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Although eating slowly is often recommended for weight loss, is there any scientific reason to eat slowly? Yes, according to studies by independent research groups. The first study [1] found that there is a link between the speed at which a person eats and the number of calories a person ingests. Those eating faster consumed more calories; those eating more slowly consumed fewer calories. But perhaps most striking was the finding that those who ate faster, despite consuming more food,actually reported feeling less full than those who had eaten more slowly and consumed less.

In 2010 [2] researchers took a group of fast eaters and a group of slow eaters, but this time the calorie intake in both groups was kept the same and researchers kept track of hormonal levels with blood samples taken regularly throughout the experiment. Two significant trends emerged. First, the fast eating group had much lower levels of the gut hormones PYY and GLP-1, two powerful signals of fullness. Secondly, it was found that two hours after the meal, those in the fast eating group had higher levels of the gut hormone ghrelin, the hormone responsible for creating the feeling of hunger.

So when you eat fast, you miss the satiety signals and not only eat more, but you are left feeling still hungry.

Eating too fast is just a bad habit. If you are always the first one to finish a meal, you are eating too fast. Slow down. Not only are you ignoring the sensual gratification of a good meal, you are ignoring metabolism signals that control weight. All you need to do is recognise the problem and correct it.

Tips to help you slow down include waiting for everyone else at the table to take their first bite before you take yours and putting your fork down during the meal – Take time to converse with your dining companions. Allow yourself time to taste your meal.