Why should I eat slowly if I want to lose weight?

Ozgen Dogan
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
From the time you begin eating, it takes your brain a total of 20 minutes to register that you're full. Slowing down allows your brain to catch up to your stomach and prevents you from overeating. So start with soup or salad. Take small bites. Chew your food fully while enjoying its taste, smell and texture. Drink water in between forkfuls. By the time your hunger meter registers "full," you'll feel pleasantly satisfied instead of stuffed to the gills with too many calories.
Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

It takes our brain about 20 minutes to register if we are full. There are a couple of techniques you can use to help slow down your eating. One suggestion is to serve your family meal buffet style instead of family style, so you will need to get up from the table in order to serve yourself a second helping. Another suggestion is to plate your food on a dinner plate and then set a salad plate in front of you to dish out your serving from your dinner plate. A third idea to help slow down your eating is to count your bites of food, instead of the typical 15 bites, chew your food 40 times. The fourth idea can be loads of laughs in addition to helping you to slow down your eating. Use your non-dominant hand to bring your food on the fork or spoon into your mouth or use chopsticks instead of a fork or spoon.

If you want to lose weight, eat slowly. A recent study found that those who ate fast were heavier. Specifically, fast eaters consumed about 3.1 oz of food per minute, medium-speed eaters ate 2.5 oz per minute, and slow eaters consumed 2 oz per minute. Interestingly, most people eat high-calorie refined grains, such as white breads, pasta, and potatoes, faster than healthier whole grains.
If you want to eat less, eat more slowly. Our brain needs a minute to catch up. If you just shove in a bunch of food, it needs a second to say, “Oh, I’m full.” We know that we are terrible at heeding our signals that we are full. So by eating slowly, you will eat less. Here is where we return to monitoring, attention and not eating while distracted. Often when we do something else, we eat faster. Make eating about eating.

A study conducted by Brian Wansink and his colleagues points out how mindlessly we can eat. Two groups were given different situations. One group had a normal bowl of soup that would empty out as they ate it. The other group had specially designed bowls that had a pump system built into the bottom that could add more soup to the bowl as the person ate (they were not aware of this). Everyone was told to stop eating when they were full. The people who had the bowls that kept refilling ate 73% more before reporting they were full than those who had the regular bowls of soup, supporting the assertion that we often use visual cues to figure out if we are full (clean plates), rather than our true feeling of fullness. As such, trying to fill our plates with the right amount of food, eating slowly and then giving our minds a chance to catch up with our stomachs is key.
You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life

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You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life

An intelligent, timely, and prescriptive book that shows how your attitude towards food often reflects your attitude towards other areas in your life--jobs, relationships, money--and how you can...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.