Some weight-management gurus advocate a slow eating rate to reduce food intake when on a weight loss diet, but there has never been much proof that it works. Now there is, at least in healthy normal-weight women.
The Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2008 reported a study in which 30 women were told to eat as much at meals as they wanted, until they were satisfied. The abstract of the article doesn’t specify, but I assume each participant was studied for several meals and was told to eat either slowly or quickly at different meals.
When eating quickly, the women ate 646 calories per meal. Eating slowly resulted in 579 calories per meal. Sixty-seven calories less per meal doesn’t sound like much, but would quickly add up over time to a substantial calorie deficit which could help with weight loss. Additionally, satisfaction with the meal was higher under the slow eating condition.
So if you’re watching your weight, why not slow down and enjoy your meals?
Steve Parker, M.D.
Reference: Andrade, Ana M., Greene, Geoffrey W., and Melanson, Kathleen J. Eating slowly led to decreases in energy intake within meals in healthy women. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108 (2008): 1,186-1,191.