Three Eating Habits That Could Help You Lose Weight

Three Eating Habits That Could Help You Lose Weight

Inhale your dinner? Yeah you might want to take it easy as according to a new study slow eating could be the secret to losing weight.

The surveys included questions on eating and sleeping habits, including a self-assessment of how fast the participants ate food, how soon they went to bed after dinner, and the frequency with which they snacked at night.

Their weight was also assessed using their body mass index (BMI) score and their waist circumference was measured. They tracked lifestyle habits including eating speed, alcohol consumption and after-dinner snacking.

At the start of the study, some 22,070 people routinely wolfed down their food; 33,455 ate at a normal speed; 4192 lingered over every mouthful.

The team also noted changes in eating speed over the six years, with more than half the trial group reporting an adjustment in one direction or the other. An analysis of these answers compared to the BMI and waist measurements of the respondents revealed that slow eaters had a 42 percent lower chance of being obese compared to fast eaters, while people who ate at normal speed had a 29 percent lower chance.

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The results showed that slower eating speeds were linked to reductions in obesity, BMI and waist circumference.

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.

But skipping breakfast does nothing to decrease weight.

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

Pauses targeted at lessening the eating speed may prove effective in preventing obesity and reducing the linked health risks.

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The study looked specifically at people in Japan with type 2 diabetes who had one to three health check-ups between 2008 and 2013. There was also no data on how much participants ate, or whether they exercised or not. Naturally, those who make regular workouts a priority likely had an easier road to weight loss versus more sedentary individuals.

Slow and steady wins the race, especially when it comes to eating.

Ian MacDonald, professor of metabolic physiology at the University of Nottingham, U.K, said: "It is certainly not appropriate to extrapolate from these observations to conclude about eating speed and the development of obesity-however attractive the idea that fast eaters are likely to eat more, and that eating more leads to weight gain".

Simon Cork, of Imperial College London, told Agence France-Presse that the study "confirms what we already believe: that eating slowly is associated with less weight gain than eating quickly". This is possibly because it may take longer for fast eaters to feel full, whereas this might happen more quickly for slow eaters, helping to curb their calorie intake, the researchers suggested.

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