Sip, Chew, Pause: The Simple Eating Trick to Feel Full and Shed Pounds!

If you’re looking to shed some pounds, it turns out you don’t need a fancy diet or a strict exercise regime — you just need to slow down your eating and drink more water. Researchers from the Department of Kinesiology at Texas Christian University found that eating at a slower pace, and consuming more water during meals, can lead to consuming fewer calories overall.

Slow and Steady Wins the (Weight Loss) Race

The research team conducted a study where participants had to eat two different meals at separate times in their lab. For the first meal, they were asked to eat slowly. They were told to imagine they had no time constraints, take small bites, chew thoroughly, and pause and put their spoon down between bites. On the other hand, for the second meal, participants were instructed to eat quickly, as if they were on a deadline. They were asked to take large bites, chew rapidly, not pause, and not put their silverware down.

The results showed that people who were “normal” weight consumed a significant number of fewer calories (88 fewer, to be exact) when they ate slowly. Overweight participants also consumed fewer calories, albeit to a lesser extent (around 58 fewer calories), although researchers pointed out that this result was not statistically significant.

Less Hunger, More Satisfaction

Interestingly, both groups experienced less hunger after the slow meal. Researcher Meena Shah explained that “in both groups, ratings of hunger were significantly lower at 60 minutes from when the meal began during the slow eating condition compared to the fast eating condition.” She added that “greater hunger suppression among both groups could be expected from a meal that is consumed more slowly.”

Don’t Forget the Water

Another important finding from the study was that both normal-weight and overweight participants drank more water during the slow meal. On average, each person consumed 9 ounces of water during the fast meal and 12 ounces during the slow meal. Shah noted that “water consumption was higher during the slow eating condition by 27% in the normal weight group and 33% in the overweight or obese group. The higher water intake during the slow eating condition probably caused stomach distention and may have affected food consumption.”

Why Does Eating Slowly Work?

There are several reasons why eating slowly can help with weight loss. First, your body takes some time to register that it’s full. When you eat quickly, it’s easier to consume more food before you realize you’ve had enough. Slow eating allows your body to catch up and send signals to your brain that you’re satisfied.

Second, eating more slowly means that you’re more mindful and aware of what you’re eating. This can make you pay more attention to your food, enjoy it more, and be more attuned to your body’s signals. This heightened awareness can lead to consuming smaller portions and fewer calories overall.

How to Make the Shift to Slow Eating

Making the change to slow eating means deliberately adjusting your eating habits, but it’s not that hard. Here are some tips to help you eat more slowly:

  1. Take smaller bites: Instead of shoveling in huge forkfuls of food, try taking smaller, more manageable bites. This forces you to eat more slowly and chew more, giving your body time to register fullness.

  2. Pay attention to chewing: Chewing your food thoroughly not only slows down your eating, but it also aids in digestion and helps you savor the taste of your food.

  3. Put down your silverware between bites: This physical act requires you to pause between bites, giving you more time to enjoy, digest, and savor your food.

  4. Drink more water: As mentioned earlier, water can help with weight loss by filling your stomach and helping you consume fewer calories overall. Plus, taking sips of water between bites is another way to slow down your eating.

  5. Consciously slow yourself down: Remind yourself to slow down and savor each bite as much as possible. This takes practice, but eventually eating slowly will become more natural.

So, the next time you sit down to a meal, remember to slow down, drink more water, and savor every delicious bite. You’ll end up consuming fewer calories, feeling more satisfied, and potentially shedding those extra pounds.