When you were younger your parents may have warned you to eat slowly and take smaller bites. Now research shows that by doing just that you could shed a few unwanted pounds.
Science Says Eay Slowly and Take Small Bites
The Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior held a conference in Switzerland. One of the featured research projects was led by Devina Wadhera of Arizona State University. With the help of over 300 student participants, Wadhera and the rest of team discovered that cutting up food into smaller pieces helps you feel more satisfied than if you ate the same amount with larger bites.
How did they come to this conclusion? They split the 300 participants into two groups, feeding each set a bagel with cream cheese. One group had a whole bagel while the other had a whole bagel cut into four pieces. Twenty minutes later they offered both groups another meal. The researchers found that “the students, who ate the single, uncut bagel, ate more calories from the bagel and the [extra] meal, than their fellow counterparts.”
Another study was published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Dr. Alexander Kokkinos and his fellow researchers conducted an ice cream experiment, giving one group of participants 5 minutes to finish a serving of ice cream and another group 30 minutes to finish an identical serving. Using surveys and blood samples, they found that eating your food too quickly can actually cause you to overeat.
Our Brains, Not or Stomachs, are the Key
So, how does eating slowly and taking small bites actually affect our waistline? The answer lies in our brains as well as our stomachs.
Wadhera’s study shows that humans use “psychological cues” when judging food quantities. When we see more pieces, we tend to think there’s more food. Also, the ice cream study shows that as we eat and digest our food special hormones are released to signal to our brain that we’re full. The theory is that if we eat to quickly the hormones don’t get the chance to tell our brain that we’re satisfied.
Want to change your relationship with food and implement these studies into your diet? Try cutting up all of your food in smaller pieces before beginning a meal. Also, eat slowly and try to drink more water between bites. Who’s ready to test this Mindful Eating Everyday® challenge and try this method for a month?