Eating Speed and Weight Loss

Are you like many looking to lose weight this year? Perhaps you’ve already started a new diet or workout program. If so, congratulations on taking steps to better your health. In addition to your personal goals, research suggests that changing your eating speed may also support weight loss.

Slow or Fast?

In a recent study, researchers who studied nearly 60,000 people found a correlation between slow eating speeds and body weight. When compared to fast eaters, those who consumed food at a slow speed were less likely to be obese. The study also suggests a correlation with lower BMI levels and smaller waist circumferences for slow eaters compared to fast eaters.

Previous research also supports the idea that slow eating speeds contribute to weight loss. One possible explanation being that slow eating allows the body to recognize internal cues for fullness earlier, which could contribute to eating smaller portions. Alternatively, fast eaters may be more likely to consume larger portions despite having consumed adequate calories which can lead to weight gain.

Applying the Research

For fast eaters looking to lose weight this year, consider trying a practice called mindful eating. In doing so, focus on each bite of food you consume at your next snack or meal. Identify your level of fullness, and any thoughts or feelings you experience after each bite. Experts also recommend eliminating distractions, such as televisions or smartphones, to help enhance the practice of mindful eating.