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Eating Slowly May Reduce How Much You Eat

Fast food may be bad for you in more ways than one. A study showed that eating a meal more slowly can help you feel full longer afterwards, and may also cut the amount of food you eat.

What do we know already?

Previous studies have tried to find ways for people who are overweight or obese to cut down on calories. Some of these studies have looked at whether eating more slowly affects how much people eat. The general conclusion is that slower eating may reduce the amount of food people eat, but there were problems with the studies that make them hard to rely on. For example, most studies were in people of normal weight, so we don’t know how overweight people may have been affected.

This new study looked at two groups of 30 people. One group included people of normal weight and the other included people who were overweight or obese.

Participants were given the same meals on two separate occasions. On one occasion, they were told to eat as if they had plenty of time, taking smaller bites, chewing well, and pausing to sip water and put down their cutlery. On the other occasion, they were told to eat as if they were short of time, taking larger bites, swallowing quickly, and not pausing between mouthfuls.

Both times, they were told to eat as much of the meal as they wanted before feeling full. The researchers then looked at the effect of eating quickly or slowly, to see what difference it made to how much food the participants ate, how many calories they took in, how long they felt full afterwards, and how hungry they felt afterwards.

What does the new study say?

Both groups of people ate less food and took in fewer calories when they ate more slowly. However, only among normal weight people was the difference big enough for us to be sure this was not just down to chance. People of normal weight ate on average 88 calories less when they ate slowly. People who were overweight ate on average 57 calories less during the slow meal.

The researchers think the difference between groups may be because the overweight people ate much less than the normal weight people in both situations, possibly because they felt more self-conscious about having their food intake measured.

Both groups felt fuller for longer after eating slowly, and were less likely to feel hungry an hour after their meal if they had eaten slowly. This suggests that the actual calories consumed in the meal may not be the only reduction – they may have been less tempted to have snacks or big meals later in the day after eating a slow meal.

How reliable is the research?

The study is relatively small, and looks at only two meals eaten under artificial conditions. So, while it has some interesting messages, we can’t be sure whether being told to eat more slowly would have the same effect on people if they tried to do it all the time.

What does this mean for me?

The results are a little disappointing, because the researchers hoped that both overweight and normal weight people would eat less if they ate more slowly. However, the finding that people felt full for longer, and less hungry an hour later, suggests that slow eating could also have reduced how much food people ate later in the day.

There are some useful messages here for anyone struggling to keep to a healthy weight. It can be hard to find time to eat properly during a busy day, but snatching a sandwich and eating it quickly at your desk may not be the best way to keep your weight under control. Making time to eat a meal slowly, without pressure, could help you resist biscuits or sweets later in the day.

Source: Best Health

Mushroom Stuffed with Sausage Meat


12 oz low-fat sausage meat
7 oz can chopped tomato, drained
2 tsp tomato paste
2 tsp sweet pickled, chopped
6 large mushrooms
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 oz Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
basil sprigs, to garnish


  1. Fry sausage meat in a non-stick pan for 3 minutes, then stir-in tomato, tomato paste and sweet pickle. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Brush tops of mushroom with oil and place under a hot grill for 1 minute to warm through.
  3. Turn mushroom over and pile sausage mixture on top. Cover with slices of cheese and return to the grill until bubbly. Serve garnished with basil.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Breakfasts and Brunches

Today’s Comic

What’s for Breakfast?

Home-cooked Western Breakfast

The Menu

  • Toast with Sweet Adzuki Bean Paste
  • Sausage and Scrambled Egg
  • Pumpkin, Cherry Tomato and Greens Salad
  • Yogurt
  • Coffee