It sounds like perfect common sense, but the speed at which you’re gobbling food down is directly correlated to how much you consume at any particular sitting, and will affect the number on the scale as well.
Researchers at the University of Rhode Island studied the eating habits of 60 young adults and found that people who at more slowly, about 2 ounces of food per minute, weighed less than those who ate at a moderate or fast pace: 2.5 to 3.1 ounces per minute. The results were presented at the annual meeting of the Obesity Society in Orlando, Fla.
Not surprising, men eat faster than women, consuming about 80 calories a minute, compared to women’s 52. Body mass index (BMI) of the participants also correlated to the speed at which they ate: faster eaters had higher BMIs than slower eaters.
While the rate at which you eat is an automatic, ingrained personal characteristic, you can slow yourself down with a few strategies:
1. Don’t watch television or other activity that makes eating a secondary, mindless act.
2. Eat foods that take longer to chew, like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and other vegetables and fruits, as well as whole grains.
3. Limit foods that are generally more quickly consumed such as white breads, pasta and potatoes.
4. Take time to savor and taste your food, rather than shoveling it quickly.
5. Put your fork down between each bite. Better: Have a sip of water between each bite, too.
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