Diet Tips: Curb Overeating with This Mealtime Trick

Medically reviewed in December 2020

Dieters everywhere want to know how to eat less. Here’s one of the simplest diet tips around: eat slowly, spending at least 30 minutes enjoying your food.

Research shows that scarfing down food as if every meal were your last actually reduces levels of key appetite-controlling hormones -- the ones that normally keep you feeling full and satisfied and tell you when to put down that fork.

Slower = Slimmer
In the study, lucky volunteers were served about 2 1/2 scoops of ice cream -- twice. On one day, they wolfed down the treat in 5 minutes flat. Then, on another day, they lingered over the bowl for a full half hour. Blood tests showed that slow eating increased levels of two appetite-lowering chemicals (peptide YY and glucagon-like peptide-1) by 25 to 30%. And these satisfaction hormones stayed high for the next 2 1/2 hours. So if you’re one of the aforementioned dieters who wants to learn how to eat less, eating slower is key.

Satisfaction Secrets
"I'm full" hormones are released by special cells in your gastrointestinal tract. Eating stimulates them, but scientists aren't yet sure why a leisurely meal boosts output and a quick meal stunts it. And you shouldn't wait for the answer. Start harnessing your satisfaction levels now with a lazy, leisurely approach to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here are a few more diet tips on eating less but feeling full:

Are you really hungry, or just thirsty? Learn how thirst can mimic food cravings! 

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