How Eating More Slowly Can Help You Lose Weight

2. Eating Too Fast Can Cause Weight Gain

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People who describe themselves as fast eaters tend to be heavier than those who say they eat more slowly (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

In fact, fast eaters are up to 115% more likely to be obese, compared to slower eaters (3).

They also tend to gain weight over time, which may be partially due to eating too fast.

In one study, researchers surveyed over 4,000 middle-aged men and women, asking them how fast they ate their food (5).

Those who said they ate “very fast” tended to be heavier, and had gained the most body weight since age 20.

Another study looked at the weight changes of 529 men over an 8-year period. Those who reported being “fast” eaters gained more than twice as much as self-described “slow” or “medium” eaters (6).

Bottom Line: Studies show that people who eat quickly tend to be heavier and gain more weight over time, compared to slower eaters.

Eating Slowly Helps You Eat Less

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Your appetite and calorie intake is largely controlled by hormones.

Normally after eating, your gut suppresses a hormone called ghrelin, which controls hunger. It also releases the anti-hunger hormones cholecystokinin (CCK), peptide YY(PYY) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) (7).

These hormones relay a message to the brain, letting it know that you’ve eaten and that nutrients are being absorbed.

This reduces appetite, makes you feel full, and helps you stop eating.

Interestingly, this process takes about 20 minutes, so slowing down gives your brain the time it needs to receive these signals.