You know it? You only wake up after the alarm clock is set to snooze. You get up in a hurry, put on your clothes on the run, do your morning toilet quickly, don't let go of your coffee because you have to wake up somehow, but breakfast? You eat them in two minutes, with one leg behind the door, and sometimes at work, just before your shift begins. The truth is, most people will sooner start playing sports or dieting than changing the way they eat. Does it even matter?
Among the ways to lose weight, there are many diets that limit the amount of food you eat, mainly by counting calories. Other diets try to approach it a bit differently. According to their authors, consuming the right proportions of macronutrients, such as fats, proteins and carbohydrates, or food groups such as vegetables or meat, causes a longer feeling of satiety after a meal. However, neither of these approaches relate to the mechanics of eating food.
When you start to eat, it takes 15 to 20 minutes for your body to feel like your stomach is full, that you are full and satisfied with your meal. What does this mean in practice? When you devour your dinner in less than 15 minutes, you are eating more than if you were eating more slowly. You cannot count on the signal from your brain - "you are full, you can stop eating" because it is too early for it. For this reason, you judge your satiety by the amount of food you eat, which is not a good measure. It seems objective and you can try to eat the same amount every day, but hunger is a subjective matter. You will need a different need when you sit at your desk for 8 hours at work, and another when you clean the entire house and then go out for a walk.
Answering the question from the introduction - YES. And the Japanese proved it. The results of their study were published in 2018 in the "BMJ Open" journal. The researchers analyzed data collected over 5 years during follow-up studies of 60,000 Japanese people with type II diabetes.
The follow-up was quite detailed as participants were asked about their lifestyle, including the pace of eating (fast, normal, or slow), eating snacks after lunch, skipping breakfast, and eating within the two hours before going to bed . As you probably know, these are habits that scientists list as reasons why people get fat.
What did the research show? Normal eaters are 29% less likely to be obese than fast eaters. Conversely, those who eat slowly are in an even better position - they are 42% less likely to be obese than fast-eaters. Moreover, slow eaters had lower BMI (Body Mass Index - height to weight ratio) and lower waist circumference. And we're talking about people with type II diabetes, which increases the likelihood of obesity and other diseases. However, the combination of slow eating and no snacks after lunch and at bedtime worked best.
Fast eaters are 115% more likely to be obese than those who eat slowly or at regular pace, according to another study. So there is something to fight for!
The theory sounds tempting. However, what to do when you eat fast for as long as you can remember? Try to put the cutlery between bites. This way, you will put the next batch of food on them only after you bite and swallow the previous one. You can also chew food longer. There are two benefits to this. First, you eat slower. Secondly, the food is broken down into smaller pieces, thanks to which you relieve the digestive system and better absorb nutrients - minerals and vitamins. Such a meal will satisfy you faster and longer, and then give you more energy.
Is there a magic number then? According to scientists, you need to bite a bite at least 6 times to feel the positive effects. If you eat fast, you just don't have time for it.
So instead of looking for a "miracle diet" or resorting to magic, pay attention to how fast you eat. It may turn out to be a better, and certainly cheaper, way to lose weight - without dieting!