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Eating slowly keeps you slim – results from a recent study

Do you enjoy your meals slowly and deliberately? Or are you more of a fast eater? Your calorie intake not only depends on what you eat, but also on how quickly you eat it. A recent study by the University of Rhode Island in Kingston shows that slow eaters experience more enjoyment, are full more easily and consume fewer calories during a meal.

Eating slowly keeps you slim

If you gorge when eating, you will eat more

The results of the American study are clear: Fast eaters ingest more food than slow eaters. Scientists tested this in a group of 30 women. All study participants ate a breakfast of 400 kcal and then ate nothing for four hours. Then they were given the test meal consisting of a portion of pasta with a tomato and vegetable sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Half of the women were given the instruction to eat their meal as quickly as possible (until they were full) with a large spoon. The other half were to take their time, eat with a small spoon and chew every bite 15 to 20 times. The result: The fast eaters finished their meal after nine minutes and on average ingested 646 kcal. The slow eaters ate for 29 minutes and the average caloric intake was 579 kcal. In addition, the women who had taken their time while eating felt more satiated and more comfortable.

Eating slowly is good for the figure

Nutritionists have long been preaching that eating slowly is good for the figure. The reasoning is as follows: It is only 15 to 20 minutes after starting to eat a meal that the brain sends out the signals to let you know you are full. If you eat quickly, you have eaten significantly more by this time than a slow eater. Therefore, if you are eating quickly, the body hardly has a chance to send the “stop signal”. Thus, fast eaters often eat more in total than slow eaters. If you carry over the results from the American study, that is nearly 70 kcal more per meal. At three meals a day, that is already 210 kcal more per day that fast eaters consume compared to those who enjoy their meal. So eating slowly does actually seem to help when losing or maintaining weight.

Exercise every day

Eating slowly keeps you slim

Do not only take time for your meals, but also plan exercise units and relaxation breaks into your daily routine. Exercise boosts your energy consumption and relaxation prevents fast and stress-related eating.

So learn how to enjoy eating slowly

Enjoyment takes time: You can only enjoy your meals if you have time. Therefore, eat slowly and deliberately and chew every bite intensely. If you put down the cutlery now and again, you will automatically eat more slowly. Enjoyment is not incidental: If you are distracted from eating, e.g. through watching television or reading a newspaper, you will not notice when you are full and will eat slightly beyond your hunger level. Enjoyment is less a question of quantity, than of quality. Do it like the gourmets: a little of everything, but in small portions.

Our tip: Use small plates, take smaller portions, eat less and the plate is empty faster. Studies in the eating laboratory have shown that an emptied plate triggers signals of satiety.