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And the Tortoise Wins the Weight Race

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Eating more slowly can help keep weight off

We are always rushing around. Think about it - we’re often rushing to finish school or work to get home, we rush to get to dinner or date on time, we rush through dinner to get to bed, and then we do it all over again the next morning. When you compare the American lifestyle to our European counterparts, this is the American way.  Rush, rush, rush.

Observational research published online in BMJ Open, showed a strong association between how quickly we rush through meals with obesity and waist circumference. In this study, almost 60,000 Japanese patient records were reviewed. Over 6 years, metrics including BMI, waist circumference and labs were measured at checkups while quizzes addressed lifestyle behaviors including eating speed, meal and sleep patterns as well as alcohol and tobacco use. Participants self-reported their eating speeds as fast (37%), normal (56%) or slow (7%). After considering other factors that affect weight like alcohol and weight history, they found that those who ate at a normal rate were 29% less likely to be obese, and slow eaters were 42% less likely to carry excess pounds. Slower eaters also had the benefit of a smaller waist.

It’s thought that slower eaters allow time for their brain to register a feeling of fullness, while faster eaters gobble calories more quickly and often eat more than they need to before the brain can catch up.

If a major component of weight loss is slowing down, savoring the flavor of our food while enjoying our company and the tradition of the meal, maintaining a healthy weight may be easier than we think.   Give it a try this week with our Sweet and Savory Orzo Pasta.

Published April 1, 2018

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