Eating Slowly To Lose Weight: Fact or Fiction

"If you eat slower, you'll eat less!" Sound familiar? If you've spent any time at all in the weight loss world, it's extremely likely you may have stumbled across this little nugget of wisdom.

But is there any merit to the suggestion of eating slowly to lose weight?

A group of researchers from the Netherlands recently published an article in The Journal of Nutrition investigating the issue. 

The Study Setup 

Before the results are presented, it's best to understand the design of the study. 

Researchers organized the study's subjects, a combination of 38 men and women, into two distinct groups: those who would consume a meal over thirty minutes, and those who would eat over a period of two hours. 

More specifically, researchers staggered individual courses in the slow dining test group by twenty to twenty-five minutes. 

Using this method, researchers offered both groups identical meals with the only real difference being the length of time each group would take to eat their food. 

Some may discredit the study on the fact that researchers didn't allow each group to unlimited eating until subjects felt satisfied. 

After all, part of the reason experts suggest to eat slowly is that by doing so, you'll feel fuller and won't eat as much as if you had rushed through the meal. 

If each test group is restricted to an equivalent number of calories, it's fair to say that how quickly food is eaten should have little to no influence on losing weight. 

However, I argue that if a person is truly serious about slimming down and getting lean, restricting calories is an integral part of losing weight. The concept of losing weight is rather simple.

In order to see a smaller number on the scale, an individual needs to routinely burn more calories than he or she consumes. This is what's called creating a calorie deficit.

One of the pillars of successful dieting is portion monitoring and calorie counting, which is why I believe the results of the study are incredibly useful to those who are either considering or are already in the process of getting fit.

The Results 

Although the subjects weren't allowed to unleash their inner Pac-Man and go into an uninhibited feeding frenzy, the study still provides very useful insight into whether or not the rate of consumption plays a role in potential weight loss. 

By using identical meals for both groups, researchers gathered evidence regarding the relationship between the speed of consumption and both test groups' feelings of fullness and post-meal snacking habits.

Subjects who ate the meal over a two-hour period claimed to feel fuller, more satisfied, and overall less hungry than the subjects from the 30-minute meal. 

Although the slow diners collectively reported to not want any more food after the two-hour meal finished, researchers took the study to another level. 

Two and a half hours after the meals for both groups had begun, researchers introduced Dutch snacks like chocolate-covered marshmallows and apple cake to both groups. 

Surprisingly, both groups exhibited largely similar snacking habits, with the faster diners consuming an inconsequential 10 percent more snack calories than their slower eating counterparts. 

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