it is healthier for your body and you feel full quicker than if you chow down your food. Great SLOW DOWN!

    Wendy - 10/29/2008   9:51:00 PM
    I read years ago how much better it is for a person to eat slowly. So I started eating slowly then and continue today. I am always the last one to finish a meal!! - 10/29/2008   9:27:46 PM
  • 15
    Great info thank for sharing. - 10/29/2008   8:51:21 PM
    Good article and motivation to eat slowly. I try to eat slowly but it is a bad habit to break after many years of eating at work and not having the time to go slow, but I'm trying. - 10/29/2008   7:39:32 PM
  • 13
    mega huge problem I try so hard to keep calories down to loose & be more active. Then when I eat its I gotta have it all now! Dr. told me I am not eating enough again. That stalls the weight loss down. So now I am trying to eat at the calorie range & have little meals/ snacks ever so often as not to turn into a meal grabber muchie monster!! - 10/29/2008   7:15:41 PM
    This is a huge problem for me. I try to take my time but if I am really hungry it goes down fast. About five minutes later I am ready for a nap. - 10/29/2008   6:14:25 PM
  • GENTRY33
    I have to agree that now that I am eating slower, it sure makes a difference. I feel fuller sooner than before and that sure is a big help. - 10/29/2008   6:03:40 PM
  • 10
    Oh, boy! I don't think I EVER ate slowly - always on the run... So, just like SP_NANCY, it is one of my biggest obstacles! This is one of those long-time-ago-acquired habits that are difficult to break. One of the things I'm trying now is not eating in front of TV, and that let me concentrate (really concentrate) on chewing my food slowly! :o) - 10/29/2008   5:44:25 PM
  • 9
    I do eat less when I slow down (wow). I never knew that there was a correlation with weight and the speed in which I ate my meals, thank you for the enlightenment.

    - 10/29/2008   5:12:15 PM
    I am getting older and slowing down in most every aspect. When my kids were younger I too gulped down on the go. As a result I developed digestive problems. Do yourselves a favor and slow down even if you don't lose a few pounds in the process you may avoid the distress of heartburn or worse.

    Good health to all. - 10/29/2008   4:37:09 PM
  • 7
    I find this to right on the button as for years of looking after Husband mother and Family I do eat fast I am now training myself to eat slower and its working - 10/29/2008   4:25:21 PM
    I've always been a fast eater - but because I measure my food now...that's all I get - regardless of how fast I eat it! - 10/29/2008   4:23:50 PM
    I understand the eating in a hurry. My daughter is five and she is a cheerleader at her school. We are always on the go. I realize after reading this that I do eat faster than I should. After we finally make it home and we sit down to eat, I think I should take this time to relax and enjoy eating at the table with my daughter. Spending more time talking to my daughter than scarfing to get my food down so I can do the next task on my list. Thanks - 10/29/2008   3:55:16 PM
    This is one of my biggest way I try to avoid eating so quickly is making sure I don't get so hungry that I will literally eat anything put in front of me. - 10/29/2008   3:46:40 PM
    Yes, I have found out that if I eat too quickly that I tend to feel over stuffed and can see how that you lead to wegiht gain. I learned some time ago that it takes our brians 20 minutes to trigger the response that we are full. So, I try to make sure that I eat slower especially during lunch or dinner when I tend to eat more. - 10/29/2008   3:29:07 PM
  • 2
    Most of the time I eat while I feed my son in the highchair that way Im paying attention to him and helping him and it helps me to eat slower. Sometimes I just get the urge to munch though thats my downfall. - 10/29/2008   3:16:25 PM
  • 1
    You are absolutely right about overeating when eating to quickly - it seems like i am always starved by the time that my husband is ready to eat and i am grabbing a second helping before he (skinny fella) is halfway through the first!!! Thanks for the reminder - i am going to start using Nancy Reagan's apple trick again (she always ate an apple between lunch and supper if i remember correctly). - 10/29/2008   3:13:41 PM

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