Diet-to-Go Blog
  1. Why Eating Slowly Can Help You Keep The Weight Off

    Does your mother still tell you not to wolf down your food at dinner and to make sure you chew your food properly so you will not choke? Do you still laugh and tell her that she is crazy?

    Believe it or not, these lessons our mothers were trying to teach us were not for nothing. There is a growing body of research that has discovered that if you eat fast, you end up eating more than if you ate slower. In fact, it is a main reason why eating slower is recommended in almost all weight loss plans.

    More Satiety Hormones Released When Eating Slowly

    A study featured a few years ago in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism supports this idea. Researchers proved that in people who ate the same amount food, more hormones were released that made them feel satisfied when eating the meal slowly compared to eating it more quickly. With this study it was shown for the first time that there is some biological mechanism that makes a person feel fuller after eating a meal slowly.

    The 17 healthy men who participated in this study were given the same meal—ice cream—in two different ways. In the first way, the ice cream was divided in half and participants were told to consume the first serving and then stop for five minutes before eating the second serving. In the second way, the meal was split into 7 parts and the participants were told to eat a part every 5 minutes for a half hour.

    By analyzing blood samples drawn before and right after ingesting the ice cream, the study found that the body produced peptide YY and glucagon-like peptide-1—two appetite-suppressing hormones found in the body. The study found that higher levels of both of these hormones were released in the blood of the men who were on the half-hour meal, making them feel fuller, than the men in the shorter 5-minute meal.

    Slower Meal Time Makes for Less Food Intake and More Pleasant Experience

    A number of other studies lend support to these findings. A report featured in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that practicing small changes in eating behavior including chewing all food thoroughly, taking small bites each time, and putting down the spoon between bites, helps to increase the feelings of satiety.

    In this research, 30 healthy women were instructed to eat a lunch two different times until they were full. The first time, the women were asked to eat quickly with a large spoon and could not pause between bites. On a separate occasion, they were told to eat more slowly with a small spoon and asked to put the utensils down between bites and chew the food 20 to 30 times before finally swallowing.

    Although the slower meal lasted about 20 minutes more than the faster meal, the women were found to eat less food during the slow meal. The study also demonstrated that while there was a higher overall food intake when eating fast, women described feeling less satisfied and full with the meal. Eating slowly also was found to be a more enjoyable way to eat.

    Eating Quickly and Until Full Contributes to Extra Weight

    In support of these findings, similar studies have found that when we eat fast and until we are full we face a higher chance to become overweight.

    Approximately 4,000 people’s dietary habits were assessed through a questionnaire. The participants were asked a series of questions including how often they ate until full, and how fast they ate.

    Results of the study showed that people who reported eating quickly were the heaviest in weight. What’s more, their BMI (body mass index) was higher and so was the overall food intake as compared to people who said they ate slowly. The people who ate faster were more likely to be overweight compared to their slower-eating peers.

    What is the take away point from these studies? Experts say that slowing down and savoring your meals can’t hurt. Even if you are very hungry, it pays to eat more slowly. There is no reason to wolf down your food. In fact, eating more slowly makes you feel fuller and reduces caloric intake. This in turn helps you maintain your weight.

    How to Eat Slower

    Here are a few effective tips to help you control your eating speed:

    1. Don’t eat when you are stressed.
    Before lunch or dinner time, take 10-15 minutes to relax and release your stress. Eating relaxed not only helps you enjoy your food more, it ensures you will chew slowly.
    2. Drink Water
    When you take a few sips of water or another drink, you have to put your fork down. This ensures you chew and shallow before putting more food into your mouth
    3. Eat with your “other” hand.
    Eating with your less dominant hand forces you to eat at a slower pace.
    4. Don’t eat in front of a TV.
    Studies have shown that eating while watching TV makes you eat fast and without realizing how much you eat.
    5. Chew Thoroughly.
    Don’t gulp down your food. Instead, chew it patiently and long enough to mix it with saliva. Saliva contains enzymes which break down food and facilitate digestion. Experts of Ohio State University recommend that you chew each piece of food 30 times if it’s dense and 10 times if it’s soft.
    6. Eat Many Small Meals.
    Having small meals multiple times a day (every 2-3 hours), instead of only 2 or 3 meals spaced apart, ensures you will not get too hungry. Research has shown that we are too hungry not only do we tend to make poor food choices, we also eat fast.
    7. Take Small Bites.
    Again, researchers from Arizona State University found that cutting food into smaller pieces leads to early satiety.

    Obesity in the developed world has reached an all-time high. The stress we experience everyday makes us eat fast, eat more, and ultimately, eat our way to premature death. Eating slowly allows us not only to enjoy our food to the full but also keep our weight to a healthy level.

    About the author:
    Ian is the owner of, a blog that features diet meal delivery plans reviews, including a review of Diet to Go. Ian believes weight loss success is based on good habits that last for a lifetime. He often reminds people that the type of food we eat influences our health more than anything else, and losing weight starts with great food like that offered by DiettoGo.

    Scientific References

    • Eating slowly increases the postprandial response ofthe anorexigenic gut hormones, peptide YYand glucagon-like peptide-1.
    • Eating until feeling full and rapid eating both increase metabolic risk factors in Japanese men and women.
    • Eating Behaviors and Overweight among Adolescents: A Population-Based Survey in Japan.


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