When I sit down to a meal, I try to eat slowly, savor each tasty bite, and chew thoroughly. Not only is it more enjoyable to eat that way, but I thought it was healthier for my waistline. It's a common notion, that if you scarf down your food quickly, you'll end up eating more calories, which will make you pack on the pounds. Some diet experts will say that obese people eat faster than lean people. So is that true?
Scientifically speaking, there really isn't much evidence to show that eating slowly has anything to do with how much you weigh. We've always been told that if you eat slow enough, your body will have time to release the hormone that tells your body it's full. While it was thought that it takes your body about 15 to 20 minutes to get the message, it's now found that for some people, that full feeling won't come until an hour or more after eating.
So the pace you eat at may not affect how much you eat, but may have more to do with the kinds of foods you eat. Want to hear why? Then read more
That full feeling is felt in your belly, but it also has to do with your brain and the pleasure sensations you get from eating. When you're hungry, the first bite of your meal is delicious and as you become full towards the end of your meal, it's not as enjoyable. So if a new food is presented to you, since it has a different taste, it'll reawaken your appetite, and you'll continue to eat. So taste, rather than pace, may be the reason why more calories are consumed.
The form of the food you eat factors into your fullness, too. In a recent study, before eating a meal, some participants were given an apple and some were given apple juice. Those who ate the apple ate 190 fewer calories. It could be that the chewing triggered their body to feel fuller.
The bottom line is, try to be conscious about what you're eating, not just how you're eating it. It's good to have a general idea of how many calories are in the foods you eat, so you can choose foods that are low in calories. Place appropriate serving sizes on your plate so you know you're eating a healthy amount. If you're out to dinner, and your meal is big enough for two, either share it with someone else, or ask the other half to be wrapped up. Hopefully these tips can prevent you from eating extra.