Take it slow: linger over your lunch to lose weight, says study

Weight loss

During those appointments, people were asked about their eating and sleeping habits, including how fast they typically ate and whether they regularly skipped breakfast, snacked after dinner or ate before bed.

These adjustments are linked with lower obesity and weight (BMI), and smaller waist circumference.

"What stands out to me about this study is the positive thought that eating speed is a modifiable risk factor in a world where people feel many health risk factors are beyond their control", she said in an email.

At the start of the study, some 22,070 people routinely wolfed down their food; 33,455 ate at a normal speed and 4,192 lingered over every mouthful. The study linked changing behaviours, including eating speed, to a lower chance of obesity and a shrinking waistline.

The findings of the study showed that slow eaters tend to be healthier and possess a healthier lifestyle compared to those who eat at either a fast or normal speed.

The team, who tracked participants for six years, also found fast eaters had waist sizes a quarter of an inch (0.62cm) larger than slow eaters.

A recent study published in The Lancet medical journal reported that nearly a third of Irish children are now overweight and the country ranks 58th out of 200 countries for its proportion of overweight youths.

Snacking after dinner and eating within two hours of going to sleep, three or more times a week, were also strongly linked to changes in BMI. Skipping breakfast did not seem to have any effect. Their results were measured by body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference.

"Interventions aimed at altering eating habits, such as education initiatives and program to reduce eating speed, may be useful in preventing obesity and reducing the risk of non-communicable diseases", the authors write.

In a study tracking the eating habits of almost 60,000 participants with type 2 diabetes, over a period of close to six years, researchers discovered those who ate more slowly tended to be thinner. "Practices that impose some mindfulness and discipline on eating may help with both losing weight and staying healthy", Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, Conn., who had no part in the study, told Health Day. Past studies have found that fast-eaters are more likely to get fat, get sick with the metabolic syndrome, and be diagnosed with acid reflux.

'In contrast, eating slowly may help to increase feelings of satiety before an excessive amount of food is ingested'.

Simon Cork-Imperial College of London while commenting on the research said the research confirms what we already believe in that eating slowly leads to less weight gain in comparison to eating at a quicker pace.

New findings reveal that fast eaters could lose weight by simply taking longer to chew their food and pausing between bites instead of gobbling their entire meal up quickly.

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