Linger over lunch to lose weight

15 February, 2018, 07:54 | Author: Inez Murphy
  • Eating slowly

People who said they didn't snack after dinner at least three times a week, and those who didn't eat within two hours of bedtime, were also less likely to gain weight over the course of the study than those who did those behaviors. Now, a study in BMJ Open sheds some light onto which of those strategies actually work: Based on data from almost 60,000 people, three behaviors-eating slowly, cutting out after-dinner snacks and not eating within two hours of going to bed-were linked to lower obesity rates and smaller waistlines.

The researchers also concluded that not snacking after dinner or eating two hours before bed also led to reductions in obesity or BMI.

But before you vow to never gobble your dinner again, there were certain limitations to the study including the fact that it only focused on participants with type 2 diabetes, only featured a few older participants, and did not take into account levels of physical exercise or the amount of food eaten daily.

Nevertheless, eating quickly has been linked to impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. Researchers found out that the people that ate at a normal speed were less likely to be obese compared to the fast eaters. In the study, obesity was defined as having a BMI score of over 25 - in the United Kingdom (UK) people are deemed to be overweight with a BMI score of over 25 and obese if they have a score of over 30.

This could be because the satiety signal takes time to travel to the brain from the stomach and may reach only when the fast eater has already consumed more than they need.

There was a research conducted involving sixty thousand Japanese people displaying a link between eating slower or faster and losing or gaining weight.

Skipping breakfast, however, did not seem to have any effect. Slow eaters had an average BMI of 22, normal eaters had a BMI of approximately 23.5, and fast-eaters had an average BMI of 25. But those who ate slowly were up to 42 percent less likely to be obese.

"Changes in eating speed can affect changes in obesity, BMI and waist circumference", a research duo from Japan's Kyushu University wrote in the journal BMJ Open.

The study did not measure how much people ate, so we don't know if people who ate more slowly were eating fewer calories than those who ate quickly. So, if you are trying to lose weight by eating less, or to control the calories you eat to maintain a healthy body weight, eating more slowly may help.

They were specifically asked about their eating speed, which was categorised as fast, normal, or slow. "Interventions aimed at reducing eating speed may be effective in preventing obesity and lowering the associated health risks", the researchers added.

But most importantly, those who slowed down while they ate tended to lose weight, according to researchers.


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