Holiday Health Challenge Tip!

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Posted on 21st December 2011 by admin in Holiday Health Challenge

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Eating Speed

If your mother constantly reminded you to slow down and completely chew your food, I hope for your health’s sake that you followed her wise advice. Interesting research from independent sources during the past few years proposes that you can reduce your intake of calories and make a significant reduction in weight gain by implementing your mom’s extraordinarily simple eating trick: Slow it down.

In a study published in the 2008 British Medical Journal, K. Maruyama and his fellow researchers examined whether eating until full or eating quickly or combinations of these eating behaviors are associated with being overweight in Japanese men and women. They found that fast eaters are significantly more likely to be overweight or obese. Additionally, those who continue eating until they feel full are also more likely to be overweight. They concluded: “Eating until full and eating quickly are associated with, and these eating behaviors combined may have a substantial impact on being overweight.”

In the July 2008 Journal of American Dietetic Association, A. M. Andrade published study results of research that “sought to compare the impact of slow and quick eating rates on development of satiation [feeling full] in healthy women.” The study utilized two test groups, with each group being given large portions of food and instructions to consume as much as desired. One group was given big spoons and advised to eat quickly. The other group got small spoons and was directed to eat slowly, taking the time to chew each bite 20 or so times. The result was unmistakable: Fewer calories were consumed when the meal was eaten slowly, and feeling fuller was higher at meal completion. “Although more study is needed, this data suggests that eating slowly may help to maximize satiation and reduce energy intake within meals.”

One other study was published in the January 2010 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism that purposed to determine whether eating the same meal at varying speeds elicits different postprandial gut peptide (gut hormone) responses. A. Kokkinos and other researchers at the Athens University Medical School found that eating speed does affect certain hormone levels in our body, which in turn interact with the hypothalamus (an area of the brain that produces hormones that control an immense number of bodily functions) to create the feeling of hunger or fullness—specifically, the hormones PYY, GLP-1, and ghrelin. This research found that levels of both PYY and GLP-1, which cause a body to feel full, are significantly higher when a person eats slowly. It was found that ghrelin levels, which cause the feeling of hunger, were higher two hours after eating for those who ate quickly. It appears that hormone levels are responsible for the fullness slow eaters feel and the hunger fast eaters feel. Bottom line: Fast eaters feel both less full after eating more food and hungrier just a couple hours after eating than do slow eaters—that’s a double whammy.

You may be familiar with how much food teenage boy athletes eat. My seventeen-year-old son, Kyle, says, “I never get full; I just get tired of chewing!” Nevertheless, eating slowly may be the easiest and most effective tip that you’ll ever find regarding losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight. You may have laughed in Chapter 1 when I referred to William Gladstone, who in the late 1800s promoted chewing food 32 times before swallowing, thus lessening the appetite and leading to weight loss and better health. But eating slowly is effective—you’ll eat fewer calories, feel fuller after your meal, and go longer before feeling the need to eat again. How can you beat that? Take these studies and your mother’s advice to heart and change your habits today!

KC Craichy
Author
The Super Health Diet

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