Alter Your Eating To Drop Pounds

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When researcher at the Department of Kinesiology at Texas Christian University took a look at how eating behavior affects how much we eat, they made surprising observations. And you can use their findings to slim your waistline.

In their study, the scientists had people eat two different meals in their lab. At the first meal, everyone in the study ate at a slow speed. They were told to imagine that they had no time constraints, take small bites, chew thoroughly, and pause and put the spoon down between bites.

At a second meal catered in the lab, they were instructed to eat quickly and to imagine that they were on deadline. At this meal they took large bites, chewed rapidly, did not pause and never put their silverware down.

The investigators found that people who were “normal” weight consumed a statistically significant reduced number of calories when they ate slowly (88 calories less). Overweight people also ate, on average, 58 fewer calories, but, according to the researchers, this was not statistically significant.

However, both groups felt less hungry after the slow meal.

“In both groups, ratings of hunger were significantly lower at 60 minutes from when the meal began during the slow compared to the fast eating condition,” says researcher Meena Shah. “These results indicate that greater hunger suppression among both groups could be expected from a meal that is consumed more slowly.”

Also, both the normal weight and overweight or obese groups consumed more water during the slow meal. During the fast meal, on average, each person only consumed 9 ounces of water. During the slow meal, they drank about 12 ounces.

“Water consumption was higher during the slow compared to the fast eating condition by 27 percent in the normal weight and 33 percent in the overweight or obese group. The higher water intake during the slow eating condition probably caused stomach distention and may have affected food consumption,” says Shah.

The message for those looking to lose weight: Eat slowly and carry a big glass of water.

Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.

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