Benefits of Eating Slowly: Sure Weight Loss for Diabetics

Woman eating chocolate

Researchers from the Kyushu University Graduate School of Medical Sciences say people who eat their meals slowly, avoid nighttime snacking, and don't go to sleep until at least two hours have passed since dinner are more likely to see their waistlines shrink. Patients were also told to detail their snacking habits and whether or not they ate within two hours of going to sleep.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a ratio of weight-to-height which is used for learning whether a person is within the healthy range category or not.

A lot of people complain about how they can't lose weight no matter what they do.

Out of all the respondents, only 7 percent said that they were slow eaters, compared to over half of them saying that they ate at normal speed and about a third of them saying that they ate quickly.

The team also noticed the adjustment in the eating speed over the timeframe of six years.

After taking account of potentially influential factors, the results showed that compared with those who tended to gobble up their food, those who ate at a normal speed were 29 percent less likely to be obese, rising to 42% for those who ate slowly. While the slow eaters had an average BMI of just over 22, the normal eaters had a BMI of 23.5 on average, and the fast eaters had an average BMI of around 25, while waist circumference was also found to increase with faster eating pace.

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.

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The researchers also concluded that not snacking after dinner or eating two hours before bed also led to reductions in obesity or BMI. However, skipping breakfast was not linked to obesity. Reducing the eating speed also seems to act as a protective factor against non-communicable disease like type 2 diabetes.

In a study tracking the eating habits of almost 60,000 participants with type 2 diabetes, over a period of close to six years, researchers discovered those who ate more slowly tended to be thinner.

One of the main limitations of the study is that eating speed and other behaviors were reported by the participants and are therefore prone to subjectivity.

In addition, there was no data on how much participants actually ate or whether they exercised during the trial.

The slow eaters tended to be healthier and to have a healthier lifestyle than either the fast or normal speed eaters. More calories result in weight gain. In another study, people were asked to eat ice cream slower, which caused more of their gut hormones to be secreted, which made more people report that they were feeling fuller.

Using a generalized estimating equation model, the researchers found that eating slower inhibited the development of obesity. Next time you consider a weight loss program make sure your brain doesn't hold you back.

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