Eating more slowly, along with not eating within 2 hours of going to sleep, and cutting out after dinner snacks, could help with weight loss, researchers say. The research also points out that avoiding after-dinner snacks and not eating within two hours of going to bed can also help when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. At the end of the study, researchers finalized the direct links between eating speed and the increased chances of obesity. Eating quickly has previously been linked to impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance, which can affect metabolism and fat-burning.
Compared with those who tended to gobble up their food, those who ate at a normal speed were 29% less likely to be obese, rising to 42% for those who ate slowly. It is worth noting that in Japan a BMI of 25 or over is considered obese, whereas in the United Kingdom 25 to 29 is overweight and only 30 and above is considered obese. Meanwhile for slow eaters, feelings of fullness might happen more quickly, helping to curb calorie intake. Another reason this was considered an observational study was because people don't always remember their eating habits, so the study is believed to be not absolutely accurate.
Authors of the study added that people changed the speed of their eating through the research that suggests that if you modify the way you eat you can lose weight. People who eat faster, skip breakfast, and eat midnight snacks have higher obesity risk.
Metabolic physiology professor, Ian MacDonald from the University of Nottingham described the findings obtained in the research as a few people changed their eating speed while being followed in research, but such changes didn't support so much to the change in their BMI. (East Asian people tend to have smaller body sizes than European people, which is why the BMI threshold for obesity is different). "Our model revealed that consistently eating breakfast can reduce obesity, which also corroborates the findings of previous studies". "People who speed eat, as many of us do, scarf down far more calories than they need".
Referring to the study's methods, however, he warned that relying on the participants themselves to score whether they eat slowly or quickly was "considerably subjective" and may skew the data. Of course, it's also of great importance to continue maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eat healthy food. If you are a quick eater, the following mindful tips around meal times can be useful: "focus on the food and not other activities such as TV or reading, eat with your less dominant hand, and try to chew each mouthful 30 times and focus on the flavours" she said.
Pauses targeted at lessening the eating speed may prove effective in preventing obesity and reducing the linked health risks.