Have you been trying to shed a few extra pounds but don't seem to be having much success? You might want to take a closer look at how quickly you are eating. We live in a fast-paced world where people never seem to have enough time. As a result, the amount of time many people devote to eating their meals has been on the decline in recent years.
Does Eating Too Quickly Lead to Overeating?
It takes approximately 20 minutes for the stomach to transmit signals to the brain that it is full. It is therefore important that people take their time while they are eating. A recent study of 30 normal weight college-aged women conducted at the University of Rhode Island revealed that when the women ate quickly, they also consumed more calories.
During the study, the women were given a large plate of pasta with tomato-vegetable sauce and a glass of water on two separate occasions. On one occasion, the women were asked to eat the meal as rapidly as they could and on the other, they were asked to eat slowly and put their spoons down between each bite. On both occasions, the women were told to eat until they reached the point of comfortable fullness.
When the women ate quickly, they consumed 646 calories in approximately 9 minutes. When they ate slowly, the average calorie consumption was 579 calories in roughly 29 minutes. "They ate 67 calories more in 9 minutes than they did in 29 minutes," reports lead researcher Kathleen Melanson, director of the university's Energy Metabolism Laboratory. Melanson also noted that the women reported feeling less satisfied and hungrier an hour after eating the meal quickly than when they ate slowly.
Tips to Help You Slow Down at Mealtime
If you find yourself rushing through meals, keep these helpful tips in mind:
* Try to set aside at least a half hour for every meal you eat. Remember that it doesn't do you much good to rush through a meal so that you can get to the ballpark if you have indigestion once you get there!
* Avoid doing other activities, such as driving, watching television or reading the newspaper while you are eating.
* Eat meals with your family or friends whenever possible. Having someone to talk to while you are eating can help slow down the rate at which you eat.
* Fill your plate with vegetables and high fiber foods, which are not only filling, but also take longer for you to chew.
* Take time to chew each bite of food thoroughly and savor the different flavors and textures of the food.
* Put down your spoon or fork between bites and don't pick it up again until you have swallowed the food.
* When you feel yourself starting to get full, stop eating.
Source: University of Rhode Island