Slow down, you eat too fast/Got to make the dinner last

June 7th, 2009  |  Published in Stumpblog  |  8 Comments

From BBC News:

Wolfing down meals may be enough to nearly double a person’s risk of being overweight, Japanese research suggests.

Osaka University scientists looked at the eating habits of 3,000 people and reported their findings in the British Medical Journal.

Problems in signalling systems which tell the body when to stop eating may be partly responsible, said a UK nutrition expert.

He said deliberately slowing down at mealtimes might impact on weight.

Compared with those who did not eat quickly, fast-eating men were 84% more likely to be overweight, and women were just over twice as likely.

Those, who, in addition to wolfing down their meals, tended to eat until they felt full, were more than three times more likely to be overweight.

Professor Ian McDonald, from the University of Nottingham, said that there were a number of reasons why eating fast could be bad for your weight.

He said it could interfere with a signalling system which tells your brain to stop eating because your stomach is swelling up.

He said: “If you eat quickly you basically fill your stomach before your gastric feedback has a chance to start developing – you can overfill the thing.”



  1. Elizabeth says:

    June 8th, 2009at 7:13 pm(#)

    I’ve been unable to break myself of the wolfing habit, so I just make sure to measure my portions carefully. That’s what I get, and no more, until at least an hour afterward (by which time I’ve usually forgotten). Unfortunately, I’m still that freak who can finish an entire entree at a chain restaurant — I wish they would let me order off the senior menu.

  2. Mistress Krista says:

    June 9th, 2009at 5:05 am(#)

    LOL I feel your pain. I’ve definitely had to come up with lots of strategies like that to curtail the Stomach That Walks Like A Woman. Portion control is key. Also, pack up leftovers from dinner BEFORE I start eating dinner. Otherwise, they’re gone too.

    There is actually an effect called something like “restaurant hunger” or “second meal effect”. When the brain is rewarded by a very tasty meal, in susceptible people, it actually increases hunger. So you have one, filling, delicious meal. Then you get home and you’re like, “Ooh, snack time!” even though physically you’ve had quite enough.

  3. Matt S says:

    June 9th, 2009at 11:08 am(#)

    I have seen this approach outline before, but it is definitely to great to read some scholarly support for eating more slowly.

    I first learned that eating slowly is more optimal through some of Christian Thibaudeau’s bodybuilding literature. Now I know that academia is also inline with this perspective!

  4. Jen says:

    June 10th, 2009at 9:55 am(#)

    Restaurant hunger.

    I am familiar with that! Strangely enough it only happens when I overeat at the restaurant, then want to eat more.

    If I eat a sane amount at a restaurant and leave feeling satisfied rather than bloated then I do not get the munchies when I get home…

    I think it’s partly the “I’ve blown it.” Whether you are dieting or not.

  5. jane says:

    June 10th, 2009at 11:50 am(#)

    Wow, I thought there was something wrong with me because I often feel hungry again right after eating! I could not understand why I feel hungry even though I just ate and know I should be satisfied. Any other suggestions on how to curb this?

  6. Mistress Krista says:

    June 10th, 2009at 8:01 pm(#)

    Eating more slowly is a big one. Protein and fibre are the most satiating things to consume. In the long run, fat tends to increase satiety, but in the short term, it may actually increase appetite as we are primed to crave sweet and fatty foods. I’ve also found that drinking a lot of water following a big meal seems to curb it. Could be that in fact many folks misperceive thirst as hunger.

    Finally, I’ve found that having rituals that signify the end of a meal help with psychological cuing. For many people, this is having something sweet, but it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Fruit will often do the job just fine.

  7. Lauren says:

    June 11th, 2009at 9:17 am(#)

    I can finish an entire restaurant portion too, but for me it’s more a “clean your plate” syndrome. But, I’ve had good luck using psychological end-of-meal cues, the most effective for me have been a nice cup of coffee (even decaf, sometimes paired with a square of chocolate) or a nice strong peppermint gum. I also try to eat mainly at restaurants that I can walk to, the walk back home is another good cue that the meal is over (and good incentive not to get too full)!

  8. Dennis says:

    October 28th, 2009at 6:53 pm(#)

    I’ve always had problems with weight control and until I read what I read on this site I didn’t know how fast I eat anything could be the cause or at least part of the cause of my being over weight.
    Due to the information I have learned I will most definitely try to start eating slower.Thank you.

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